It may not have been a high-flying display of firepower, but UND managed to grab a 3-0 win over the University of Manitoba on Sunday night it its only preseason exhibition game. Game stories:
Other notes and thoughts:
- As I wrote in my game story, Luke Johnson was impressive. He doesn’t have blazing speed or anything, but he did a great job winning battles, finishing checks and adding offense. He’s a very intelligent player.
- Michael Parks looked like the player we saw at the end of his freshman year — he appears that he could be that breakout player UND is looking for. Parks was battling injuries for most of last season.
- Bryn Chyzyk, who received a lot of good reviews for his play in the preseason, looked faster than last season. He didn’t generate a lot of offense, but if he plays at a fast pace, that will come.
- Mark MacMillan will be this year’s Corban Knight in the sense that he does a lot of little things that sometimes go unnoticed.
- Nobody really dominated in the faceoff circle. MacMillan was 7-7, Steph Pattyn was 6-6, Connor Gaarder was 5-1, Johnson was 4-4.
- UND didn’t let Manitoba sustain anything. And when they did get their rare chances, UND’s two goaltenders were strong. They should get tested more next weekend.
- UND’s power play is the one sore spot coming out of this game. It went 0 for 8 and was out of sorts at times. There are good reasons for this. UND has barely had any practice time, there are a lot of new players on that unit and they are using a different setup than they did last season.
- This year’s PP setup has Rocco Grimaldi stationed in the high slot. They will attempt to get him the puck for a quick one-timer or for Grimaldi to distribute. With his short stick, Grimaldi can stick handle in a small area, which should help with this setup.
- UND coach Dave Hakstol said that he likes the setup considering the team’s personnel this season.
- If there was one bright spot about the power play, it is that UND probably deflected twice as many pucks in front of the net as any game last season. And it wasn’t just one guy doing it either. None of the tips ended up in the back of the net on this particular night, but if UND keeps that up, they will start to go.
- I thought the officials did a nice job of enforcing the new obstruction standards. The first penalty of the game was an interference call against Manitoba – one that never would have been called a year ago. But it’s the right call. The players will have to adjust to the new standards.
- Three goals is the fewest that UND has scored against Manitoba since it started opening seasons against the Bisons (almost annually) in 1997. It’s also the first time UND has shut out the Bisons in that time.
- Attendance was 9,851. Pretty solid crowd for an exhibition game.
- And lastly, I really enjoyed the new green helmet/green pants look at home. Here’s what it looked like: