Lineup shifts work for UND

UND made several lineup shifts for Saturday night’s game against St. Cloud State and it resulted in a 3-2 victory over the Huskies. The lineup shifts addressed UND’s biggest problems from Friday night’s loss: faceoffs and scoring from Lines 2, 3 and 4.

Both of those items are discussed in my game story. Read that here.

There are still several storylines to follow as UND looks ahead to this weekend’s series against Nebraska Omaha.

1. On the injury front, Bryn Chyzyk missed Saturday’s game and was watching with his arm in a sling. One of his teammates let it slip at the presser that it’s his shoulder. He’s out indefinitely.

2. Mark MacMillan moved back to center Saturday. Coach Dave Hakstol said that MacMillan had been politicking to get back to center. Hakstol’s biggest concern was MacMillan wearing down over 60 minutes. His faceoff numbers did dip in the third period, but Hakstol was pleased with his play. I think he probably stays there.

3. Nick Mattson came back in on defense. I thought he didn’t look as confident as normal, and that’s bound to happen when you get scratched a few times. Through time, he’ll regain that confidence that makes him such a dynamic threat. UND is 6-1-1 in games that Mattson plays and is 3-2 when he does not.

4. Tucker Poolman moved up front for Saturday. Clearly that’s not his future. You could tell he wasn’t as comfortable up there as on the blue line, but he still was able to add a little bit up there.

5. It will probably be hard to keep Trevor Olson out of the lineup with the way he played with his fellow rookies. Speaking of that line, Austin Poganski had has best weekend yet. Maybe not surprisingly, he was at home.

6. UND had a rare 3-on-0 rush and was unable to bury a puck. Charlie Lindgren did make a great save on a shot by Michael Parks and Connor Gaarder just missed the rebound. I do not believe that I’ve ever seen UND work on a 3-on-0 drill at practice.

7. UND is 6-0-1 on Saturdays so far this season.

Saturday night high five

There wasn’t quite as much action on Saturday night as Friday, but there were still several notable results.

1. Michigan Tech’s stay at No. 1 is already over. The Huskies got swept by MSU-Mankato at Houghton, 2-1 and 3-2. The Huskies travel to Huntsville this weekend, then their schedule gets interesting: Minnesota Duluth, the GLI, Wisconsin and Northern Michigan.

2. The misery continues for Wisconsin. The Badgers dropped to 0-8 after losing to Colorado College and Denver. Wisconsin now has a chance to right the ship, playing only two road games between now and February — 12 of the next 14 are at the Kohl Center.

3. Minnesota Duluth’s six-game winning streak ended with a 4-1 loss to Nebraska Omaha, but the Bulldogs still were impressive, outshooting the Mavs 40-18 in that game. Omaha got Jake Guentzel back from injury this weekend and he provided an immediate impact with a goal and an assist Saturday.

4. Nick Ellis, not Jon Gillies, gave Providence a 1-0 win over New Hampshire with a 29 save performance. It was the first start of the season for Ellis.

5. Air Force beat Colorado College for the third time in four years, winning 3-1 on Saturday. Grafton’s Chad Demers had an assist and Air Force goalie Chris Truehl stopped 35 of 36.

Brodzinski lifts Huskies

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Here’s a simple recipe to lose a hockey game: Allow Jonny Brodzinski to shoot the puck 16 times.

The Husky sophomore, one of the league’s best shooters, eventually broke through and tallied three points in St. Cloud State’s 3-1 win in the series opener. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

St. Cloud Times


Other notes:

  • As I wrote in the game story, faceoffs were a major problem for UND. It started early in the first with the Huskies winning four or five clean in a row in the offensive zone, leading to scoring chances. It didn’t get better all game. With Nick Schmaltz out and Mark MacMillan unable to take draws, UND needs to find someone else who can win important faceoffs.
  • After the Friday game against Providence, UND’s power play was at 31 percent, ranked fifth in the nation. Since, it has converted on 3 of 31 chances (9.7 percent).
  • Friday night marked UND’s first road loss of the season. UND previously was 5-0 on the road.
  • UND needs to win tonight or else it will lose its first series in the National Hockey Center since 2001.
  • UND coach Dave Hakstol didn’t have any immediate update on the status of forward Bryn Chyzyk after the game. Chyzyk left the game in the second period and didn’t return after absorbing a big hit.
  • St. Cloud State’s power play, which entered the weekend as the league’s best, continued to roll along with two power-play goals in four opportunities.
  • UND captain Stephane Pattyn talked about the importance of playing simple — driving wide and getting to the net. Getting to the net will be a key again in the series finale as there were rebounds to be had last night.

