LAS VEGAS -- When Joel Janatuinen skated the puck up the left side and sent it into an empty net, UND’s bench celebrated wildly.
They just clinched a 3-1 win over rival Minnesota in Orleans Arena in front of a partisan 7,412 fans on Saturday night.
Then, they had to catch a charter flight home.
Probably a good thing.
UND cost the bookies at the Orleans Hotel and Casino -- which made the Fighting Hawks big underdogs -- quite a bit of money.
The fans, meanwhile, were sent out into the Vegas night revelling in UND’s biggest win of the season.
Colton Poolman was the first star of the game. He scored the game-tying goal late in the second period and the game-winner midway through the third.
Rookie goalie Adam Scheel stopped 20 of 21 shots in his first back-to-back start of his career.
Defenseman Hayden Shaw had three assists. And Janatuinen iced the win.
UND moved to 2-2-1 and continued to have success in showcase games.
It beat Clarkson in Winnipeg. It beat Omaha in T.D. Ameritrade Park. It beat Boston College in New York City. And now it beat Minnesota in Vegas.
It was Minnesota’s first loss of the season.
Early in the second period, UND forward Grant Mismash was called for a checking-from-behind major -- and the Fighting Hawks were whistled for too many on ice -- to give the Gophers a five-on-three power play for a full two minutes and a major power play for five.
Minnesota cashed in just 22 seconds into the advantage, when Brent Gates Jr., found a rebound of a Sampo Ranta shot on top of the crease.
UND managed to kill the rest of the 4:38 power play, though, and stay in the game.
After that, the Fighting Hawks turned the tide of the second period and eventually tied it up late in the period.
After a strong shift, UND had chaos in front of Gopher goalie Mat Robson and moved the puck around the points. Eventually, Ludvig Hoff set up Poolman for a one-time blast. It went through a Cole Smith screen and past Robson to even the game.
UND kept the momentum rolling in the third and capitalized on a power-play goal at 10:14.
Jordan Kawaguchi got the puck at the left point and walked it down to the circle before leaving a pass for Poolman at the right point. Poolman rifled a shot high over Robson to give UND a 2-1 lead.
That gave UND the lead for good.