Five notables from around the country:
1. The home woes continued for Minnesota Duluth in the only NCHC league game of the evening. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-7 in their last eight home games (they’ve won just 3 of their last 16 AmsOil Arena games), dropping a 3-1 decision to Denver. Pio goalie Evan Cowley apparently wants to make fans forget about Sam Brittain quickly. Cowley’s numbers are: 3-0, .972 save percentage, 0.68 goals-against average.
2. Miami outshot St. Lawrence 42-16 at home and lost 5-4. Jay Williams allowed 5 goals on 16 shots and three-point nights by Blake Coleman (2 goals) and Austin Czarnik (3 assists) weren’t enough.
3. In one of the highlight games, Union beat St. Cloud State 5-1 to extend its unbeaten streak to 22 games. The Huskies, who actually outshot Union 36-27, didn’t score until there were five seconds left in the game.
4. Western Michigan’s goal drought has reached 158 minutes, 42 seconds, after getting blanked 1-0 by Alaska (Fairbanks). The Nanooks, by the way, are now 5-0, while Western is 1-4 overall and 0-3 at Lawson. The big question facing the Broncos coming into the season was scoring. That appears to be playing out that way.
5. UND nonconference opponents Lake Superior State, Niagara and Wisconsin are a combined 0-16 right now after Lake State and Niagara’s losses on Friday night. Those could be big games, because they could be RPI killers if UND loses them.
Top NCHC performers
4 points — Drake Caggiula, UND (3 goals, 1 assist)
3 points — Blake Coleman, Miami (2 goals, 1 assist)
3 points — Jordan Schmaltz, UND (3 assists)
3 points — Austin Czarnik, Miami (3 assists)
UND 6, Providence 1
- Top concern coming out of the game is the health of Mark MacMillan, who left late in the second period and did not return. According to a couple of friends who had a better view than I did, it sounds like he was cut with a skate near UND’s bench.
- This was UND’s first win over a top-five team in The Ralph since beating Michigan State 6-0 in the Hall of Fame Game to open the 2007 season.
- It’s early but Paul LaDue is tied for the national lead in points by a defenseman with seven. The only NCHC player with more points right now is Omaha’s Jake Guentzel (nine).
- UND has four shorthanded goals this season (most in the nation). That’s how many the team had all of last season. Union and Duluth both have three shorthanders this season.
- UND’s power play is up to 31 percent thanks to a 2-for-5 performance against the Friars.
- UND won the faceoff battle 26-20. Connor Gaarder (8-5), Stephane Pattyn (5-2) and Nick Schmaltz (5-2) led the way.
- The only player in UND’s lineup who did not register a shot on goal was Troy Stecher, who played a terrific game.
- I’m guessing the coaching staff would like to get Keaton Thompson in tonight, but the big problem is, who do you take out?
- I didn’t think UND would be able to beat Jon Gillies clean with shots from the dot, but Luke Johnson did just that in the first period. Johnson can really shoot the puck and he showed it on that play.
- Nick Schmaltz did a terrific job protecting the puck in the offensive zone a few times. As he adds strength, he’s only going to be more and more difficult to handle.
- If UND is able to finish the sweep of Providence tonight, it will have its first five-game winning streak in October since the Hrkac Circus team of 1986-87.