Gameday final: UND 5, Niagara 0

TONIGHT’S VIEWING: Midco Sports Network, NCHC.tv. Lineup notes: UND going with the same lineup as Friday night. Niagara makes massive changes up front to every line. Full lines and live chat below.

First period

No scoring.

Second period

UND 1, Niagara 0 — Michael Parks (Jordan Schmaltz) 9:42. Parks enters the zone up the left wing, torches Cecere wide and takes the puck to the far post, where he puts it in to snap a six-game goal drought.

UND 2, Niagara 0 — Mark MacMillan (Luke Johnson, Nick Mattson) 13:12 (pp). Johnson takes a shot from the point that Teichroeb stops, but he leaves the rebound off to the side of the crease, where MacMillan gets it and picks the top half of the net.

UND 3, Niagara 0 — Stephane Pattyn (Keaton Thompson, Wade Murphy) 19:21. Murphy chips a puck back to Thompson, whose blast is re-directed by Pattyn for the goal.

Third period

UND 4, Niagara 0 — Mark MacMillan (Tucker Poolman, Paul LaDue) 3:10. LaDue launches a bomb from the point that gets tipped by Poolman to the side of the net, where MacMillan uses his quick hands to tap it in from a sharp angle.

UND 5, Niagara 0 — Michael Parks (Mark MacMillan, Tucker Poolman) 13:22. UND enters the zone on a two-on-two rush with MacMillan carrying the puck on the left side. He gets to bottom of the left circle and makes a perfect feed to Parks, who is cutting to the net. Parks easily taps it home for his second of the night.

Live Blog Men’s Hockey vs. Niagara

UND’s lines

3 Tucker Poolman–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks
29 Bryn Chyzyk–9 Drake Caggiula–8 Nick Schmaltz
28 Stephane Pattyn–27 Luke Johnson–7 Wade Murphy
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–14 Austin Poganski

5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
20 Gage Ausmus–24 Jordan Schmaltz
4 Keaton Thompson–22 Andrew Panzarella

31 Zane McIntyre
33 Cam Johnson
30 Matt Hrynkiw

Niagara’s lines

15 Stanislav Dzakhov–19 Hugo Turcotte–27 Isaac Kohls
11 Derian Plouffe–21 T.J. Sarcona–8 Stephen Pietrobon
22 Luke Edwards–12 Sam Alfieri–10 Dan Kolenda
25 Matt Dineen–28 Brock Edwards–23 Matt Chartrain

7 Nick Cecere–3 Vince Muto
29 Keegan Harper–9 Kevin Patterson
24 Matt Chiarantano–2 Lawrence Smith

30 Jackson Teichroeb
1 Adrian Ignagni

Friday night rewind

Five notable results from around the country:

1. Western Michigan continues to be impressive by gaining a tie and a shootout win over Minnesota Duluth. The Broncos have only lost once since Thanksgiving (6-1-2 in that span).

2. Rivals Michigan and Ohio State played a ridiculous game that the Wolverines won 10-6. World Junior star Dylan Larkin had five points for Michigan, which sits in first place in the Big Ten.

3. Colorado College got its first NCHC win of the season by downing Omaha 4-3 in World Arena. Hunter Fejes had two goals for the Tigers.

4. Minnesota outshot Wisconsin 49-20, but Joel Rumpel helped the Badgers steal a tie and a shootout win in Mariucci Arena. After a 7-1 start, the Gophers are now 3-6-2 win their last 11 games.

5. Look out, here comes Boston College. After starting the season 7-7, the Eagles are now on an eight-game unbeaten streak after beating rival BU. Wild first-rounder Alex Tuch scored twice for the Eagles.

UND 7, Niagara 1

UND put the pressure on early, scored first and gave the fans a relaxing night of watching hockey by blowing out Niagara 7-1 in the first of a two-game set in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on UND’s ‘fourth line’

USCHO

UNDsports.com

Other notes:

