SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. – In a grinding affair worthy of two of the best defenses in MCLA Division II, No. 4 North Dakota State defeated top-ranked and defending national champion Dayton on Friday evening, 8-4.
Dayton (8-1) appeared in control of the contest early on, racing out to a 3-0 lead. Mike Kukulski finally broke the seal for NDSU (6-1) before Ryan Stover drove the alley to cut the Flyers' lead to 3-2 at the half. The Bison opened the second half with five unanswered goals, two by Ryan Heid, to give NDSU a lead that was never threatened.
The Dayton-NDSU affair was just one of four games on Friday in this Chicago suburb, and it wasn’t the first upset.
No. 9 Grand Valley State opened up the action with an upset of No. 6 Minn.-Duluth. Neither team could shake each other for most of the game. GVSU (4-2) lead by a pair of goals on several different occasions, but Duluth (4-3) always fought back. The game was tied at 10s late in the fourth quarter before the Lakers struck for an extra-man marker with 1:54 left in the contest. The GVSU defense made it stand up.
Midway through the second quarter, No. 8 St. John’s trailed No. 19 Indiana Tech, 8-4, but the Johnnies stormed back to post a 12-9 victory. The Johnnies (4-2) were led by Conlan Meade, who potted four goals, while Brooks Armitage chipped in with a hat trick of his own.
In the fourth game, No. 3 St. Thomas (4-0) methodically pulled away from No. 7 Grove City (6-2) for a 13-6 triumph.
All eight teams will be in action again in South Barrington on Saturday:
No. 1 Dayton vs. No. 6 Duluth, 2 p.m.
No. 19 Indiana Tech vs. No. 4 North Dakota State, 2 p.m.
No. 7 Grove City vs. No. 8 St. John’s, 4:30 p.m.
No. 9 Grand Valley State vs. No. 3 St. Thomas, 4:30 p.m.