Four points now separate first place (MacNaughton Cup) from seventh place (on the road in the first round of the playoffs) after Colorado College knocked off league-leading St. Cloud State tonight.
The full standings are off to the right on this page.
UND lost a chance to gain two points on the Huskies and close within a point of the league leaders during a 5-4 loss to Denver in a wild and crazy, up-and-down game in Magness Arena. Game stories:
- UND actually managed to stay at No. 6 in the Pairwise despite the loss.
- Denver’s victory snapped UND’s five-game unbeaten streak. It marked just the fourth loss in the last 18 games for UND.
- UND coach Dave Hakstol said the whole team wasn’t sharp, that included the goaltenders. Zane Gothberg will want Goal No. 3 back, a shot from the boards. I’m guessing Clarke Saunders will want the rebound back on Goal No. 5, too. Hakstol didn’t want to say much about the goaltending after the game because he didn’t think the rest of the team helped out enough.
- Denver was outstanding on the power play. Even the power plays it didn’t score. You can see the high-end skill level of their blue liners and they move the puck extremely well. UND won’t want to give the Pioneers many chances with the extra man in the series finale.
- UND’s top line was dominant and produced three goals — one even strength, one shorthanded, one on the power play. Rocco Grimaldi, Danny Kristo and Corban Knight also combined for 17 shots on goal tonight.
- I thought UND’s defensemen were very good in the offensive zone tonight. Nick Mattson was as confident as we’ve seen in a while. He made the play that led to the first goal. Derek Forbort made a play that led to a goal. Joe Gleason made a play that led to a goal.
- Just as the WCHA race is heating up, so is the WCHA scoring title race. Kristo is now two points back of UNO’s Ryan Walters. Knight is three points back.
- Brendan O’Donnell was inserted back into the lineup and nearly scored a huge goal for UND. He snapped one by DU goalie Juho Olkinuora, but the play was whistled offsides. It was very, very close.
- UND had two other golden chances it will look back on. Kristo hit the post on a feed from Knight late in the second period that looked like a tap-in. And, of course, Olkinuora made what is probably the save of the year. It even tops the one he made on Mark MacMillan in The Ralph earlier this season. Watch it below.