  • After the win over Niagara, UND sits at No. 5 in the Pairwise Rankings. To illustrate how important these games are, UND would have dropped to No. 11 with a loss.
  • Tucker Poolman continues to be a force on the power play, where he leads the team with five power-play goals. This was the same reputation he had in the USHL. Interestingly enough, only two UND players have more than two power-play goals and both are defensemen: Poolman (5) and Jordan Schmaltz (3). UND’s defensemen have 10 power-play goals, its forwards have nine.
  • Zane McIntyre continues to have trouble finishing off shutouts, but he did make some fantastic stops on Friday night. Niagara’s best period was the third, and he had a couple of great saves, including a pad save through traffic.
  • As Miller pointed out in his column, UND’s ‘fourth line’ of Brendan O’Donnell, Austin Poganski and Connor Gaarder had three goals, eight points and was a plus-nine.
  • UND coach Dave Hakstol said that he likes the improvements that Wade Murphy has made to his game defensively and he said Murphy isn’t cheating for offense right now, even though nothing is going in for him. Still, he’s the only guy on the team without a point right now, so tonight may be his last shot on a power-play unit.
  • Niagara’s blue liners struggled much of the night, making a few glaring mistakes (the bad pass to Stephane Pattyn, getting beat wide, leaving guys open on top of the crease). That’s completely opposite of how the Purple Eagles played the last two times UND and Niagara met, and definitely something they will want to do different tonight.
  • Who will start in net tonight? That’s a question for both teams. UND could try to get Cam Johnson another start. Niagara, I think, will go back with Jackson Teichroeb, who started Friday.

Gameday final: UND 7, Niagara 1

TONIGHT’S VIEWING: Midco Sports Network, NCHC.tv. Lineup notes: UND goes with the exact lineup as Saturday night against Duluth. Full lines and live chat are below.

First period

UND 1, Niagara 0 — Bryn Chyzyk (Nick Mattson) 10:23. Mattson moves the puck up to Chyzyk, who recognizes that the D-man is flat-footed. He speeds around him, takes the puck hard to the net and stuffs it five-hole.

UND 2, Niagara 0 — Stephane Pattyn 14:20. Muto has the puck in his own end and tries a spin pass to his D-partner, but he puts it on Pattyn’s tape in the slot. Pattyn picks the blocker-side corner of the net for his first goal in seven games.

Second period

UND 3, Niagara 0 — Tucker Poolman (Michael Parks, Drake Caggiula) 2:52 (pp). Parks curled out of the corner on his backhand and shipped a pass to Poolman at the point. The East Sider bombed a one-timer past Teichroeb for a power-play goal.

UND 4, Niagara 0 — Austin Poganski (Brendan O’Donnell, Connor Gaarder) 3:30. UND enters the zone on a rush and O’Donnell unloads on a wrist shot. He misses the net high, but Teichroeb slides out of position and the rebound caroms to Poganski, who finishes into an empty net. Teichroeb is pulled after this one.

UND 5, Niagara 0 — Brendan O’Donnell (Connor Gaarder, Austin Poganski) 6:08. Gaarder gets past a defenseman wide on the right side and centers it to O’Donnell, who puts it in the open side of the net.

UND 6, Niagara 0 — Austin Poganski (Jordan Schmaltz, Brendan O’Donnell) 10:50. Poganski is alone at the top of the crease, so Jordan sends a shot there. Poganski collects the rebound and puts it five-hole before being checked to the ground.

Third period

UND 7, Niagara 0 — Bryn Chyzyk (Nick Schmaltz, Jordan Schmaltz) 12:20. Chyzyk brings the puck in the zone on the right side, skates it to the circle and snaps one off the bar for his second goal of the night.

UND 7, Niagara 1 — Albin Karlsson (Sam Alfieri, T.J. Sarcona) 14:10. Karlsson brings the puck in the zone on the right side, attempts a shot and fans on it. He picks the puck back up, though, skates to the dot and snaps one over McIntyre, who isn’t pleased about allowing it.

Live Blog Men’s Hockey vs. Niagara

UND’s  lines

3 Tucker Poolman–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks
29 Bryn Chyzyk–9 Drake Caggiula–8 Nick Schmaltz
28 Stephane Pattyn–27 Luke Johnson–7 Wade Murphy
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–14 Austin Poganski

5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
20 Gage Ausmus–24 Jordan Schmaltz
4 Keaton Thompson–22 Andrew Panzarella

31 Zane McIntyre
33 Cam Johnson
30 Matt Hrynkiw

Niagara’s lines

22 Luke Edwards–19 Hugo Turcotte–27 Isaac Kohls
12 Sam Alfieri–21 T.J. Sarcona–20 Albin Karlsson
11 Derian Plouffe–16 Chris Lochner–10 Dan Kolenda
23 Matt Chartrain–28 Brock Edwards–8 Stephen Pietrobon

7 Nick Cecere–9 Kevin Patterson
29 Keegan Harper–3 Vince Muto
24 Matt Chiarantano–2 Lawrence Smith

20 Jackson Teichroeb
1 Adrian Ignagni

Friday morning reading

A couple of weeks ago, Tim Hennessy and I chatted during our intermission segment about the second half of the season.

