Grand Forks, ND – The University of North Dakota entered Saturday’s game riding an eight-game unbeaten streak and looked to push it to nine-games with a win.
Mission accomplished. With the 4-2 win, UND has now won 8-of-9 games and hasn’t given up more than three goals, during that time. UND has been very stingy on defense, giving up an average of 1.77 goals per game.
Goaltending has been good as well. Sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg has started all nine games during UND’s unbeaten streak. Gothberg has been nothing short of amazing, posting an 8-0-1 record, with an impressive 1.76 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
During the streak, UND has received balanced scoring from their forward lines. Tonight, players not normally known for their scoring chipped in goals for UND. On the score sheet, forwards Derek Rodwell (4), Connor Gaarder (3), Andrew Panzarella (1) and Michael Parks (6) all scored for UND.
One of tonight’s highlights was junior forward Andrew Panzarella, who scored the first goal of his UND career.
It feels definitely good,” Panzarella said. “It’s a long time coming. So, I don’t know, it couldn’t have been any easier. I was just driving to the net and Mark (MacMillan) put in on my tape, I don’t think I even moved my stick.”
The Beavers head coach Tom Serratore seemed a bit disappointed with the loss, but took it in stride.
“We just couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Serratore said. “They had a lot of offensive zone play. That was tough because we were down after one. They definitely won the time of possession battle. We just couldn’t get into a rhythm.”
“I think the biggest thing at this time of year is that you want to try to get better every game,” Serratore said. “We got a tie last night and came in here optimistic. You want to come in this building – which is a very, very difficult building to play in, but you want to respond. I thought there were some bright spots, but at the end of the day, we lost.”
UND head coach Dave Hakstol seemed pleased with the win tonight.
“We got a couple that found a hole early,” Hakstol said. “I think that was important. We put a lot of pucks to the net and this time we had something to show for it.”
One of the reoccurring storylines has been the play of forward Derek Rodwell and his linemates. That effort hasn’t gone unnoticed by the UND head coach.
“Derek played extremely well and there was chemistry there,” Hakstol said. “And that’s not just been this weekend. Those guys have been very good together over the last couple of months. Rods is playing very well right now.”
The forward line of Stephane Pattyn, Connor Gaarder and Derek Rodwell has been miserable to play against. It’s also been their calling card. Tonight, their hard work was rewarded with a couple of goals.
“I think it’s kind of starting from baseline things,” Rodwell said. “We’re kind of going out there and doing the same thing every day, going hard to the net, working (hard). They’re starting to go in for us now. We know going to the net the bounces are going to come and they kind of been coming for us lately.”
Now for the good news, UND hasn’t lost in eight-games. With the tie, UND is (11-7-3, 7-5-0 NCHC). On the other end of the ice, the tie leaves Bemidji State Beavers with a record of (7-11-7, 7-7-4 WCHA). The Beavers now have seven ties on the season