UND stormed to a two-goal lead in the first period and appeared set to sweep Vermont, but the Catamounts got two back in the second period and the teams went on to tie the series finale in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Game stories:
NCHC top performers
5 points — Riley Barber, Miami, 4 goals, 1 assist
4 points — Austin Czarnik, Miami, 1 goal, 3 assists
2 points — Josh Archibald, Omaha, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Drake Caggiula, UND, 1 goal, 1 assist
Shutout — Sam Brittain, DU, 28 saves
Other thoughts and notes:
- As I wrote in my game story, as frustrated as UND was about giving up a two-goal lead, there was a lot more good than bad this weekend. Lots of encouraging signs.
- Tomorrow when the polls come out, Miami is going to be the No. 1 team in the country. So this team has quite a challenge ahead: Going on the road to take on the top-ranked team in the nation.
- UND hit twice as many points as goals scored on Saturday. Rocco Grimaldi’s season total is up to 3 posts as he hit the crossbar twice. Brendan O’Donnell hit the left post twice, too.
- Grimaldi had 15 shot attempts, 10 shots on goal, 2 off the post and 3 missed the net. He was dominant and coach Dave Hakstol double shifted him at one point because he was so dominant.
- Speaking of O’Donnell, he’s a different player than last year. He has played well. Before the season, I said that I thought the play of the juniors would be very telling in how good this team would be. So far, so good for O’Donnell and his classmates.
- UND won the faceoff battle 39-31. Mark MacMillan bounced back from a tough opening night to go 17-10 on draws.
- The teams had a practice shootout after the game. I think it’s safe to say that when UND gets to the real thing, it will use Grimaldi and Michael Parks as two of the three regulars.