Showing posts with label NCHC Hockey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NCHC Hockey. Show all posts

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Five NCHC Teams in The TopTen of Pairwise Rankings

First I know it’s early, but five of the eight NCHC teams are in the top-10 of the Pairwise Rankings.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Game Day: Friday Morning Pontifications

First, it's early in the season, I get that. However, last season, the NCHC had a dreadful inter-conference record, (40-34-16, .533). As you can see from the chart, the NCHC has started out much better this season.

Atlantic Hockey
Big Ten
Hockey East
OOC Record
Atlantic Hockey
Big Ten
Hockey East

Apparently, UND has a few new players.
Defensemen John Gilmour (lower body) and Kyle McKenzie (disciplinary reasons) are expected to be in the lineup for the first time this season. Also due to return is Nick Saracino, who was held out of last week’s exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Developent Program U-18s for precautionary reasons.

The series pits two of the top goaltenders in the nation against each other in PC junior Jon Gillies, a Calgary draft choice, and North Dakota junior Zach McIntyre, a Boston Bruins pick. North Dakota has 14 NHL draft picks on its roster to 7 for PC.

North Dakota swept Colorado College on the road last weekend. They went 5-for-7 on the power play and scored two shorthanded goals in Saturday’s 7-2 rout. Montreal pick Mark MacWilliams leads the team in scoring with five goals and seven points.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Schmaltz Brothers: Making of Something Special

With the regular season right around the corner, one thing to take notice of is how well the Schmaltz brothers, Jordan(Junior) and Nick(Freshman) played in the exhibition opener against Manitoba this past Sunday.

Both these brothers have more in common than people might think. Both were drafted in the first round in their respective draft years to different teams in the Central Division. Jordan went 25th overall to the St. Louis Blues in 2012, and likely would be in their system if it wasn't for brother Nick coming to UND this season. Nick went 20th overall in this years draft to the Chicago Blackhawks, making the brothers the only first round draft picks on UND's current roster. Both also played for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL before coming to UND as well.

Jordan is a puck moving defenseman who likes to shoot from the high slot when he has the opportunity to, especially when quarterbacking the power play. In his two years at UND, the St. Louis draft pick has totaled 36 points, 24 of those coming last season, doubling his freshman year total. He is an every day player and has continued to get better and better in each game. Jordan recorded a team leading three points (Goal, 2 assists) in the exhibition opener Sunday afternoon with two of them coming on the power play.

As for younger brother Nick, in the one game I was able to see him skate, he seems to have a Zach Parise like mentality to drive to the net, which will find him on the score sheet more often than not. Although he did not score Sunday, it was not due to the lack of trying. It seemed as if he couldn't buy a bounce to put one in, including hitting the post on an open net. If this net front presence continues for Nick, look for him to be a potential NCHC rookie of the year and putting the NCAA on notice.

The combination of the brothers will continue to grow chemistry as the season moves along and will make the power play that much stronger. Look for these two to be a factor in every single game this year and will be noticeable whenever they are not on the ice.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UND First in Preseason Poll

NCHC Preseason Poll 1. North Dakota – 181 points (12 first-place votes)
2. Miami – 167  (9)
3. St. Cloud State – 151 (4)
4. Denver – 117 (0)
5. Minnesota Duluth – 112 (0)
6. Omaha – 73 (0)
7. Western Michigan  - 67 (0)
8. Colorado College – 32 (0)

Last year, Miami was voted number one by the media in the preseason poll. Hmm... I am not sure UND wants to have this honor.

Friday, September 19, 2014

John Buccigross : UND Second in Pre-Season Twitter Poll

John Buccigross (@Buccigross) tweeted his college hockey top 10.

7-St Cloud
9-Ferris St

I never put must stock in pre-season polls or prediction, but they're fun to look at and talk about. Life is a crap shoot, nothing ever shakes out the way the pundits predict anyways.

