Grand Forks, ND – Last night, the University of North Dakota came out flat and stood around and watched the Saint Cloud State University Huskies make plays and were on the short end of a 3-1 game. Through two periods of hockey they had an unimpressive 8 shots on net.
Tonight, it was a different game as UND would outshoot the Huskies 36-18, but they were still only able to garner a single point in the standing with a 2-2 tie.
After last night’s game, North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol was not pleased with his teams play, and he let it be known in his post game comments.
“We didn’t play very well tonight,” Hakstol said. “We got our tails kicked in our own building.
Tonight, while his team played better, the head coach still didn’t seem all that pleased with the end results.
“Disappointed to come out of the weekend with one point,” Hakstol said. “Yet in terms of our team, and our team play, the performance and effort that we put out tonight, I think we feel good about that. But to come with one point it’s hard to feel good about anything.”
After last night’s game, you had to figure that there would be changes to the lineup, and there was.
Tonight, the North Dakota hockey team came out with more energy and were able to put 15 shot net, and take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission with goals by senior forwards Danny Kristo and Corban Knight.
UND would relinquish that lead at the 01:59 mark of the second period with a goal by Husky senior forward Ben Hanowski on the delayed penaly. That goal was Hanowski’s 11th of the year for the senior forward from Little Falls, MN. UND would again out-shoot the Huskies during the second period 9-4.
That would be all of the scoring for the rest of the evening as neither team was able to dent the twine again. UND would get the better of the opportunities, but they were unable to put the puck past sophomore goalie Ryan Faragher who was tough in net all weekend long.
The Huskies head coach Bob Motzko seemed pleased with his team’s effort this weekend
“We will be pleased,” Motzko said. “They came out hard tonight, and fought like mad. We made some critical mistakes early, and they capitalized on them. Bad penalties again, which is uncharacteristic, and we let the heat of the moment get to us again. But then Ben Hanowski there’s one of our captains taking over again. Got the first one – got the second one – it was all determination to start the second period there. Then we lost for about six minutes and then I thought we hunkered down. Our goalie had to make a couple of big saves. Their guy had to make a couple [saves]. We got the one off of the pipe from Brodzinski there. It was just a classic WCHA battles.”
While a tie is better than a loss in the WCHA standings, it would appear that the tie left a bad taste in the mouths of the UND players. A subdued senior forward Danny Kristo shared his feeling after the games.
“Definitely stings,” Kristo said. “I thought we deserved a better outcome. I thought we outplayed them for all three periods. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Senior forward Corban Knight seemed to echo Kristo’s sentiments.
“Right now, it’s still pretty fresh,” Knight said. Obviously we left a point out there on a Saturday night at home – important game – I don’t think anyone is satisfied in that room right now. So, it’s defiantly something that is frustrating right now.”
While the tie leaves UND 3-3-2 in eight games to start the year, the team still controls its own destiny. Because of the strength of their schedule, and who they have left on the schedule these types of games will prepare UND for the playoffs.
UND head coach Dave Hakstol expounded on that fact.
“The reality of this stretch is we play good team’s week in and week out,” Hakstol said. “Our schedule is very difficult. That’s going to make us better. That’s going to stress us, and its going make going to make points harder to come by, but it’s going to make us better. We became a better team this weekend, but we didn’t walk away with the number of points that we wanted.”
Next weekend, UND plays another good team that is coming into Ralph Engelstad Arena having won seven of the last eight games, and 10-1-2 in their last 13 games.