Grand Forks, ND – After a 27 day layoff, the University of North Dakota took the ice for an important two-game series against the Colorado College Tigers. After traveling to Burnaby, British Columbia, to play two exhibition games in the Great Northwest Show Case, UND was chomping at the bit to get back on home ice.
Tonight, the home team didn’t disappoint, as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead after two periods. The Tigers would push back in the third period, but UND would hang on to beat the pesky Tigers 5-3.
“We built a lead, which was something that we have been struggling with this year,” senior captain Dillon Simpson said. “Obviously, they had a good push back, they’re a good team. But it was nice to kind of respond and hung on.”
With the win tonight, UND earned an important three points in the NCHC standings. The win also improves UND’s record to (10-7-2, 6-5-0 NCHC) and extends UND’s current winning streak to six games. This is the longest winning streak for UND since March 2012, when UND won six games in a row.
After the game head coach Dave Hakstol seem pleased with his team’s effort.
“I thought we were ready to play from the onset,” Hakstol said. “Couple of soft areas of the game, I thought we got a little bit sleepy at the end of the first period. Little bit sleepy at the start of the third period. It was a pretty good team win.”
UND got balanced scoring from all four lines, as 11 players would record points on the score sheet. Junior forward Michael Parks had a strong game tonight chipping in (2g-0a—2pts). Dillon Simpson also chipped in (1g-1a—2pts) from the UND blue line.
After suffering a defection of freshman forward Adam Tambellini earlier in the week, another UND player made his return to the UND lineup. Suspended sophomore forward Bryn Chyzyk, who missed a month due to a team imposed suspension, made a big splash in his return to the lineup scoring a (1g-1a—2pts).
After the game, an emotional Bryn Chyzyk had this to say. “It was a really tough month,” Chyzyk said. “I just can’t say enough about the coaching staff, my teammates, and their support meant the absolute world for me and my family. When have something as cool as the Sioux Community taken away from you for a month, you realize how special it really is. I had some time to think about that.”
Coach downplays UND’s six-game winning streak
While UND fans are excited that UND is currently on a six-game winning streak. The head coach downplayed the streak.
It’s one win,” Hakstol said. “You look back to before Christmas and we had a good finish to the first half of the season. This is one win. I think that’s the mentality that our team needs to carry forward. It’s one night at a time. We turn the page this one is done.”
UND will turn the page immediately, and try to extend their winning streak to seven games, tomorrow night when they play game two of the series against the Tigers. Game time is 7:07 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Points of interest
Sophomore defenseman Jordan Schmaltz is smoking hot right now and currently on a five-game point streak (0g-7a—7pts).
Junior forward Conner Gaarder has at least a point in five straight weekend series (2g-4-6pts).
Boston College and North Dakota currently have the longest winning streaks in the nation at 6-0-0.
According to the UND SID, In 11 NCHC games UND defenseman Dillon Simpson is tied for the NCHC lead in assists with 7, and leads all defensemen in scoring with 10 points.
The C.C. Tigers are winless on the road this season (0-9-1).
From the UND SID, with five points tonight, UND’s defensemen are averaging 2.74 points per game, second-best in the nation behind New Hampshire (2.83).