Last season, Miami University was the odds on favorite to win the Penrose Cup and they finished last in the NCHC. The RedHawks ended up knocking off SCSU in the first round of the NCHC playoffs, and fell one game short of making the NCAA tourney. Four NCHC teams in the Buccigross top ten.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


CBS’s expected NCHC college hockey schedule
Jan. 9 — Notre Dame at Western Michigan
Jan. 10 — Minnesota Duluth at North Dakota
Jan. 23 — Colorado College at North Dakota
Jan. 30 — North Dakota at Nebraska Omaha
Feb. 6 — Denver at Colorado College
Feb. 13 — St. Cloud State at Minnesota Duluth
Feb. 20 — North Dakota at Western Michigan
Feb. 20 — Denver at Colorado College
Feb. 27 — St. Cloud State at North Dakota
March 6 — North Dakota at Miami
March 6 — Denver at St. Cloud State

Playoff schedule NCHC semifinal game
NCHC semifinal game
NCHC championships game

Brad Schlossman has the schedule posted on his blog.

Perusing the fan message boards, it would appear that fans of other conference teams aren't too happy with the NCHC's TV schedule.

Monday, September 15, 2014

MY NCHC Predictions

I posted my predictions for the NCHC season at the Hockey Writers.

League Champion (Playoffs)

Before I get accused of being a homer, hear me out. I predict the University of North Dakota will be the NCHC playoff champion. Here’s why. During his 10 seasons at UND, head coach Dave Hakstol’s teams have a (.583) winning percentage before Christmas and (.697) winning percentage after the Christmas break.  Hakstol’s teams typically peak during the second half of the season, so a playoff championship isn’t out of the question.  UND returns one of the top defensive corps in the NCHC, and also one of the top goaltenders.

I think my top three will probably go like this, as of right now. Thoughts.
1. Miami

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WCHA, Must-See Non-Conference Series

Part four of a six part series that were originally posted at the Hockey Writers.

Series one: North Dakota vs. Bemidji State University Date: October 10-11, 2014.
 Game one location: Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Game two location: Sanford Center, Bemidji, Minnesota.

The Highway Two series, both teams are a short 2-hour bus trip away. Former WCHA foes BSU and UND will square off in a two-game home-and-home non-conference series. Last season, BSU lost and tied to UND (2-4 L, 1-1 T). One should expect a lot of UND fans to make the trip to the Sanford Center on Saturday night, due to the proximity of the schools.

All-time, Bemidji State is (2-26-2 .116) against North Dakota.

You can see all of the three by clicking on the links.

Big Ten Hockey: Five Must-See Non-Conference Series.

ECAC Hockey: Five Must-See Non-Conference Series.

NCHC Hockey: Five Must-See Non-Conference Series.

UND Hockey: Five Must-See Non-Conference.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grand Forks Herald, NCHC Commish Fenton Working on TV Deal

It appears that that is some good news for hockey fans that are not happy with the current TV deal. Many UND and NCHC  fans aren't happy with the current television deal, either. Today, Brad Schlossman reports that  CBSSN might have moved a bit on the exclusivity clause. This would be good news to the fans that can't see the games in person. (Grand Forks Herald Article). Once the details have been worked out, I post something.
Brad Schlossman, UND Hockey Blog-- Nothing is done yet, but all indications are that CBS Sports appears willing to alter that exclusivity clause that prevented UND (and others in the league) from getting more nationally televised games last season.

How, exactly, will the exclusivity clause be altered? That’s what’s unknown at this point. Obviously, CBS will still be able to pick its games and the CBS games won’t be allowed to be on any other network. But I think there’s a good chance that when CBS is not broadcasting hockey, the games could be free to other national networks.

This would be a big step forward for the league and for fans who live elsewhere.

UND could push to get some games back on Fox College Sports. I’ve heard that St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth will likely get some games on FSN North this season, too.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

NCAA Hockey: Must-See games

ECAC Hockey

This summer,  I have been working on a series of must-see games. So far, I have the NCHC, UND and the ECAC done. As the different schedules come out, I will post some more of these.

Looking at the East Coast Athletic Conference schedule, I previewed five must-see non-conference games. In my opinion, these are some of the more “attractive” non-conference series on the ECAC schedule. Feel free to chime in with your favorite must-see ECAC non-conference series.

The ECAC once regarded as the EZAC by other conference fans, is now the home to the last two NCAA Champions. The ECAC is quickly becoming the country’s power conference for division I college hockey. (ECAC Hockey: Five Must-See Non-Conference Series).

UND Hockey

As we make our way through a very slow off-season, you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The college hockey season is just around the corner. There’s roughly 60 days until North Dakota kicks off the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against Manitoba Bison.

