Jan. 2, 2010

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – The North Dakota Fighting Sioux (10-6-3) topped the Niagara Purple Eagles (3-11-2), 3-1, Saturday in game one of the Shillelagh Tournament at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

North Dakota jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first period. Brett Hextall found the back of the net off feeds from Evan Trupp and Jake Marto at the 11:55 mark, before Carter Rowney put the Fighting Sioux ahead 2-0 at 6:10 with assists from Brett Bruneteau and Mario Lamoureux.

After holding North Dakota in the second period, Niagara was able to cut the Fighting Sioux lead to one with 8:56 left in the third period after Ryan Oldis scored on assists from Chris Moran and C.J. Chartrain. North Dakota answered with a goal by Trupp from Hextall with just over three minutes left to increase its lead to 3-1.

Purples Eagles’ goaltender Chris Noonan notched 40 saves, while North Dakota’s Brad Eidsness recorded 19 saves against Niagara.

North Dakota will play for the Shillelagh Tournament Championship Sunday against the winner of the Notre Dame/Colgate matchup.