Grand Forks, ND – It's no mystery that the Denver Pioneers and the University of North Dakota don't like each other very much.
I would compare the historic rivalry to the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s feud. There are hours and hours of video on YouTube that back this up.
Tonight's game, didn't quite go to script as both teams for the most part played a disciplined game and took a combined 14 minor penalties, tame in comparison to previous games .
The series has had many twist and turns. The two teams have played four times in the playoffs since the 2009-10 season with UND winning all four games.
Denver would come into tonight’s game with a 0-3-1 record over the last four games after going 9-1-0 to start the season – so you had to know that DU would be in a foul mood, coming into tonight’s game.
In the last eight games, the two teams have played; UND has held a 6-2 edge in the series.
When the two teams play, records go out the window, tonight was no different. On the ice tonight, the two teams each scored one goal even strength and one goal on the power play as the two teams skated to a 2-2 tie.
Coming into the season, UND had not won a game in overtime since the 2009 season. With the tie tonight, UND has a 2-0-3 record in overtime so far this season.
UND outshot the Pioneers 33-20, this was the third game in a row that UND has outshot their opponents but they weren't able to get the third goal late in the third period when UND was pressing.
According to UND SID Jayson Hajdu, "UND has outshot No. 6 Denver and No. 18 Colorado College 121-66 over the last three games." No small feat for the Green and White.
In the third period, Rocco Grimaldi missed a glorious opportunity to bury a goal that would have given UND the lead and possibly the win. After the game, Rocco Grimaldi was pretty hard on himself for not burying the potential game winning goal.
“For me I have to put that in that in the empty net,” Grimaldi said. “I don’t know how I missed the net – I hit the post whatever… so I have to bear down, so I basically lost the game. He [Juho Olkinuora] won it and I lost it for our team so.”
After the game head coach Dave Hakstol thought his team came out a little flat to start the game.
“I like the last 45 minutes,” Hakstol said. “I thought we finally got on track and played our game. I didn’t think we were what we wanted to be coming out of the gates at the drop of the puck.”
Denver came into tonight’s game with only 10 forwards due to an illness to Zac Larraza and a suspension to Larkin Jacobson.
Coach Hakstol’s team was able to roll four lines during most of the game and it appeared to play into UND’s favor as the game wore on. However, when the head coach was asked about this he wasn’t ready to say that his team benefited from playing the extra line.
“I think you can be if you have everyone playing from the start of the game,” Hakstol said. “Maybe that wasn’t the case tonight.”
Same two teams tomorrow night at 07:07 pm.
Cross posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.