The drive home from Bemidji was sketchy to say the least, but after a little more than three hours, we are back in Grand Forks. Just in time to watch Rafael Nadal hit the court in the Australian Open.
Hope everyone else who made the trip got back to Grand Forks safely (or stayed overnight in Bemidji).
For starters, here are a few stories to read from Forum Communications:
1. My gamer from UND’s point of view
2. Miller’s column on the success of surprise goalie starter Andrew Walsh
3. The gamer from Bemidji State beat writer Jack Hittinger.
I thought that tonight’s game may have been UND’s most complete of the season. If not, it’s right up there with Saturday against BU and Friday against Western Michigan.
Bemidji State survived an onslaught of UND chances in the opening period. I thought that it would even out after that. It really didn’t.
The Beavers were better in the second period, but scoring chances and shots were still lopsided in the final two periods of the game.
UND maintained puck possession for very long stretches of time. I thought UND’s intensity and jump was there for the entire 65 minutes. I didn’t think it dropped at any point in the game.
In the end, UND only came away with a tie.
It’s interesting — in arguably two of the team’s most dominant performances this season, UND didn’t win either (tie vs. BSU, tie vs. BU).
A few other take-aways from this game:
- Jordan Schmaltz continued to show the ability to dominate a game. In the third period, he took over. He was creating offense all over the place and did everything but finish. He’s smart about picking his spots to jump in the play. He made quite a toe-drag play to create space and a shot in the third period.
- Two other standouts — Dillon Simpson and Michael Parks. Simpson was good all-around. Parks brought a lot of energy.
- Paul LaDue quietly had a solid game.
- The only line that wasn’t dominant for UND was the third line of Colten St. Clair, Wade Murphy and Bryn Chyzyk. When they got stuck on the ice in the third period after Simpson accidentally flipped a puck over the glass, UND coach Dave Hakstol took his timeout and changed lines.
- Bemidji State actually had a great chance to win this game, but Radoslav Illo hit the post in overtime. Goalie Zane Gothberg had no idea that the rebound was sitting right on top of the crease and Illo had a great chance to sweep it into an empty net, but Parks did a good job of tying him up.
- It was a sold out crowd for the Sanford Center. Very good crowd. UND fans contributed a lot to it. A very good showing of UND fans.
- It’s easy to tell which Beaver players are their leading scorers — Cory Ward, Markus Gerbrandt. Both had their moments.
Around the league, it was a crazy night. Every game went to overtime.
Colorado College appeared ready to upset Providence, but the Friars scored an extra-attacker, game-tying goal with 20 seconds left to add to the Tigers’ misery this season. CC is now 0-8-1 in nonconference.
WMU goalie Frank Slubowski gave up 3 goals on 4 shots to start the game against St. Cloud State. The Huskies led 4-1 in the second period, but the Broncos came back and tied the game. WMU got the extra point in the shootout.
Duluth scored back-to-back goals in the final 4:01, but Denver’s Quentin Shore scored an overtime winner with just 15 seconds left in the extra session.
Omaha outshot Miami 27-13, but only mustered a shootout loss. Omaha has allowed just 13 shots on goal in each of the last two games, but has no wins to show for it. Omaha’s winless streak has hit seven.
That’s all for now. Women’s live chat at 2 p.m. Men’s live chat at 7 p.m.