Saint Cloud takes a bite out of UND

Rocco Grimaldi  Eric Classen / UND athletics

Rocco Grimaldi
Eric Classen / UND athletics

Grand Forks, ND – Fresh off getting only a single point in their weekend series against the Minnesota Gophers last weekend, you would’ve thought that the University of North Dakota Hockey team would come out of the gates with a lot of fire and playing with a purpose.

Tonight, that was not the case. In fact, nothing went right the University of North Dakota hockey team.

Tonight’s opponents, the Saint Cloud State Huskies were the ones that looked like they were the fifth ranked team in the nation, as they came out of the gates with a purpose, and raced to a 2-0 lead with goals from forwards Johnny Brodzinski and Ben Hanowski.  Not only was UND outplayed, but UND was also outshoot 7-3 in the first period as well.

Coming into tonight’s game, UND had a record of 5-3-3 when the opposition scores the first goal. Make that 5-4-3 with the 3-1 loss to the Saint Cloud State Huskies tonight.

The Second period didn’t start out well for North Dakota either, as they continued to stand around and watch the Huskies make plays. It’s not a stretch to say that UND was beaten to the puck for two and half periods of hockey. The Huskies would outshoot UND 11-5 during the second period.

The game just didn’t get much better in the third period as they would watch the Huskies extend the lead to 3-0 with another goal from the talented freshman Johnny Brodzinski’s.

After the game, Saint Cloud State Husky head coach Bob Moztko was impressed with the play of his freshman forward Brodzinski.

“I am not sure how many shots that he had tonight,” Motzko said. “I didn’t see, but he had eight or nine shots on goal. When he [Brodzinski] shoots the puck people are going to start see that it’s a big league shot, and it’s just deadly – he’s a big strong kid – he gets open, he reminds me of a kid [Matt Frattin] they had here a couple of years ago – a kid that shot every time he had the puck.”

North Dakota would break Husky goalie Ryan Faragher’s shutout bid at the 13:49 mark of the third period with a power play goal from freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi. That was all of the closer UND would get as the Huskies would hang on for the win with UND pressing in the waning minutes of the third, but they were unable to get anything past Faragher.

While Rocco Grimaldi was the only UND hockey player to get a puck past the rangy Husky goalie Faragher. Mr. Grimaldi didn’t spend much time relishing his ninth goal of the season.

“It just wasn’t our game,” Grimaldi said. “I can’t even put a finger on it what we did wrong. Just no one starting with myself, no one was inspired to play the game. That can’t happen; we just have to forget now that it’s over and done with and move on tomorrow we need those two points tomorrow.”

The game was rather clean as both team combined for a grand total of five minor penalties for 10 minutes in penalties.  UND was 1/1 on the power play and the Huskies were unable to cash in on their two power play opportunities.

After the game, Saint Cloud State Husky coach Bob Motzko seemed rather pleased with his team’s effort.

“Our guys blocked a lot of shots tonight,” Motzko said. “ You’ve got to give yourself a chance here to play good defense,” “Ryan [Faragher] made a few key saves when he had to.”

Tonight, Corban Knight’s 19 game point streak came to an end. This was only the third game in the last 24 that Knight didn’t at least have a point. Breaking it down further, this was also the first time all season long that Knight and Kristo didn’t have a single point.

There really is no way to sugar coat tonight’s game. It was not a good effort at all for the North Dakota Hockey team, and the head coach Dave Hakstol was not pleased with his team’s effort. “We didn’t play very well tonight,” Hakstol said. “ We got our tails kicked in our own building.”

North Dakota is known for it’s second half surges, currently has a 3-3-1 record in it’s last seven games.

Cross Posted at the Hockey Writers – Combine.

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