As much as some people said that the British Columbia trip was a bad idea, it sure looks like it was a good idea after UND swept Colorado College over the weekend.
UND did not play well in Burnaby coming out of Christmas break, and you have to wonder whether it would have looked like that this weekend against the Tigers had it not worked out the rust in Bill Copeland Sports Arena.
As it is, UND is on a seven-game winning streak, and it appears the team has started to learn how to walk that narrow line to victory.
Take a look at the seven-game winning streak. Six of those games were one-goal games in the third period. UND trailed in the third period in two of the last three. UND has done a great job holding on to leads, too. It is 9-0-1 in the last 10 games that it has led at any point.
Right now, UND is finding different ways to win games.
This weekend’s opponent, Colorado College, is finding ways to lose games.
Against UND, the Tigers took a five-minute major penalty with 4:58 to go on Friday night, ending any chance of them tying up a one-goal game. On Saturday, a defenseman coughed up the puck to Rocco Grimaldi on top of the crease during a tie game in the third period.
Here’s my game story that details the different paths of UND and CC.
One big difference in UND this weekend is the play of Mark MacMillan. He clearly was not close to 100 percent in the first half — he couldn’t skate effectively at all — but has returned to old form.
MacMillan torched a couple of D-men and scored goals driving the net this weekend, and Tom Miller wrote a story about the difference in his game.
A few other observations about this weekend:
**** Michael Parks had a very good weekend. And late in Saturday’s game, he had the puck in the slot area and he actually shot high. The shot hit the crossbar. I thought it was, for sure, going to be a goal and that he was going to turn and point at the press box.
**** UND’s faceoff percentage from the start of the season to Nov. 29 was .499. During the seven-game winning streak, it is at .521.
**** Derek Rodwell had his best weekend of the year. He was terrific in this game. There was a play in the second period where he carried the puck in the neutral zone through heavy traffic and was able to keep his balance. I don’t think he would have made that play earlier in the season. With a minute left in the game, Rodwell’s line got the call to protect the lead. They were playing as well as any unit.
**** Keaton Thompson leads the team in plus-minus with a plus-8 rating. He has not been on the ice for a goal against yet in his college career. Thompson obviously scored a big, game-tying goal in the third.
**** In case you didn’t see, Omaha outshot Duluth 53-13 and lost 3-1. Omaha is winless in six straight now, but it obviously helped getting Jaycob Megna back on Saturday.
**** Western Michigan finished off a sweep of Miami and is now 5-1 since getting swept by UND.
Hopefully, I’ll have some more stats for you later today.