I told him that I thought the most important series of the second half was the nonconference matchup against Niagara.

Why?

It’s the last chance for UND to bump up that all-important nonconference record, and because a loss could potentially be Pairwise crippling.

Yes, Niagara is ranked 59th of 59 teams in the Pairwise entering this weekend and the mathematical formula would not respond kindly if UND was to lose a game to the Purple Eagles this weekend. Read more about that here.

Niagara is coming to The Ralph as a bit of an unknown. Sure, a bunch of players on this year’s UND team played the Purple Eagles in the NCAA tournament just two years ago, but this Niagara squad clearly is a bit different than the one that earned a No. 3 seed.

Statistically, the Purple Eagles have been bad in nearly every category. They are scoring fewer than two goals per game. Their power play is converting at 7.4 percent. Yes, UND has more shorthanded goals this season than Niagara has power-play goals.

Defensively, they no longer have Hobey finalist Carsen Chubak in net.

I know I’ve said it before, but the key for this weekend’s series is for UND to build a lead in the first period.

Against Bemidji State and Air Force, UND let them settle in and get comfortable. It was a bad recipe. Early goals could demoralize Niagara and put UND in the driver’s seat. UND seemingly has allowed the first goal of the game quite often at home this season. That would not be a good route against Niagara.

A couple storylines to follow will be whether Cam Johnson gets in net this weekend and how the coaching staff uses Tucker Poolman.

If they move him up front five-on-five, we’ll likely see both Nick Mattson and Andrew Panzarella in the lineup. Speaking of Panzarella, I wrote a feature on him this week. He’s a guy who has had to work for everything throughout his hockey career.

This week’s “Get to Know” segment is with Jordan Schmaltz. Find out how much food he orders on each trip to the Red Pepper here.

On to this week’s picks….

Western Michigan at Minnesota Duluth: Quietly, Western Michigan is one of the hottest teams in the league, losing just once in the last eight games (6-1-1). The Broncos swept Notre Dame last weekend and have enough momentum to go to Duluth and take one from an elite Bulldogs team. Minnesota Duluth 4-1, Western Michigan 3-2.

Omaha at Colorado College: Speaking of hot teams, Omaha keeps cruising. The Mavs are 7-1-1 in the last nine games. Playing on the big rink in World Arena should help the Mavs keep up this torrid pace. Omaha 4-2, 5-1.

St. Cloud State at Denver: After a first half of splits, the Huskies finally made up some ground with an impressive sweep of Miami. It was just the second time all year that St. Cloud State won back-to-back games. Denver appears to be going the opposite direction with one win in its last five games. St. Cloud State 3-2, Denver 4-2.

Niagara at UND: The players and coaches know the importance of winning these games. I think UND shows up and takes care of business. UND 5-2, 3-1.

*****************************************************************************************

On the women’s side, we pretty much know that Minnesota and Wisconsin are going to occupy the top two spots and St. Cloud State and MSU-Mankato will sit in the last two.

The four teams in the middle — UND, Ohio State, Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth — will battle for two home-ice spots for the playoffs. UND’s next three opponents? Ohio State, Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth.

Yep, the next three weeks should tell us whether UND will host a first-round WCHA playoffs series for a fifth straight year or if UND will go back on the road.

I wrote a little about that in this story.

The big question, as it has been all year, will be whether UND can finish off enough plays. It won’t be easy without Becca Kohler, but UND will get the services of Leah Jensen back.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your Friday.

Maris wins first start in seven years

Former UND goalie Tate Maris got his first start in seven years this weekend and he came away with a win.

Maris stopped 14 of 17 shots for the Colorado Eagles in his first start since the 2007-08 season, when he was playing for the Bozeman Ice Dogs in the NPHL. Colorado won the game 5-3.

Interestingly enough, Clarke Saunders backed up Maris in that game and Derek Rodwell scored a goal for the Eagles.

According to the Bakersfield newspaper, the Eagles were in a bind after having one goalie called up to the AHL and another one injured.

Maris posted on Twitter and Instagram: “Thanks for all the nice words everyone! Seven years is a hell of a long wait for a start but worth every minute!”

