It was a day late for Halloween, but UND forward Michael Parks showed up as a monster at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday night.
Parks, the best player on the ice during the game, set up both the game-tying and game-winning goals in UND’s stunning 3-2 comeback victory over Air Force.
In the final seconds of regulation, he picked up a puck from behind the net and brought it hard out front. He took a pair of whacks at it before it went to Drake Caggiula for the goal.
In overtime, he showed a little bit of everything. Parks showed his speed to track Scott Holm down from behind. He showed his strong stick by picking the puck away from Holm. He showed his strength by muscling past a couple of Air Force defenders in the neutral zone. He showed poise by making the goalie and the defenseman commit to him. And he showed his skill by sliding a perfect pass over to Bryn Chyzyk for the winning goal.
When it was all done, Parks had a pair of assists and one of his best games in a UND uniform. Game stories:
Grand Forks Herald
Other notes and thoughts:
1. I heard a lot of people talk about how terrible UND played in the first two periods. I really didn’t see that. I thought UND was very average in the first period, but not terrible. It was a fairly even period. In the second, UND started to take over. Shot attempts were 22-7 UND in the second. Although the score was 2-0, UND had clearly started to take over the game.
2. In the third period, the game was completely one-sided. It took about 14 minutes for Air Force to get a shot on goal. Shot attempts in the third were 27-10 (so shot attempts in the final two periods were 49-17, very lopsided). The Falcons lost a lot of puck battles.
3. The unsung player of the game was Zane McIntyre. He made a couple of huge saves, including a clean breakaway for Kyle Mackey. If any of those pucks go in, it’s game over for UND. Zane gave UND a chance to win.
4. There has to be some irony in the fact that Chad Demers was in the building (and on the ice) for a sixth-attacker goal. Demers was part of the Grafton-Park River team that won state and sent that game into overtime with six guys on the ice (illegally). UND legally had six on the ice against the Falcons for Caggiula’s tying goal.
5. Speaking of Demers, he probably had the largest ovation I’ve ever heard for a visiting player. He had a lot of support there. The fans also cheered when they announced his assist. Although it was a bad result, it had to be a memorable game for Demers.
6. At the end of the game, UND accepted the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game trophy for winning it. After grabbing the award, the UND students all started chanting “U-S-A!” in support of the Air Force players, who all received cheers during the starting lineups.
7. UND had a real nice touch of getting videos from Brock Nelson, Zach Parise and Jonathan Toews saying thank you to the men and women of the armed forces for their service.
8. There were some questions on the live chat about why Connor Gaarder and Stephane Pattyn were getting power play time. The answer: Those guys created far more scoring chances than the other unit.
9. UND’s 5-1-1 start is the team’s best since starting 7-1-1 in 2009-10. UND has just six nonconference games left and they will be important considering those teams have a combined record of 1-21 (Niagara 0-8, Wisconsin 0-4, Lake State 1-9).
10. Chyzyk became the first player since Bob Lillo on Feb. 17, 1967 (against Michigan State) to score a shorthanded overtime goal.
11. Through seven games this season, UND is even while shorthanded (5 power play goals allowed, 5 shorthanded goals scored).
12. The last time UND tied a game in the final minute and won it in overtime was Game 3 of the 2003 playoffs against Denver. Mike Prpich tied it late (shockingly the goalie was not pulled yet by Dean Blais) and Nick Fuher won it in overtime. That started a streak of 12 consecutive first-round wins. That streak is still alive.