Five notable results around the country:
1. St. Cloud State’s No. 1 ranking isn’t going to last long. The Huskies lost a nonconference game to one of the two hottest teams in the country. Union, which now has nine straight wins, topped the Huskies 4-1. It was the first time all season that St. Cloud State has allowed four goals.
2. The best nonconference result of the night for the NCHC was Denver knocking off RPI 2-1 in OT. The Pioneers have had terrible luck in overtime this season, losing four times in the extra session already. They finally got one back when Emil Romig scored at 3:02.
3. Wisconsin beat Colorado College 4-1 in Kohl Center. That’s not a huge surprise. Alexander Krushelnyski scored the Tigers’ lone goal as Colorado College fell to 2-11-3.
4. In the lone NCHC game of the night, Colton Hargrove scored two goals to lead Western Michigan to a 5-3 road win over Duluth. The Broncos, who were swept by UND last weekend, moved back to .500 with the win.
5. Matt Prapavessis scored an extra-attacker, game-tying goal to help Bemidji State forge a 3-3 home tie against Alaska.
NCHC top performers
OT winner — Emil Romig, DU
2 points — Colton Hargrove, WMU, 2 goals
2 points — Justin Kovacs, WMU, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Chase Balisy, WMU, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Justin Crandall, Duluth, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Rocco Grimaldi, UND, 2 assists
2 points — Jordan Schmaltz, UND, 2 assists
2 points — Gabe Levin, DU, 2 assists
UND 4, Northern Michigan 1
UND continued to find ways to win Friday night, topping Northern Michigan 4-1 to extend UND’s winning streak to four games. Game stories:
Other notes and stats:
- Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll bring up the Pairwise before Christmas, even though it is a bit ridiculous. UND is at No. 19 after Friday’s win over Northern Michigan. The series finale also is a critical game.
- UND may have had its best night in the faceoff circle this season, going 31-21. Rocco Grimaldi led the way, going 16-7. Faceoffs are an area that UND has greatly improved during this current four-game winning streak. During UND’s first 13 games of the season, it was at .499. In the last four games, UND is at .531 percent, led by Grimaldi’s .608.
- UND’s power play in the first 13 games of the season: 18.0 percent. UND’s power play in the last four games: 30.0 percent. UND scored twice on the power play against the Wildcats.
- Colten St. Clair returned to the lineup for UND after missing a month and a half. This season, UND is 28 of 29 on the penalty kill with St. Clair in the lineup (96.5 percent) and 59 of 73 (80.8 percent) without him.
- It seems bizarre, but it took 17 games for UND to hold an opponent under two goals. The last time UND held an opponent under two goals was last season in the NCAA tournament against Niagara (2-1 UND win).
- Friday’s game marked the first time since the season opener that UND both outshot the opponent and won the game. Shots in the season opener were 36-34 UND. They were 30-25 UND on Friday.
- Luke Johnson’s production has taken off since being moved from center to wing. Coach Dave Hakstol said that in UND’s system, the center is asked to expend a lot of energy in the defensive zone. Now that Johnson has been moved to wing, his workload in the D-zone has decreased and that, perhaps, has added energy to his game in the offensive zone.
- It appears that some students may have taken off for winter break. Weak student crowd Friday.
- The last time UND fans have been able to enjoy a stick salute after a regular-season series was last January when UND swept Holy Cross. After that, UND has had several three-point weekends in REA, but no sweeps.
- I thought that Keaton Thompson played fine, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Gage Ausmus is in for him in the series finale. I think Hakstol wants to get both of them in there and continue to develop both. Thompson has made major strides since the start of the season. Who has the team’s best plus-minus during this current four-game win streak? Thompson. Plus-3.
- Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle said that his goaltender, Mathias Dahlstrom, did not play as well as he’s been playing. He was not sharp on the first or second goals of the game. I saw a broken goalie stick in the garbage outside the NMU locker room, so Dahlstrom may have taken his frustrations out on that.
- NMU’s other standouts, forwards Stephan Vigier and Reed Seckel, were both very quiet. Vigier went 4-10 on draws. Seckel had three shots, Vigier one.
- If you look at the shot charts, UND did a terrific job keeping the shots to the outside on goalie Zane Gothberg. UND’s D cleared out a lot of rebounds and the Wildcats didn’t get many shots from the critical scoring area.
- Grand Forks native Casey Purpur made his college debut for NMU and made a case for being back in the lineup tonight. His line, along with Duluth native Jake Johnson, may have been the Wildcats’ best.
- Former UND defenseman Brian Lee was in the house tonight. He’s recovering from knee surgery. He is currently with the Tampa Bay Lightning.