Grand Forks, ND – This past week at the Wednesday press conference University of North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol said, “records mean nothing this time of year.” While the UMD Bulldogs came into the game with a 2-5-1 record overall and 0-3-1 WCHA – good for last place in the WCHA – the Bulldogs didn’t play like a team that was in 12th place.
They played more like a team that was at the top half of the standings and were the aggressors all game lone.
The Bulldogs came out of the gates hard in the first period and put a tenacious forecheck on the Green and White. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Bulldogs has UND on their heels early and were a miserable team to play against.
That hard work would pay off for the Bulldogs as they would take an early lead with a goal from senior forward Mike Seidel at the 03:49 mark of the first period.
The opportunistic Seidel would take a UND turnover deep in the UND defensive zone and deposited the puck in the UND net past Clark Saunders.
UND would answer the UMD goal at the 13:49 mark of the first period with a goal by senior defenseman Andrew MacWilliam – the burly defenseman teed up a shot from the blue line and launched a missile that blew by the UMD goalie Aaron Crandall.
That was all of the scoring in the first period. UMD outshot UND 15-11.
The second period would turn into a track meet for both teams as UND senior forward Danny Kristo would book end two goals by UMD freshman Austin Farley. UMD would again outshoot UND 14-13 in the second period.
You see a pattern developing here?
Both teams exchanged goals in the third period. At the 12:47 mark of the third period freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi sniped a beautiful goal to give UND a short lived 4-3 lead. That lead lasted one minute and 20 second.
At the 14:08 of the third period, UMD defenseman Drew Olson scored a nice goal from the point that Clarke Saunders didn’t see – tie game once again. UMD would get the better of the chances in the third period but neither team would dent the twine again and the game with end in a hard fought 4-4 tie.
Tonight, UND gave up 46 shots on goal – that is the most shots on goal that UND has given up in seven seasons of hockey. Coach Hakstol didn’t see that all that pleased about that stat either but was quick to credit UMD’s effort.
“Yeah that’s too many to give up in our own building.” Hakstol said. “They worked awful hard for them – they played hard through 60 minutes – so did we. We were a little too sporadic at times and I thought that soaked away some of our momentum at different times. But it was a really hard fought back and forth hockey game.”
Not only was UND outshot by a pretty big margin during the game, UND was also outshot 17-7 in the third period. Coach Hakstol didn’t seem to be all that pleased with giving up 17 shots in the third period.
“We don’t want to give away 17 shots in the third period too often,” Hakstol said.
You have to give credit where credit is due, Bulldogs utilized their aggressive forecheck and speed to beat UND at their own game all night long. As the game wore on, UMD didn’t back off either and the Bulldogs keep attacking and counter attacking. In the end it was a hard fought ugly game and maybe a tie was an appropriate ending. Senior forward Danny Kristo also thought UMD played well.
“Duluth played well,” Kristo said. They came at us hard. They definitely got a lot of puck to the net we got to shape up our defensive zone a little bit; we gave up a lot of shots tonight. It was a hard fought game and we got the rubber match tomorrow.”
The same two teams face off tomorrow night at 7:07pm CT.