Top line helps UND get a split

When the national polls come out this afternoon, UND could be ranked No. 1. Or it could be Boston University. Or Michigan Tech. Or Minnesota Duluth. Or Minnesota. Who really knows?

There are some items that appear to be shaking out across the country, but the top teams are still anybody’s guess.

UND was able to put itself in the mix by grabbing a series split against Miami with a 4-1 victory on Saturday night. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald


Other notes:

  • If UND does grab the No. 1 ranking, it would be the first time since the end of the 2011 season, when UND was in the top spot for seven consecutive weeks.
  • In my game story, I focused on the return of Mark MacMillan, who helped form the game’s most dominant line. Although the protective brace on his wrist is restrictive, it was hard for us to tell from up top. He had a great night for UND and now has 10 points in 4 NCHC games.
  • UND junior Drake Caggiula is now tied with four other players for the national lead in scoring with 16 points. Caggiula has 15 points in the last eight games.
  • Miami had an apparent goal disallowed in the first period. The supervisor of officials confirmed that it was the correct call as Miami’s Conor Lemirande used his stick to push Zane McIntyre back into his net, causing McIntyre to extend his leg and knock the puck in the net.
  • UND did a nice job on Miami’s top players, Austin Czarnik and Riley Barber. They combined for no points and a minus-6 rating this weekend.
  • UND kept the Troy Stecher and Gage Ausmus pairing together on defense (Stecher was fantastic once again this weekend), but mixed up the others. Jordan Schmaltz and Paul LaDue did not play together as LaDue moved to the right side with Nick Mattson, who re-entered the lineup for Tucker Poolman.
  • The only forward group that’s a lock to stay together is the top line. Spots are still up for grabs on the other lines.

Miami ends UND’s streak

The series opener between UND and Miami ended up being just about everything we expected — lots of action up and down the ice and a game that came down to the final seconds.

This time, UND didn’t get that last-second magic in the Ralph and the team’s eight-game unbeaten streak is over. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on Miami’s return to REA


Other notes:

  • Mark MacMillan did, indeed, return to the lineup Friday night, wearing a protective brace/cast thing on his wrist. MacMillan said the brace was a bit restrictive, which is likely why he played wing and not center. He still ended up taking five draws and winning three of them. MacMillan did not start the game on the power play, but he was out there for the last one in place of Stephane Pattyn. MacMillan did kill penalties.
  • MacMillan said his energy level was good. Since it was a wrist injury, he was able to keep skating and try to keep his fitness level up during his absence.
  • Paul LaDue also returned to the lineup and resumed his normal role.
  • The absence of Nick Schmaltz really showed up on the power play. UND had six chances there and ended up minus-1, which was the difference in the game. His setup ability was really missed there.
  • UND scored yet another shorthanded goal on Drake Caggiula’s breakaway. That’s seven for the season. The record is 18 by the Hrkac Circus team.
  • Miami did a nice job blocking shots. Shot blocks were 19-7 Miami. Sean Kuraly, who had a hand in every RedHawk goal, led the way with three.
  • Since the formation of the NCHC, UND and Miami have played five regular-season games. Kuraly has scored in four of them.
  • I don’t think UND has played anyone with Miami’s speed yet this season. The RedHawks gave UND some trouble with their speed, as expected.
  • Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was Miami’s physicality. I don’t recall the RedHawks playing a very physical game last season.
  • Connor Gaarder had a team-high five shots on goal for UND.
  • Luke Johnson led the way in faceoffs for UND, going 11-7, helping to hold Austin Czarnik to a 10-16 mark.

A few other things that happened Friday night:

1. Minnesota Duluth ended Minnesota’s 17-game home unbeaten streak (15-0-2) with a 3-0 win. The last team to beat Minnesota in Mariucci was…. Duluth last season. Final shots in Friday’s game were 38-17 Bulldogs.

2. Michigan Tech moved to 9-0, the best start in school history, with a 2-1 win over Bemidji State. The Beavers outshot the Huskies 36-22 in that game. It’s possible that the Huskies could take over the nation’s No. 1 ranking if they win tonight’s series finale.

3. Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist to lead BU to a 3-1 win over Maine. Eichel has at least a point in every college game. It should soon make for a good discussion: Could Jack Eichel win the Hobey as a freshman?

