Grand Forks, ND – The Wisconsin Badgers came into tonight’s game smoking hot, the Badgers had one loss (Miami) since November 24, 2012. During that same time frame, the Badgers had an impressive record of 10-1-4 (.800).
North Dakota was a team going the other direction. The Green and White hadn’t won in five games (0-2-3), and they were looking for their first win since January 12, 2012.
Historically, North Dakota is known for their impressive second half records after the first of the year. So far during the second half of this season, UND’s record is a mediocre 3-3-2.
With the win tonight, that streak would improve to 4-3-3. Also, with the win, UND was also able to stop a five game winless streak (0-2-3).
Tonight, North Dakota wasted no time getting on the board as freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi drew a penalty 30 second into the game.
UND would cash in on the power-play with a goal from Mark MacMillan 15 seconds later. That was MacMillan’s ninth goal of the season. Assisting on MacMillan’s goal was Rocco Grimaldi and Jordan Schmaltz.
Twelve minutes later, North Dakota would push the lead to 2-0 with another power-play goal by Joe Gleason. Drawing the assists on Gleason’s goal were Danny Kristo and Corban Knight. With the assist, Kristo scored his 144th point of his career tying him with former fighting Sioux forward Jay Panzer, Jim Archibald and Jeff McLean.
After the game, UND Head coach Dave Hakstol talked about the importance of getting those two power play goals early in the game.
“I thought the first power play goal was key,” Hakstol said. “The second one was nice to get at as well. But bigger than that for me was the penalty kill that we had right back-to-back with our first power play goal.”
UND would push the score to 4-0, with two even strength goals, eight minutes apart from Sophomore Michael Parks.
Michael Parks’ line mate Carter Rowney, who assisted on both of Park’s goals, was excited to see him bury a few goals.
“I was really excited for Parks to get a couple few goals tonight,” Rowney said. “Since we have been playing with each other we’ve been a little snake bitten. We’ve had our opportunities, but it wasn’t coming, but I think we tried to stick with it and tried to stay loose around the net. It was lucky enough to come in today.”
One Michael Parks’ goals came on a wraparound goal. This is what the sophomore forward had to say about his highlight goal.
“Oh finally,” Parks said. “A bit of a relief I think if anything – good play by Rowney – put it off the pad and it was really easy with the goalie being on the other side of the net.”
UW would great the shutout with a goal from Wisconsin junior forward Mark Zengerle at the 13:30 mark of the third period.
That was all of the scoring the rest of the way.
UND was strong defensively all weekend long, as the UND back end only give up two goals all weekend long. UND has only give up
“I would give us, defensively, I would give us a B-plus,” Hakstol said. “I thought we were pretty responsible. Last night, we created some of our own problems. On two or three occasions in a tight game like that, two or three opportunities against is a big deal. I thought we did little things well. I thought it was a weekend where we blocked shots well, which is something that we have been working to be better at. I liked that area of our game. I liked our over-all commitment to the defensive side“