Looking at the University of North Dakota’s 2014-15 schedule, here’s my five must-see hockey series. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. (UND Hockey: Five Must-See Games).

NCHC Hockey

In my humble opinion, there are five must-see non-conference series on the NCHC composite schedule. Last season, the NCHC had a mediocre non-conference record. Moving forward, these non-conference games will be very important to the final Pairwise Rankings. Having a strong non-conference record means the NCHC will get more teams in the NCAA tourney. (NCHC Hockey: Five Must-See Non-Conference Series)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Early Preseason NCAA Men's Hockey Favorite

Ok, I know that the season is still two months away, but I just can't get over how this one ended, and not just for North Dakota either. In general, this past season saw a lot of  parody and I expect this season to be just the same. We saw a team with just one NHL draft pick win it all, a team beat another in .6 seconds to go to the national title game, but lose and lose badly. The end of an era in NCAA Men's Hockey with the end of one conference, and the addition to two new ones. Surprising blow-outs and spectacular overtime thrillers. Most of this could be seen within the North Dakota club alone.

Looking ahead to the season upon us, one must look at who left early, and from where, and who has the best incoming freshman. You have your usual suspects as one might imagine, with Boston College, Minnesota, and North Dakota probably being in the top 10 all season long, barring the typical first half North Dakota funk they always seem to have. Union, the defending national champs, is a team that I don't know what to think about. They proved that if you have a good core of players, and believe in your coach/team, great things can happen.

Michigan looks like they are back on the upswing once again, but their usual Big 10 football rival,
Ohio State, they too look as if they could become a team to look at when it comes to tourney time. The Buckeyes are off of a Big 10 tournament runner-up finish, losing an overtime heartbreaker to Wisconsin.

One also has to wonder about Boston University and if they will crawl back up the rankings again, or if they will stay out of the tournament picture like last season. Only time will tell.

Once again, the NCHC looks to be the powerhouse conference, with the possibility of sending at least five teams to the tournament once again. Miami has their top players returning this season, and are once again among the favorites to win the conference in preseason polls. However, they said that last season too and you saw how that ended up.

Minnesota, the College Hockey News number one team coming into this coming season in their very preseason poll release, looks to gain revenge after their national title game flop against Union. The always tough Golden Gophers
should be in the top five of the rankings for much of, if not the entire season. Being lead by goalie Adam Wilcox, and Kyle Rau, Minnesota is looking for banner number six to hang up in their barn once the season is over.

Finally, a team I know much more about, North Dakota. With three of five incoming freshman being drafted at this years NHL Draft, they return a line-up that has a lot of options.
If you thought last year's freshman class was impressive, wait until you see this one. You have a stud goalie, a first round draft pick, and good core team guys leaving a game day spot hard to come by this year. Between Minnesota and North Dakota this year, you don't find much deeper line-ups in the entire country, and I know UND is looking for revenge after how their, dare I say Cinderella, season ended.

If you asked me to pick a national champion right now, I'd have to flip a coin between North Dakota and Minnesota, but the season is very long and a lot can happen. Ask me this question at the start of the second half and I might have a different answer for you.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Saint Cloud State releases secondary logo

s/t tap to Drunk Hockey Guy. If you're unhappy with picture, you can troll his twitter feed by clicking on the link about. Feel free to give him your thoughts. DHG does have a point though.  Anyone see a similarity? I sure do. Looks very similar.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Perusing the NCHC Inaugural Season: Year in Review

Reading the NCHC Inaugural Season in review, something caught my eye. You can read the whole report here at this link. It will be interesting to see how this plays out going forward. In my opinion, I thought it was a pretty successful first season in the NCHC.
2. Exposure/Branding

a. Television – We want to augment the CBS Sports Network partnership with new distribution opportunities, particularly regionally and locally for our member schools.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Post-Frozen Faceoff A few things

What a weekend… While this past weekend, was a good time. The Frozen Faceoff will never come close to comparing to the 13 previous WCHA Final Fives that I attended. That being said, this was a really good experience. This year was actually the first time in 15 years that I took my wife with me. In the past, this has been a guy’s only weekend. Hopefully Sioux7 goes next year.

The downtown Minneapolis area has “more” options and amenities for you, than the area surrounding the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There’s also a Starbucks or Caribou Coffee on every corner. This is a definite plus for someone that’s a caffeine addict.