Maris played 4 minutes, 2 seconds at UND during the final home game for seniors in 2012-13. That was his only college action.

Toews named NHL All-Star again

Former UND forward Jonathan Toews will compete in the NHL All-Star Game once again.

Toews was selected via fan vote, which determines six roster spots in the All-Star Game. Toews received 1,217,210 votes.

This will be the fourth time that Toews has been selected to participate in the All-Star Game. Previously, he made it in 2009, 2011 and 2012. There wasn’t an All-Star Game in 2010, 2013 or 2014.

Toews has 17 points in 19 games for the Blackhawks, who sit in second place in the Central Division.

Women’s final: Syracuse 2, UND 1

Lineup notes: UND still without Becca Kohler, Leah Jensen and Lisa Marvin. Lines and defensive pairings stay the same as Saturday.

First period

Syracuse 1, UND 0 — Melissa Piacentini (Stephanie Grossi, Nicole Renault) 6:42 (pp). Grossi takes a shot from the dot and Piacentini tips it for a power-play goal.

Second period

Syracuse 2, UND 0 — Alysha Burriss (Melissa Piacentini, Stephanie Grossi) :29. Right at the start of the frame, the Orange get the puck to the crease area, where Burriss finds it and goes five-hole.

Syracuse 2, UND 1 — Gracen Hirschy (Amy Menke, Meghan Dufault) 12:31. UND keeps the puck in the zone for the entire two minutes of a power play and finally scores about 10 seconds after it ends, when Hirschy walks one from the right circle to the slot and scores five-hole.

Third period

No scoring.

UND’s lines

6 Gracen Hirschy–19 Meghan Dufault–21 Amy Menke
10 Andrea Dalen–63 Josefine Jakobsen–13 Layla Marvin
16 Tori Williams–11 Shannon Kaiser–14 Marissa Salo
15 Kayla Gardner

4 Sam LaShomb–18 Halli Krzyzaniak
22 Tanja Eisenschmid–8 Samantha Hanson
5 Johanna Fallman–7 Jordan Hampton

1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
29 Lexie Shaw
34 Annie Chipman

Syracuse’s lines

20 Alysha Burriss–8 Stephanie Grossi–14 Melissa Piacentini
3 Julie Knerr–7 Jessica Sibley–9 Allie LaCombe
6 Danielle Leslie–25 Elizabeth Scala–27 Heather Schwarz
24 Eleanor Haines–22 Laurence Porlier–21 Kaylee Druk

4 Akane Hosoyamada–17 Larissa Martyniuk
2 Nicole Renault–23 Megan Quinn
19 Dakota Derrer–16 Kaillie Goodnough

33 Jenn Gilligan
1 Amanda Cariddi
29 Abbey Miller

Gameday final: UND 5, Duluth 2

TONIGHT’S VIEWING: CBS Sports Network. No webcast. Lineup notes: Poolman goes up front to LW on top line with MacMillan and Parks. Panzarella is in at D. Simonson is out. Three of four lines change. Full lines and live chat are below.

First period

Duluth 1, UND 0 — Willie Raskob (Austin Farley, Tony Cameranesi) 7:10. Cameranesi takes a shot from the bottom of the right circle that McIntyre stops, but he can’t spot the puck sitting in front of his pads. Farley takes one whack at it before Raskob gets there and slams the puck five-hole.

Duluth 1, UND 1 — Brendan O’Donnell (Keaton Thompson, Andrew Panzarella) 13:25. Thompson makes a great play to skate the puck in from the point to the left circle before threading a seam pass to O’Donnell. The senior snaps one through a Bulldog defenseman and past Kaskisuo on the far side.

Second period

UND 2, Duluth 1 — Mark MacMillan (Paul LaDue, Zane McIntyre) 6:11. Just after a power play expires, MacMillan lowers his shoulder and dips around Soucy on a rush up the right side, taps the puck toward his forehand and chips one over Kaskisuo.

UND 3, Duluth 1 — Brendan O’Donnell (Connor Gaarder) 10:19. Soucy races to a puck and tries to chip it up the ice, but Gaarder strips it from him and immediately feeds O’Donnell for the tap in.

UND 4, Duluth 1 — Drake Caggiula (Nick Schmaltz, Jordan Schmaltz) 12:47 (pp). Nick makes a brilliant chip pass to send Caggiula in behind the defense. Caggiula snaps a shot that Kaskisuo stops, but Kuhlman accidentally puts it in his own net trying to clear it.

