The first 60 minutes of the season are in the books and the game went about as expected. The exhibition games usually aren’t very intense, aren’t very physical, but serve as a good gauge to see where everyone is starting the season.
- I centered my gamer about the much anticipated return of Rocco Grimaldi. In short, he looked really good. He’s extremely dynamic and skilled and will pile up the points this season.
- The big concern coming out of the game is the injury to Michael Parks, who left the game with about 15 minutes to go and did not return. Parks had to be helped off the ice and down the tunnel. I’ll pass along more info as it comes available.
- UND played without captain Andrew MacWilliam, who is still recovering from offseason surgery. He’s expected to be good to go by the time UND goes to Fairbanks.
- As expected, Danny Kristo was very good. He and Corban Knight executed a great play for one goal. Drake Caggiula was the guy on the right wing of that line. Not sure that will stick.
- Just like the last few years, Knight was dominating in the faceoff circle. He went 18-6 on draws. Carter Rowney was 8-9 and Grimaldi was 5-9.
- It was difficult to get a read on the goaltenders with such sporadic work. Clarke Saunders started the game and allowed one goal. Zane Gothberg played the second half of the game. A misplay behind the net cost him a goal against. We’ll probably get another look at them this weekend against the U.S. Under-18 team.
- Nick Mattson looked really dynamic and could have a big season from the blue line.
- Colten St. Clair had a nice return to the ice. It didn’t look like he missed an entire season.
- Taylor Dickin was at the game but couldn’t play because of transfer rules.
- Manitoba tied Bemidji State 3-3 on Sunday night. I think this was probably a better Manitoba team than what we had seen in years past (they also weren’t playing their third game in three days like years past).