The Marriott Hotel City Center was second to none. You can take the Sky Walk all the way from your hotel to the Target Center. Even bigger plus, the Marriott actually has a  Starbucks inside the hotel complex and one next to the entrance to the parking garage of the Marriott. So you're covered at the hotel complex. I am staying there next year, for sure. They had DirecTV in the hotel rooms and all of the right channels to include the NHL Network and the Golf Channel. Major plus for a sports geek like me.
Campus Pizza was excellent again, and a very short drive from downtown Minneapolis. I was the only one wearing a UND hoodie and a Bemidji State Beavers t-shirt in Campus Pizza. Upon entering the building, I felt like I was going to burst into flames. If you’ve never ate at Campus Pizza, you’re missing out. I suggest giving their pizza a try. Only negative, the restaurant is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota and is full of Minnesota Golden Gophers garbage.

I thought the NCHC did a good job running their conference tournament. There were a few minor things that will probably be changed, but overall I was impressed. The NCHC coaches seemed very happy with the way the tourney was run.

Surprisingly, there were decent sized crowds, both days of the two-day event. Even with UMD and SCSU sitting home and not attending the tournament, the league still was able to attract 17,252 fans.

One ticket for both games is an awesome idea. Fans can leave the arena and come back.  

Press Box had candy and tons of free popcorn. Kudos to them for that.

Let’s face facts, The Target Center is an old run down building and is going to get a serious overhauled soon.  It’s not the Xcel Energy Center, but it's still a decent arena to house the event. According to the Target Center time line, the construction starts this spring or summer.

No Diet Coke at the Target Center. Saturday, I had to smuggle in my Diet Coke. The Target Center has an exclusivity contract with Pepsi. I hate Pepsi products, so that was a major bummer for me. I also didn’t find an acceptable coffee vender in the Target Center.

The Target Center was freezing. I almost had to wear my winter coat to stay warm in the press box and literally had to leave the building to warm up. I kid you not. I talked to many fans that thought the building was cold. Just for the record, the Ralph has been cold this season, and Target Center was definitely colder than the Ralph. I didn't think that was possible.
On Friday, the ice was a little soft, and the ice had only had been in for two days before the tournament started. So, the ice really didn't have much time to set. Word was that ice was really soft for the Thursday practice. The ice seemed to improve as the weekend progressed. Just for the record, the Target Center actually has new ice making equipment. That will be something to look for as the years progress.  I still think the ice was better this weekend than during the Final Fives that were held at the Target Center.

The Boards and glass were pretty lively and had some weird bounces one of them cost DU a goal.
All in all, it was a good weekend… Something to build on. The NCHC did a good job running this tourney.

Funny story… After Saturday’s UND game and before the post-game press conference, I made the comment about there’s going to be overtime tonight, I can feel it. Herald writer Brad Schlossman and the other media guys/gals in the media room looked at me as if I had committed a major crime.  Wouldn’t you know it, Wisconsin needed overtime to beat Ohio State.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

NCHC Awards.

Tonight, the NCHC handed out their individual awards for the leagues most outstanding players and a coach of the year. There were a couple of surprising choices and I would have chosen some others different, but hey they can't make everyone happy.

First lets start with the NCHC Player of the Year, Josh Archibald. Archibald would lead the NCHC in goals with 23 and win the league scoring title with 32 points in 24 league games. The Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick also would record two hat tricks this season, one coming against North Dakota at the Ralph in UNO's 6-3 Saturday night victory over North Dakota. Along with Player of the Year, Archibald would also be named Forward of the Year for these same reasons. It's a shame UNO will not make the NCAA tournament because Archibald would be a lot of fun to watch leading his team towards the Frozen Four in Philly come April.

Also taking home two individual awards in this inaugural NCHC season would be Nic Dowd of St. Cloud State. The senior, and LA Kings prospect, would land him the Scholar Athlete of the Year and the league's top defensive forward honors. Dowd would finish sixth in league scoring with 25 points in 24 league games played. The SCSU forward would also finish at a +12 this season and block 19 shots during conference play.

Another player with double the fun for awards this year would be Denver defenseman Joey LaLeggia. He would earn himself Offensive Defenseman of the year and Defenseman of the year. He finished tied for the conference lead in goals scored by a defenseman with six and started off his season with a three game goal scoring streak. LaLeggia would finish the season with 13 points in conference play and would block 23 shots in 19 league games played out of 24 possible.

