Saint Cloud Sweeps North Dakota

“People like to label us as a young team, but that’s not an excuse now, we’ve been here two months,” North Dakota defenseman Troy Stecher on being swept at home by the Saint Cloud State Huskies.

Let’s say that it wasn’t a good weekend of hockey for the University of North Dakota, as they were swept at home for the first time in almost four years (January 29-30, 2010, against the University of Denver). There’s no way to sugar coat it, Saturday’s 3-1 loss was downright ugly. UND was outshot 29-17 by the Huskies, and they generated little offense. There were times during the game where UND was flatfooted, standing around, watching the Huskies make plays.

Defensively, the Huskies were air tight, and it was tough for the UND to generate much of anything in the way of offense. The Huskies pushed the pace and they were very good in all three zones on the ice.

“We didn’t generate enough,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “We didn’t make enough plays coming out of our zone, through the neutral zone, to give us that speed to have some opportunities off of the rush.”

When the Huskies defensemen didn’t block another UND shot, get in the passing lanes, or stifle another UND offensive opportunity, their goaltender Ryan Faragher was there to thwart them once again. It has been the story of his career against UND.

UND has had no success against SCSU’s junior goalie Ryan Faragher who has been nothing short of amazing at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, record 4-1-1, .957 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average.

“Tonight, we were getting them on target,” Hakstol said. “I think they blocked some and Faragher made some good saves. When we did get some opportunities… opportunities were pretty hard to come by both directions.”

Junior assistant captain Steph Pattyn didn’t pull any punches when he talked to the media after the game.

“They have a good team,” Pattyn said.  “Very good team in that locker room…energy wise, maybe we were strong, but we weren’t doing the right things. We didn’t get very many pucks on net today. Didn’t get much traffic in front of him today, we have to get in front of his eye and we didn’t do that today.”

Not a lot of positives taken from the weekend

If you were a UND hockey fan, there wasn’t a lot of bright spots and positives to take away from this weekend. There is one bright spot, UND’s penalty kill, UND has killed off 28 of 29 opposition power plays. Also, UND has killed off 28 straight opposition power plays and that leads the nation. On the flip side UND’s power play has not been as good, but they did go 1/2 on the power play tonight and are now 5/27 (.187) for the season. UND has lost three games in a row and travel to Omaha, Nebraska next weekend to play the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks in an important two game series.

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