UND put together a lineup with just one senior on the road Friday night at No. 1 Miami. The sold out, revved up crowd didn’t seem to phase UND’s young guys. UND pulled off a big win early in the season, knocking off the top-ranked RedHawks 4-2. Game stories:
NCHC top performers
3 points — Brendan O’Donnell, UND, 2 goals, 1 assist
3 points — Shane Berschbach, WMU, 2 goals, 1 assist
3 points — Michael Parks, UND, 1 goal, 2 assists
2 points — Brock Montpetit, Omaha, 1 GWG, 1 assist
2 points — Josh Pitt, WMU, 1 goal, 1 assist
- One thing is for sure – this game lived up to its billing and college hockey fans have a lot to look forward to with UND and Miami playing two to four times every season. This one had lots of skill, lots of tenacity, a great sold-out crowd… it was a perfect PSA for College Hockey Inc.
- Before the season, we mentioned several times what a key role the juniors would play in this team. They stepped up big time in Oxford, scoring every goal of the game.
- Brendan O’Donnell has already surpassed his goal total from last season. He has three this year. He had two last year. He’s playing with a level of confidence he didn’t have last season. He’s only one point off of Rocco Grimaldi for the team lead in scoring.
- Michael Parks was finally rewarded for his strong play with points. He had a goal and two assists.
- I wrote a little bit about it in my game story, but one interesting thing for me was that UND didn’t mind if Miami’s explosive top line was matched up against UND’s fourth line. Early in the game, they had that matchup and UND dumped the puck in the Miami zone and had a chance to quickly switch, but they didn’t. All game long, coach Dave Hakstol was confident in the Steph Pattyn, Colten St. Clair and Connor Gaarder line, and for good reason.
- Goalie Zane Gothberg came up huge several times for UND, including a pair of Miami two-on-one rushes. He made an outstanding save on Austin Czarnik on one of them. It looked like he was upset with the second goal he allowed (Nick Mattson told me after the game it went off of his skate, which makes it a tougher save). But Gothberg bailed out UND several times.
- It also was a two-way street. During the second period and the start of the third, Gothberg left a couple of rebounds in dangerous areas, but the defensemen did a great job of moving the puck out.
- I thought Miami showed why its a deserving No. 1 team in the nation. At times, they really had UND on its heels, especially late in the second period. It will be interesting to see if UND can hold off the RedHawks again.
- UND has killed 19 straight opponent power plays, including all three RedHawk chances Friday.
- One of my big pet peeves – officials at Steve Cady Arena refuse to show replays of opponents’ goals. There also are no monitors in the press box, so if you miss something live, you miss it. Since the Miami stat crew had to adjust 3 of UND’s 4 goals after the game, maybe it would help everyone involved if they showed replays (I think fans would appreciate it, too).
- The attendance was a sold out 3,642.