4. Denver beat Colorado College 8-1 in a game that had eight misconducts and over 100 penalty minutes. The Tigers have lost seven games in a row.

5. Union’s winless streak is now at 6 games, coming directly on the heels of a 22-game unbeaten streak.

UND extends unbeaten streak

MADISON, Wis. — UND played Saturday night’s game without one of its top forwards (Mark MacMillan) and one of its top defensemen (Paul LaDue). Even so, UND was still able to complete a rare sweep in the Kohl Center with a 5-1 win over Wisconsin, extending its unbeaten streak to eight.

UND is 5-0 on the road for the first time since 1980 and handed Wisconsin the same number of home losses this weekend as it had all of last season. Read that story here.

As Andy Baggot pointed out in the Wisconsin State Journal, UND is now 6-0-1 in its last seven games against the Badgers going back to 2011-12.

It matches UND’s longest unbeaten streak against Wisconsin in program history. The only other seven-game unbeaten streak against the Badgers came from 1978-80 (also 6-0-1).

UND’s last loss to Wisconsin was Oct. 22, 2011 — a game in which UND outshot the Badgers 42-15 and lost 5-4.

This weekend, UND saw a young Badger team that is trying to find its way. Wisconsin is now 0-6 for the first time since 1932, but the Badgers played a much better game Saturday than Friday, despite the scoreboard saying otherwise.

Wisconsin had UND on its heels for much of the second period, but UND regrouped in the locker room and finished off the Badgers with a strong third.

There were three key plays that stand out:

1. Nick Schmaltz made a brilliant pass — one that only he can make — to set up Drake Caggiula for the go-ahead goal. In fact, both Schmaltz brothers made great setups for go-ahead goals this weekend in their return home. Read about that here.

2. It appeared that Grant Besse was about to tie the game with a backdoor chance late in the second, but Zane McIntyre somehow got his pad over in time to deny Besse and keep UND in the lead. It was a game-changing save.

3. Badger D Chase Drake, attempting to clear a loose puck out of the crease area, accidentally put it in the back of the net to give UND a 3-1 lead in the third period. For a team that has scored 7 goals in 6 games, a two-goal lead late seems insurmountable. The dam soon-after broke and UND tacked on two more goals.

UND was able to get its seventh win of the season on Nov. 8. That’s the earliest that UND has reached the seven-win mark in the Dave Hakstol era. It’s also the first time UND has reached the seven-win mark in November in the last four years.

Date of seventh win

2014: Nov. 8.
2013: Dec. 7.
2012: Dec. 1.
2011: Dec. 2.
2010: Nov. 13.
2009: Nov. 13 (also started 7-1-1).
2008: Dec. 6.
2007: Dec. 1.
2006: Nov. 25.
2005: Nov. 12.
2004: Nov. 20.
2003: Nov. 15.
2002: Nov. 9.
2001: Dec. 15.
2000: Nov. 17.
1999: Nov. 13.

A few other notes:

  • Hakstol said the decision to go with Andrew Panzarella over Nick Mattson came down to Panzarella’s penalty killing role in the absence of LaDue. Hakstol said they planned to give LaDue’s power play time to Troy Stecher, but they were concerned about the penalty killing role. Hakstol said that’s a strength of Panzarella.
  • Speaking of Stecher, his game is at another level this season. He made plays at both ends of the ice all weekend, and he’s been doing that all year long.
  • LaDue was walking with crutches after the game. I’m hearing that it’s not a break or anything like that. It’s wait and see mode for him right now. No word on whether he’ll be able to go this weekend against Miami.
  • UND is now 3-0 since losing MacMillan.
  • After Gage Ausmus scored his goal, he gave a glare over to the Wisconsin bench. I asked him what happened there and he said there was lots of chatter between both benches and that his emotions got the best of him.
  • The Badgers, who entered the weekend after a 20-day layoff, now have another week off. The UND games were Wisconsin’s only contests in the span of 33 days. The young team probably can use the extra practice time, but I’m not sure if that amount of time off is a good thing.
  • UND’s schedule will turn for the difficult now. None of UND’s first five opponents have a winning record right now. They are a combined 10-27-2. In this day and age, wins aren’t guaranteed on any weekend in college hockey, so this has been a great stretch for UND. But it’s also worth noting that the competition is about to get significantly better.

UND wins another road game

MADISON, Wis. — UND continued its road success Friday night, rallying to beat Wisconsin 4-3 in the Kohl Center.

