Tonight, history did not repeat itself as the Holy Cross Crusaders found the host team to be less than hospitable. UND handily beat the Crusader 5-2, in the opening game, of an important two game, nonconference series.
Coming into the weekend – fresh off being named National College Hockey Player of the Month – Corban Knight was sizzling, in fact he’s smoking hot right now. That hot streak would continue tonight.
How hot is Corban Knight?
The senior forward entered tonight’s game, against the Holy Cross Crusaders, riding a 13 game scoring streak. When the night was over, Knight would leave the building riding a torrid fourteen game scoring streak. Breaking it down further, Knight has scored 10 points in the last three games (5g-5a—10pts) and has scored four points in two of the last three games that he has played in. Knight also has seven multi point games so far this season.
The Green and White much like the sizzling Knight, came out of the gates like a team possessed. UND would rush to a 3-0 in the first period, led by Knight’s two markers. UND would out-shoot the Crusaders 18-4 in the first period.
I don’t’ think we can downplay Knight’s accomplishments; 14 game scoring streaks don’t happen very often in college hockey – per the UND Sports Information Director Jayson Hajdu; Corban Knight’s 14-game point streak is the longest in a decade for a UND hockey player.
After the game, Knight attempted to downplay his accomplishments and his current offensive streak.
“I have been on the good end of a lot of nice plays – by my line mates and other teammates,” Knight said. “It’s not just me, I think our whole team is playing well and I have been getting on the good end of some good plays.”
The senior forward Knight also thought that the focus on his hot streak might have been blown a bit out proportion, and it was more of his teammates also playing well. UND head coach Dave Hakstol had this to say about his senior forward’s modesty.
“Corban’s a humble person,” Hakstol said. “That’s one of the great qualities, that’s what makes him a great leader, such a presence in our looker room.”
Knight on the fast start to the game for UND… “Yeah, I think that’s what our plan was,” Knight said. “Coming out after break, I think it’s important to try and get as much rust off as we could. I think with the start we had – I think we’re all pretty happy with it – we came out and we were changing quick and getting everyone involved. “
UND head coach Dave Hakstol was also impressed with his team’s start to the game.
“It was the right start for us to get a couple of power play goals,” Hakstol said. “It was probably the ideal start for us. I thought a workman like 60 minutes.”
UND would continue the trashing in the second period, as they put two more goals behind the Holy Cross goaltender Matt Ginn to make the score 5-0. UND outshot Holy Cross 10-6 in the second period.
The Crusaders would get two goals from Mike MaNamara and Castan Sommer in the third period to make the final score 5-2, but the game wasn’t as close at the score would indicate. UND absolutely dominated the Crusaders through two and a half periods of hockey and might have let up a bit at the end of the game.
Tonight marked the return of sophomore forward Michael Parks. Parks had missed all but one period of hockey this season, due to a lower body injury. Parks seemed relieved to play his first complete game, 19 games into the season.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to me to finally be back,” Parks said. “The first 15 to 20 minutes felt kind of slow and rusty. As I thought I would. I think I got back into by the second period.”
Parks played on a line with Danny Kristo and Knight and he enjoyed playing on that line.
“It’s a privilege to play with those two guys,” Parks said. “I mean they’re pretty special players. With my first game back it made my job a lot easier, playing with guys like that. So definitely, I like playing with those guys.”
Tonight, was also the debut of junior forward Mitch MacMillan, who had to sit out for a year after transferring from Saint Cloud State. MacMillan played on a line with his brother Mark and Brendan O’Donnell. While Mitch didn’t figure in on the score sheet, his speed and offensive prowess was noticeable.