The Goalie of the Year honors went to Denver's Sam Brittain. He would lead the NCHC with an outstanding .931 save percentage and would claim two of his four shutouts in NCHC play, which would also lead all league goalies. Brittain was named goalie of the week a record six times this season and his 686 saves in league play would be an amazing 81 more saves then any other NCHC goalie would make.

This year's Rookie of the Year, and much deserving Rookie of the Year, was awarded to Colorado College defenseman Jacob Slavin. The Freshman would tie the league best in defenseman scoring with 19 points, and would rank third in all freshman scoring. He would also lead all defenseman with 14 assists, and that would also be good for second among all league freshman. A 2014 World Junior representative, Slavin would show that he is going to be a top blue liner in this conference in his next few years at CC.

Finally, the last major award was the Herb Brooks Coach of the Year. SCSU's Bob Motzko would win the award, leading St. Cloud to the very first Penrose Cup this year. The Huskies would earn 15 conference wins,six non conference wins, and were scoring just under four goals a game this season. Although the Huskies would have a slumpish run towards the end of the regular season, and get swept by Miami in the first round of playoffs, this SCSU team could very well see play in the Frozen Four once again this season, especially with the week off to rest, get healthy, and have some good practice time before the NCAA tournament begins next weekend.

Now for who missed out. The only big one in my mind that missed out is North Dakota defenseman Dillon Simpson. Simpson was a lot of peoples choice for defenseman of the year, especially since he rarely made a defensive error that would cost North Dakota. In last weekend's series, Simpson and his d partner Jordan Schmaltz would combine for 21 blocked shots in the three games. If there was anyone left out it is for sure the North Dakota senior captain.

Monday, March 17, 2014

College Hockey: Monday Pontifications (Links)

Well the NCHC is probably excited that at least one of their top seeds made the Frozen Face-off. UND is the highest seed to make it to the Target Center. We have the 1, 5, 6, 8 seeds advancing to the NCHC's Frozen Face-off.  C.C. UMD, UNO and SCSU will be staying home this season. No schools from Minnesota will be in the Frozen Face-off this season. I am not sure this is what the founding member schools of the NCHC envisioned when they formed the league.

According to Brad Schlossman, he thinks that UND might still need to win the Frozen Face-off to make the NCAA tourney. I guess we're  soon going to find out. UND just needs to keep winning or their season is going to be over anyways. The time for talking is over, it time for UND to make hay.  

 Jeff Cox from College Hockey SBN has UND going to Cincinnati. I think that many UND fans would take that bracket.

The Brackets are set for the Inaugural B1G tourney and the Big Ten (-4) Hockey Tourney starts on Thursday. Penn State will try to beat Michigan for a third time this season. But I don’t think that happens a third time, the Wolverines are going to be ready this time.

North Dakota Exhales after Pulling out game three against Colorado College...

Colorado College Defeats UND in O.T.

UND scores four unanswered goals, Takes game one...    

C.C.'s Season Ending Loss Much Like Others this Season...

O'Donnell Brings the Luck for UND

In a do or die game 3 tonight for both North Dakota and Colorado College, the two teams were looking to advance to the inaugural NCHC Frozen Face-Off next weekend in Minneapolis.

As the puck dropped in the opening period, UND quickly would take control of the game pressuring the offensive zone early. Just over three and a half minutes into the contest UND would capitalize on an odd man rush to take an early 1-0 lead over the Tigers. What was strange about this you may ask? It was a 2 on 1 with Juniors Stephane Pattyn and Nick Mattson. Pattyn would take a low hard shot right off of the goalie's leg pads which kicked out a rebound right to Mattson. All he had to do then was shoot into the wide open net. UND wasn't finished there, but just three minutes after going up 1-0, CC would tie the game at 1.

On a night where UND's blue liners would contribute a lot, Freshman defender Troy Stecher would fire a laser past the CC goaltender to put UND up 2-1 just past the half way point in the first. The goal was Stecher's second of the season and would shift momentum back UND's way. A little over two minutes later, Pattyn was at it again except this time it would be him that would find the twine just a little over two minutes after the Stecher goal to make it 3-1. This is how the teams would go into the locker rooms at the end of the first and it looked as if UND was going to coast to the victory.