It’s a place that can be daunting, especially when the Badgers are rolling, but that wasn’t the case in the series opener as UND ran its road record to 4-0.

Excluding empty-netters, UND became the first team to score four goals on Wisconsin here in the span of 39 games dating back to a November 2012 loss to MSU-Mankato (4-2).

If UND is able to win tonight’s series finale, the Badgers will match their home loss total from all of last season in their home-opening weekend. Yes, a year ago they went 17-2-1 in Kohl Center and they entered this weekend 20-2-1 in their last 23 here.

The attendance for the game was 10,605, which means there were nearly 5,000 empty seats. The fans didn’t seem as loud as years past, either. Maybe the 0-4 start has taken a bit of the enthusiasm out.

Although the scoreboard didn’t always reflect it, this was a game that UND largely controlled from the start. UND tilted the ice progressively throughout the night, too, outshooting Wisconsin 12-7 in the first, 17-10 in the second and 14-3 in the third.

The Badgers finished the game with 20 shots on goal. UND’s defensive corps had 19 alone.

One of the big keys to the game was Wisconsin losing defenseman Eddie Wittchow to a broken finger in the first period. After that, the Badgers were down to five defensemen, and they had to kill off five straight power plays from the middle of the second to the middle of the third periods.

That had to take a toll on the energy levels of Wisconsin’s blue liners.

From Wisconsin’s point of view, there has to be some encouragement with the game. The young players had a lot of good moments. They also had some freshman moments, which is to be expected in Month 1 of their college careers.

The Badgers did a great job blocking shots (Kevin Schulze had seven alone) and pushed until the very end. But Friday’s game seemed like a classic case of a veteran team going against a young team. The veteran team found a way to win in the end.

As I wrote in my game story, UND continues to show the ability to win games in different fashions — they’ve had close wins, blowout wins, comeback wins and stay-in-the-lead-the-whole-time wins.

The skill level of UND’s forwards has been widely debated. Maybe they aren’t the group with the highest skill, but they are doing what they have to right now.

Take a look at their goals the last few weeks. Nearly all of them are either coming from the top of the crease, coming on rebounds or coming because there’s traffic taking away the goaltender’s eyes. If UND is going to generate offense, it needs to score goals like that, and the team is doing just that right now.

No one has been better up front than senior Michael Parks, who has nine points in the last six games. He is now the team’s leading scorer.

Hobey Baker Award finalist Joel Rumpel was very good for the Badgers, making 39 saves. If UND is able to sustain similar pressure, he’ll have to be good again in the series finale.

Tonight’s game is on Midco Sports Network for those of you in Grand Forks. There also will be a webstream here for free. So, enjoy.

Parks comes up big

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.

Saturday night rewind

Five notables from around the country:

1. St. Cloud State finally snapped Union’s 22-game unbeaten streak, becoming the first team to beat the Dutchmen since January. The Huskies won the game 3-2 and outshot Union 39-24.

2. Miami outshot St. Lawrence 53-11, but it wasn’t until Shot No. 53 that the RedHawks earned the victory. Sean Kuraly scored in overtime to give Miami a series split. Clearly St. Lawrence goalie Kyle Hayton was fantastic this weekend, giving the Saints a chance on two nights that they were badly outshot.

3. Minnesota Duluth and its talented group of forwards finally got to Denver goalie Evan Cowley on Saturday night, chasing Cowley in the third period after allowing five goals. All four lines got on the scoresheet for the Bulldogs.

4. A third different opponent blew out Colorado College for the third game in a row. This time, it was New Hampshire beating the Tigers by four goals. The Tigers have allowed 19 goals in their last three games.

5. After going 170-plus minutes without a goal, Western Michigan snapped that stretch and went on to hand Alaska Fairbanks its first loss of the season. Nolan LaPorte scored a pair of power-play goals for the Broncos.