Third period

UND 4, Duluth 2 — Justin Crandall (Willie Raskob, Jared Thomas) 4:04 (pp). Raskob launches a point shot toward the slot area, where the puck hits someone’s stick. The rebound of the tip goes to the side, where Crandall is there to finish it.

UND 5, Duluth 2 — Brendan O’Donnell (Luke Johnson) 9:16. Johnson picks the puck up at the halfwall, spots O’Donnell open with space in the left circle and O’Donnell bombs a one-timer past Kaskisuo.

Live Blog Men’s Hockey vs. Minnesota Duluth

UND’s lines

3 Tucker Poolman–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks
29 Bryn Chyzyk–9 Drake Caggiula–8 Nick Schmaltz
28 Stephane Pattyn–27 Luke Johnson–7 Wade Murphy
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–14 Austin Poganski

20 Gage Ausmus–24 Jordan Schmaltz
5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
4 Keaton Thompson–22 Andrew Panzarella

31 Zane McIntyre
33 Cam Johnson
30 Matt Hrynkiw

Minnesota Duluth’s lines

14 Alex Iafallo–19 Dominic Toninato–26 Adam Krause
11 Austin Farley–13 Tony Cameranesi–20 Karson Kuhlman
8 Kyle Osterberg–27 Cal Decowski–25 Justin Crandall
24 Charlie Sampair–22 Jared Thomas–23 Austyn Young

6 Derik Johnson–7 Andy Welinski
21 Carson Soucy–15 Willie Raskob
18 Nick McCormack–10 Brenden Kotyk

33 Kasimir Kaskisuo
36 Matt McNeely

Women’s final: UND 4, Syracuse 1

Notes: UND is playing without top scorer Becca Kohler (illness).

First period

UND 1, Syracuse 0 — Gracen Hirschy (Amy Menke, Halli Krzyzaniak) 19:01. Menke carried the puck in the right circle on a rush. With Dufault driving the net, Menke made an outstanding feed to the trailer, Hirschy, in the left circle and Hirschy one-timed it perfectly before the goalie could get over.

Second period

UND 2, Syracuse 0 — Layla Marvin (Josefine Jakobsen, Tanja Eisenschmid) 9:11 (pp). UND converts on the power play chance when Jakobsen’s shot from the right circle hits the skate of a Syracuse defenseman, the skate of Marvin and gets in the net.

Third period

UND 3, Syracuse 0 — Kayla Gardner (Meghan Dufault, Amy Menke) 11:10. Menke makes a nice play along the wall to get the puck to Dufault in the right circle. Dufault then spots Gardner cutting down the slot, makes a nice feed and Gardner finishes off her second goal of the season.

UND 3, Syracuse 1 — Stephanie Grossi (Melissa Piacentini, Alysha Burriss) 13:34. Piacentini gets the puck at the point and fires a shot to the slot area, where Grossi makes a nice re-direct between the pads of Amsley-Benzie.

UND 4, Syracuse 1 — Layla Marvin (Andrea Dalen, Gracen Hirschy) 19:22 (en). Dalen makes a pass to send Marvin into the zone and she buries her second of the game and second of the season.

UND’s lines

6 Gracen Hirschy–19 Meghan Dufault–21 Amy Menke
10 Andrea Dalen–63 Josefine Jakobsen–13 Layla Marvin
16 Tori Williams–11 Shannon Kaiser–14 Marissa Salo
15 Kayla Gardner

4 Sam LaShomb–18 Halli Krzyzaniak
22 Tanja Eisenschmid–8 Samantha Hanson
5 Johanna Fallman–7 Jordan Hampton

1 Shelby Amsley-Benzie
29 Lexie Shaw
34 Annie Chipman

Syracuse’s lines

20 Alysha Burriss–8 Stephanie Grossi–14 Melissa Piacentini
3 Julie Knerr–7 Jessica Sibley–9 Allie LaCombe
6 Danielle Leslie–25 Elizabeth Scala–27 Heather Schwarz
24 Eleanor Haines–22 Laurence Porlier–21 Kaylee Druk

4 Akane Hosoyamada–17 Larissa Martyniuk
2 Nicole Renault–23 Megan Quinn
19 Dakota Derrer–16 Kaillie Goodnough

1 Amanda Cariddi
29 Abbey Miller
33 Jenn Gilligan