As the second period started, Colorado College came out flying. The Tigers controlled most of the play early on, and for most of the period for that matter. They were all over the puck and not letting North Dakota get too many extensive offensive zone chances. UND would clank a Brendan O'Donnell shot off the post, but that would be about it for them. Michael Morin would find the twine at 17:17 of the second to put them within one goal going into the third.

Things would shift back towards the way of North Dakota in the third, seeing offensive chances from people you necessarily wouldn't expect to see them from. Brendan O'Donnell would get revenge after hitting the post when he would score just two and a half minutes into the third to put UND up 4-2, and proved to be the eventual game winner. Things would get a little more physical and UND would finally get some power play time, but was virtually powerless on them. CC forward Alex Roos would bring the game to 4-3 with just a minute and a half left to cause a little drama in the Ralph, but UND would hold on to win and be the top seed going into Minneapolis next weekend.

The most impressive forward on the ice tonight had to be Junior Stephane Pattyn. His presence was definitely known whenever he would get a shift. Pattyn set the tone early tonight when he assisted on the games opening goal and then would get one of his own as well. Another surprise was that he was sprung on 2 breakaways in the third period. I can't ever remember him getting one in a game let alone two in a period. If anyone can prove me wrong, please do.

Brendan O'Donnell would score the game winner tonight and would move to 11-0-1 all time when he scores a goal. Maybe he is turning into what Mario Lamoureux used to be for UND whenever he scored. UND rarely lost when Lamoureux scored and still haven't when O'Donnell has. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect would have a game to remember leading into the NCHC Frozen Face-Off.

Goalie Zane Gothberg was impressive yet again, being the backbone to this UND victory. In his last 19 starts, including this one, Gothberg has allowed three goals in just three of those starts. Every other game in those 19 starts he has allowed two or fewer with two shutouts in that time. Up for goalie of the year in the NCHC, Gothberg looks to keep pushing this team forward as they head into the NCHC Frozen Face-Off and if they get their NCAA tourney bid.

Tonight would also mark the 13th time this season that UND would score four or more goals in a game. They are now 13-0-0 in their games in which they score four or more this season. They would also improve to 17-1-0 on the season when leading after two periods of play. This home playoff series is the 17th in a row which they have won. Their last home playoff series loss dates back to the 1995-1996 season when they lost to Wisconsin.

Looking ahead to next weekend, UND looks to win the very first Frozen Face-Off championship and lock themselves into the NCAA tournament. No official game times have been released as of yet, but UND is expected to get the night game Friday night, playing Miami, who in their last meeting UND would find the net 9 times against, with puck drop somewhere around 7:30 at the Target Center.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

NCAA Tourney Bid on the Line for UND

After their loss in overtime last night, UND would fall to 15th in the pairwise putting their NCAA tournament bid in jeopardy. However, depending on how some of the other conference tournaments end up next weekend, they quite possibly could be out already for the first time in 12 seasons.

Much like Friday night, UND would find themselves in a hole and having to make their way out of it once again. With an early second period goal for Colorado College, they looked to put North Dakota away and extend this to a third game Sunday night. However, about two and a half minutes after CC would go up 2-0, UND sophomore Drake Caggiula would find the twine and put North Dakota on the board.

As the clock would become the enemy of North Dakota in the third, coach Dave Hakstol would look for a late spark in his team, and who better to look to then your top line, the "Funky Bunch" line as I like to call them, of Drake Caggiula, Mark MacMillian, and Michael Parks. The line would combine for five points in the series opener, and with Caggiula already on the board in this one, why not?

With just under four minutes remaining in the third, MacMillian and Caggiula would factor in on Jordan Schmaltz's game tying goal and the Ralph would erupt. With the late goal, the fans, and the guys sitting on the bench would hope that momentum would shift in their favor heading into the overtime period.

Exactly seven minutes into the first overtime, the game would be over when CC freshman Alex Roos would find a hole and fire the puck past Zane Gothberg. This game would be just the second time in Gothberg's last 18 starts that he would allow three or more goals.

Tonight is a must win for UND if they look to make the tournament for a 12th straight season, and want to fight for the inaugural NCHC Frozen Face-Off championship.
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Colorado College beats North Dakota in O.T.