NCHC top performers

OT winner — Sean Kuraly, Miami
3 points — Nolan LaPorte, WMU (2 goals, 1 assist)
2 points — Colton Hargrove, WMU (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Cody Bradley, CC (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Austin Farley, Duluth (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Cal Decowski, Duluth (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Sammy Spurrell, Duluth (1 goal, 1 assist)

UND 2, Providence 2

Providence scored an extra-attacker goal with :38.3 seconds left in regulation and UND made the tie hold up by killing a Friar power play at the end of overtime. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on MacMillan’s absence


Other notes:

  • As disappointing as it was for the team to give up a late, tying goal, in the end, a win and a tie against Providence will be a good result for the team.
  • While Providence provided an opportunity to gain in the Pairwise, the rest of UND’s nonconference opponents will only provide a chance to plummet with losses. UND’s final four nonconference opponents currently have a combined record of 2-22. Both of those wins are by Air Force, which comes to The Ralph on Saturday.
  • I thought both goaltenders were outstanding and as advertised on Saturday. Jon Gillies came up big for the Friars several times. Zane McIntyre did the same, most notably gloving a golden chance off the stick of Niko Rufo during the third period.
  • Bryn Chyzyk is clearly at a different level than last season. He’s a lot faster. He has been showing that on the penalty kill and he showed it by torching a Friar defenseman on the outside, leading to Austin Poganski’s first-career goal.
  • Troy Stecher made his case for NCHC defenseman of the week by registering two assists on each night.
  • With Tucker Poolman settling in on defense, the coaching staff has more difficult decisions to make on the blue line for the Air Force game.
  • Providence defenseman Kyle McKenzie blocked eight shots himself on Saturday night. UND blocked 11 as a team. In all, Providence had 26 blocked shots to UND’s 11.

Friday night rewind

Five notables from around the country:

1. The home woes continued for Minnesota Duluth in the only NCHC league game of the evening. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-7 in their last eight home games (they’ve won just 3 of their last 16 AmsOil Arena games), dropping a 3-1 decision to Denver. Pio goalie Evan Cowley apparently wants to make fans forget about Sam Brittain quickly. Cowley’s numbers are: 3-0, .972 save percentage, 0.68 goals-against average.

2. Miami outshot St. Lawrence 42-16 at home and lost 5-4. Jay Williams allowed 5 goals on 16 shots and three-point nights by Blake Coleman (2 goals) and Austin Czarnik (3 assists) weren’t enough.

3. In one of the highlight games, Union beat St. Cloud State 5-1 to extend its unbeaten streak to 22 games. The Huskies, who actually outshot Union 36-27, didn’t score until there were five seconds left in the game.

4. Western Michigan’s goal drought has reached 158 minutes, 42 seconds, after getting blanked 1-0 by Alaska (Fairbanks). The Nanooks, by the way, are now 5-0, while Western is 1-4 overall and 0-3 at Lawson. The big question facing the Broncos coming into the season was scoring. That appears to be playing out that way.

5. UND nonconference opponents Lake Superior State, Niagara and Wisconsin are a combined 0-16 right now after Lake State and Niagara’s losses on Friday night. Those could be big games, because they could be RPI killers if UND loses them.

Top NCHC performers

4 points — Drake Caggiula, UND (1 goal, 3 assists)
3 points — Blake Coleman, Miami (2 goals, 1 assist)
3 points — Jordan Schmaltz, UND (3 assists)
3 points — Austin Czarnik, Miami (3 assists)

UND 6, Providence 1

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on the goalies


Other notes:

  • Top concern coming out of the game is the health of Mark MacMillan, who left late in the second period and did not return. According to a couple of friends who had a better view than I did, it sounds like he was cut with a skate near UND’s bench.
  • This was UND’s first win over a top-five team in The Ralph since beating Michigan State 6-0 in the Hall of Fame Game to open the 2007 season.
  • It’s early but Paul LaDue is tied for the national lead in points by a defenseman with seven. The only NCHC player with more points right now is Omaha’s Jake Guentzel (nine).
  • UND has four shorthanded goals this season (most in the nation). That’s how many the team had all of last season. Union and Duluth both have three shorthanders this season.
  • UND’s power play is up to 31 percent thanks to a 2-for-5 performance against the Friars.
  • UND won the faceoff battle 26-20. Connor Gaarder (8-5), Stephane Pattyn (5-2) and Nick Schmaltz (5-2) led the way.
  • The only player in UND’s lineup who did not register a shot on goal was Troy Stecher, who played a terrific game.
  • I’m guessing the coaching staff would like to get Keaton Thompson in tonight, but the big problem is, who do you take out?
  • I didn’t think UND would be able to beat Jon Gillies clean with shots from the dot, but Luke Johnson did just that in the first period. Johnson can really shoot the puck and he showed it on that play.
  • Nick Schmaltz did a terrific job protecting the puck in the offensive zone a few times. As he adds strength, he’s only going to be more and more difficult to handle.
  • If UND is able to finish the sweep of Providence tonight, it will have its first five-game winning streak in October since the Hrkac Circus team of 1986-87.