Fighting Sioux End St. Cloud's Season

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Brock Nelson, drafted 30th overall by the New York Islanders, stands on stage during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Brock Nelson Leads Charge With Two Goals

Another game, another WCHA team sees their season come to a close.

Led behind two goals from Brock Nelson, including the game winner 15:51 into the second period, the University of North Dakota advanced to the semi-finals of the 2012 WCHA Final Five.

In a rare defensive struggle Thursday night, the Fighting Sioux were able to advance to take on their arch-rival Minnesota Friday night.

North Dakota opened the scoring in the first period when a Corban Knight pass was re-directed into St. Cloud's net by a Husky defenseman.

Knight was below the goal line and looked like he was skating around the net before he sent a feed out to the front of St. Cloud's cage.

The puck caromed off SCSU defenseman Sam Zabkowicz's stick, and managed to find it's way past Husky goaltender Mike Lee to give UND the early first period lead.

St. Cloud would bounce back late in the first period with a goal of their own on the power play.

A pass back to St. Cloud defenseman Andrew Prochno appeared to hop over his stick and out of the zone, but the linesman let the play continue, and it cost the Sioux on the scoreboard.

Prochno got control of the puck and fed a pass to sophomore forward Nic Dowd. The Alabama native found sniper Ben Hanowski sitting in his favorite spot on the ice, and the Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick buried it in the back of the UND cage to tie the score at one.

The Fighting Sioux took the lead for good in the second period when Brock Nelson showed why he's a first round NHL draft pick.

The Warroad, Minn. native weaved his way through a couple of St. Cloud defenders and sent a rocket over the shoulder of St. Cloud State net-minder Mike Lee.

Nelson would go on to add an empty net goal in the third period. Junior Danny Kristo added one another as well in the final minute to ice the 4-1 victory for North Dakota.

North Dakota will move on to play Minnesota Friday night at 7:07. St. Cloud's season has come to a conclusion.

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For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)

Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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