Grand Forks, ND – A look at the calendar told us that March 15, 2014, wasn’t Ground Hog Day. Funny, it sure felt like it.  After giving the Colorado College Tigers a two-goal lead the night before, UND coughed up another two-goal lead again, a night later. Through two periods of play, UND looked like the team that had lost 23 games, not the Tigers.

The Tigers would get goals from Peter Stoykewich and Scott Wamsganz to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. UND would answer with a goal from Drake Caggiula. UND would go into the third period down 2-1.

In the third period, UND would finally get the game-tying goal from Jordan Schmaltz with just under four minutes left in regulation. Tigers forward Alex Roos ended UND’s hope of a series sweep with the game-winning goal at 7:00 mark of overtime, sending UND fans to the exits with an empty feeling.

They say it’s very hard to end another team’s season, even a team that’s lost 23-of-35 games.  Tonight, the Tigers proved that theory. For a second night in a row, the Tigers came out the gates hungrier than UND.

“We were a team that played like a team that wanted to continue the season, as long as they could,” Colorado College head coach Scott Owens said.  “I give them credit, when they get a couple of their lines up and going and get into a rhythm, they’re very hard to contain. I am very proud of our guys. On any given Sunday anything can happen. It happened for us last year. We’re aiming to stay out and head to Minneapolis.”

UND knew the Tigers would be gunning for them. After Friday night’s game sophomore forward Bryn Chyzyk alluded to this, “I know they’re going to be really hungry tomorrow because it’s tough to end a team’s season.”

For a second night in a row, UND started slow and then took the momentum, but couldn’t break through against senior goalie Josh Thorimbert who stopped 44-of-46 shots and improved to 7-22-6 with the win. UND goalie Zane Gothberg stopped 26-of-29 stops and dropped to 16-8-3 with the loss.

"I thought we built our game through the 60 minutes, head coach Dave Hakstol said. “We probably wanted a little bit better start. We didn’t give up a whole lot, but we didn’t generate a whole lot in the first 10 minutes of the hockey game.”

UND has been to the NCAA tourney 11 seasons in a row and with the loss to the Tigers sit at 15th in the Pairwise Rankings. If UND doesn’t win this series, they would be hard pressed to make the NCAA tournament for a 12th consecutive season in a row.

“Its do-or-die,” UND defenseman Jordan Schmaltz said. “If we win, we put ourselves in a good chance to get in the national tournament. If we don’t, we could see our season ending early.”
UND forward Stephane Pattyn also echoed those sentiments, “I think that should be our mentality. That’s the way they played tonight. I think we’re going to have to match that and maybe play harder.”

Tonight, there’s a lot at stake as UND (21-12-3) takes on Tigers (7-23-6) in a crucial game three match-up at 7:08 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Interesting Stats

UND has lost the last three Saturday games and is 3-3-0 in their last six games.

Coming into tonight’s game, UND had a (1-8-1, .150) record when the opposition lead after two periods of play. The record took another hit, and dropped to (1-9-1, .136) with the 3-2 loss to the Tigers.

For just the second time in three months, UND goalie Zane Gothberg allowed more than two goals. Both times was against the C.C. Tigers

Friday, March 14, 2014

NCHC Playoffs: Friday Morning Links

Good morning… The NCHC Playoffs Started last night between Omaha and Denver. The Mavericks went 3-for-4 on the power-play and beat the University of Denver 4-3. The Mavericks wore down Denver with their speed. I am not much of a prediction person, never have been, but I predict that this series will be over tonight. Denver found out that it was costly to take penalties against Omaha.
I did watch the NCHC's free video from the game last night's game between Nebraska-Omaha and Denver and the quality was excellent. You can click on this link to view the game you want to see.
Tonight, UND begins their playoff series against the Colorado College Tigers. Last season, the Tigers ended UND’s string of Final Five championships at three by winning in overtime of the quarterfinals.
You can vote for Drake Caggiula’s goals on the NCHC web page. Click on this link to vote.
Apparently, there was some travel issues for the NCHC to deal with after the match-ups were set last Saturday.  
Tonight’s game between Miami and Saint Cloud State is on FSN+ (652-1 DirecTV). It doesn’t violate the NCHC's exclusivity agreement  with CBSSN because the game is on a regional network. Fox College Sports was on a national network.

As of last night, there were a good number of tickets left for this weekend's series.