HAMDEN, Conn. — For the past two seasons, the University of North Dakota had the country's highest-flying offense.

It boasted Hobey Baker Award finalists on each of its top two lines and the Fighting Hawks could load up the highlight reel with dazzling goals on their way to victories.

That won't be this UND team's identity.

But it may discovered its path to wins this season on Saturday night in People's United Center.

The No. 6 Fighting Hawks made simple plays all night, brought a physical edge, won the special teams battle and came away with a 3-1 win over No. 7 Quinnipiac.

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Mark Senden, Judd Caulfield and Connor Ford scored for the Fighting Hawks, while goaltender Zach Driscoll stopped 35 of 36 to give UND a series split.

"When you really look at it, the last four games of who we had to play against and the experience they've had, man oh man, I think we learned a lot," said Brad Berry, whose team has played veteran-laden Bemidji State and Quinnipiac in the last eight days. "I think we grew up as a team with our new guys together. To come out here with a split was key. Going without a win, that would have been devastating for us, knowing that we have to go into Nashville.

"I told our guys in the locker room that we have to keep this in the back of our minds all year, because this is the identity that we have to play with. With the group we have here, this is the way we have to play. It can't be anything shorter than that. Now, we have to go into Nashville, knowing we're playing one game there and we have to bring it."

UND will head to its destination game against Penn State in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena next weekend with a 4-2 record.

"Obviously, we didn't like our effort last night or the result," said Ford, who scored his first goal at UND in the third period. "We had a gut check. We looked in the mirror over last night and today, and we came out swinging."

After Quinnipiac beat UND 5-2 in the series opener, UND made a few lineup changes to add experience and physicality to the lineup. Defenseman Brady Ferner moved into a regular role. Senden moved back to a top-six forward role. Carson Albrecht came in the lineup, while Brendan Budy played his first game of the season.

It didn't work right away.

UND fell behind on a goal by Quinnipiac captain Wyatt Bongiovanni just 6:07 into the series finale, but the Fighting Hawks rallied with one goal in each period.

Holding a two-goal lead in the third, UND kept Quinnipiac to the perimeter and was efficient managing pucks.

"I thought over our last two games — last Saturday against Bemidji and last night — we were just kind of getting away from our game a little bit," Ford said. "We were trying to do to much individually. We just kind of simplified, worked together, supported each other and it worked out."

Special teams were key, too.

UND got a power-play goal on three chances when Caulfield scored during a goal-mouth scramble. On the other side, UND killed off all five Quinnipiac power plays, including a five-on-three for 1:18.

"The team played really well in front of me," Driscoll said. "Our penalty kill was outstanding. We had a couple of big kills in the first period. The five-on-three. . . that's really gutsy by them (the penalty killers). So, hats off to the special teams."

There also was a flashback to the 2016 NCAA national championship game.

The game's second goal was scored on a gaffe by a Quinnipiac goaltender. Dylan St. Cyr attempted to play the puck from behind the net, but put it on the stick of Senden, who put it away to tie the game 1-1.

In the 2016 championship game, it was Brock Boeser who put it away.

This team may not play the same way that one did, but it learned Saturday it can be effective with another style.

"This is a really tough place to play," Driscoll said. "They're a really good team. So, to come into their rink, we're happy to split. Obviously, we would have liked to win both games, but I think in the bigger picture, to go home and show we can respond on a Saturday night, I think that's big for us moving forward."