Friday night rewind

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Niagara gave UND everything it could handle Friday night in Van Andel Arena, but thanks to a key save by Zane Gothberg, two big plays by seniors and a shut down defensive corps, UND was able to sneak one out against the Purple Eagles in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald gamer

Grand Forks Herald notebook (random items)

Grand Forks Herald column on Hakstol’s line changes

Buffalo News

USCHO gamer

USCHO sidebar on Carsen Chubak

College Hockey News

Other notes:

  • UND is advancing to the regional final for the eighth time in the last 10 years and for the seventh time in nine years under coach Dave Hakstol. UND’s seniors will play in their third regional championship game.
  • Yale also is accustomed to being in this game. This is the Bulldogs’ third trip in the last four years to the regional final. In 2011, they lost to eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth. In 2010, they lost to eventual national champion Boston College.
  • The big question will be about who you put with Corban Knight and Danny Kristo on the top line. A remarkable seven guys have had chances to play on their line, including Brendan O’Donnell, Rocco Grimaldi, Carter Rowney, Michael Parks, Mark MacMillan, Mitch MacMillan and Drake Caggiula. O’Donnell started up there, but was moved off of the line in the third. Grimaldi finished up there. Read Miller’s column to hear comments on that.
  • Kristo continues to come up huge for UND. He now has five goals in five playoff games. Four in the third period. He’s second nationally with 26 goals — 18 of them have come with UND trailing or the game tied. He’s definitely making a case for Hobey.
  • Prior to tonight, Niagara had just one loss in 17 games when leading after two periods.
  • I originally thought Andrew MacWilliam’s point shot hit a Niagara player in front of the net and went in, but Chubak said it went in clean. He blamed himself for not stopping it and said he should have had it. Niagara coach Dave Burkholder interrupted and mentioned how many bodies were in front
  • UND’s power play is 0-for-its-last-18, but threw 13 shots on goal during its six power-play chances against Niagara. The power plays didn’t struggle as much as they did in the Final Five. Maybe they are about to break through there?
  • On the other side, UND has only allowed three power-play goals in the last nine games (27 for 30).
  • The underrated play of the game is Zane Gothberg’s save on Ryan Murphy’s breakaway late in the second period. If that goes in, that might be it for UND. Gothberg got a piece of it and sent it wide of the net. Burkholder said Murphy has scored five goals on that move this year.
  • There’s little to no atmosphere in the building, which is strange. The press box is way up by the roof, yet we can hear the players and coaches yelling clearly. There were only 2,289 in attendance for the day (while we had 3,811 on our live chat). With Minnesota losing, there might be fewer fans for the regional championship.
  • With that in mind, I thought Niagara played the game it needed to a T. They kept the scoring to a minimum, made life difficult offensively for UND, got a great performance out of the goalie and scored the first goal of the game.
  • Yale’s players weren’t all that giddy about the win over Minnesota. As Yale coach Keith Allain said, they came here to win the regional, not just beat Minnesota.
  • Yale’s top forwards are very good and will get scoring chances. Kenny Agostino was involved in the Jarome Iginla trade this week. He was the best player on the ice in the Gophers-Bulldogs game. Andrew Miller is exceptional and Antoine Laganiere is believed to be one of the most coveted college free agents.

22 thoughts on “Friday night rewind

  1. That was a huge save by Gothberg, and I hope they play him again today, even though the goal he allowed was one he undoubtedly wants back (put your stick on the ice, Zane).

    As for who plays with Knight and Kristo, I think it almost has to be Grimaldi. He’s the only one who can skate with those guys. I would have hoped McMillan or Rowney could have worked, too, but they never did. Grimaldi brings the energy and creates the space those guys devour whereas O’D generates too many turnovers.

  2. Also, I sure hope the PP breaks through soon but I think it’s flawed and has been for a long time. I’d love to see stats over the last four or five years on our PP. Anecdotally, It rarely seems like a strength for us.

  3. Brad, give us some insight on the pictures of Roco Grimald and Chubak at center ice after the game? They really help me realize that even though we love our sport so much, there are greater things in life that are more important. I have an odd feeling that Roco will come through for us just when we least expect it. Just like at the World Juniors!

  4. My wife, kids and I need three tickets to the game today and ticketmaster is no longer selling them. Anyone know where to get three tickets?

  5. Poor poor attendance numbers. Glad to see the chat was fired up and informing all of the Sioux fans out there. What was the attendance at The Ralph yesterday afternoon for the viewing party?

  6. Ummmm, looks like they are blacking out the UND game on ESPN3.com; can only watching it on ESPNU. Brad, any idea why they would do that?

    • Yeah I’m not sure what was up with that either, especially since I caught alot of the Denver – UNH Game on ESPN 3.

  7. I noticed yesterday and it still seems to hold true this morning, that the West Regional final is blacked out on ESPN3 unless you live in Hawaii. Brad, any idea on the logic there?

  8. We were talking to some gopher fans at the bar prior to the first game, and they just walked up and bought tickets right before it started. I don’t think you’ll have a problem doing that.

  9. The NC$$ must be thrilled with these sales figures. But they will never figure it out and continue to put regionals in ridiculous places and bend over for east coast teams.

    Hope today the game doesn’t get cut into again. Didn’t get to watch the last five mins because they had to switch to the du game. But lacrosse is on before hockey so that never goes late………..

  10. Seriously sick I hearing about niagara and how they will hang a meaningless NCAA banner in their arena. Sioux won and that’s bottom line. See ya niagara! You ran into a powerhouse and now it’s off season! They were suppose to play good weren’t they an keep it close?! Well good job and now seasons over. Fight on sioux for that natty! NU was just a bump in the long road ! Sioux yah yah

  11. I don’t think our D was as good as Brad thinks they were… until the 3rd. The first two periods they weren’t moving their feet… actually several players weren’t and we took lazy penalties. To go all the way they are going to have to get those feet moving. Look back at the one goal they scored… Mac got caught flat footed and tried to reach for the guy as he went speeding by…… just saying, they can do better and will need to.

  12. In the first two periods we got lucky -even though they only had maybe a hand full of grade A chances- Zane made some nice saves and we got a few lucky bounces— just saying, we can’t afford to have our D or any of our players not moving their feet! The calls made against our guys weren’t horrible calls like in some games—but came out of our guys being flat footed and reaching. From the beginning of when you are learning to play hockey the number one rule is to keep your feet moving—do that and good things will happen! Brad take a look at the goal they scored—-sorry, I love Mac but he got caught. Big games like these can come down to one play going the wrong way—and there are way took my variables a player can’t control not to take care if what they can. I am ready to cheer on the guys! Go Sioux !!

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