This season, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference begins its inaugural season of play. We were told back in May, that the NCHC would be pioneering an innovative standard for their on-ice officials. So, fans wanted to know what that actually meant. Tonight, University of North Dakota and the University of Vermont Catamounts were whistled for 21 minor penalties.
That’s not a misprint. Seriously!
“I thought we created some of our problems with some penalties early,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I thought it lead to us wasting the first 10 minutes of each of the first and second periods. We found a way to battle back and win a game, so that’s a real positive.”
At first, it looked like it was going to be a rough night for the home town team. Vermont had just taken a 3-1 lead on a goal by UVM freshman defenseman Rob Hamilton. UND head coach Dave Hakstol had seen enough and made the change in net. Hakstol replaced senior goalie Clarke Saunders with sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg. The rest is history. UND would rally by scoring four unanswered goals and would skate to a 5-3 win. After the game, head coach Dave Hakstol talked about his goaltending change.
“I thought he (Zane Gothberg) did a good job,” Hakstol said. “I thought he did his job in that situation. You have to have the door slammed at that point in time. If one more (goal) goes in, it’s pretty hard to dig your way out. Some nights you make a goaltending change, it’s a goaltending issue. Tonight, I felt like tonight was a team issue. I felt that third goal against was a little bit of evidence of that and we needed to get going a bit.”
And going they did, the Green and White were led by junior forward Mark MacMillan (1g-1a—2pts) and sophomore forwards Rocco Grimaldi (1g-3a—4pts) and Drake Caggiula (1g-1a—2pts). Rocco Grimaldi downplayed his quite four point night.
“Yeah I think it was too,” Grimaldi said. “Obviously, a couple of five on three points, those aren’t extremely noticeable. When you have a five on three you’re supposed to score, you have a big advantage. So, I just did what I could, to get this team a win. I tried to do everything I could for my line mates, kind of helped them out and pushed the pace. Obviously, we had a rough start a little bit and we came back kicking at the end. So, it’s a good two points for our team.”
With all of the penalties, the game lacked flow. UND would kill 10/11 Catamount power plays and would go 2/7 on the man advantage. That being said, the game lacked flow with all of the penalties and Mark MacMillan agreed with this assessment after the game.
“Obviously, there were a lot of penalties each way,” MacMillan said. “So, when there’s a lot of a special teams, it’s hard to get some flow to the game. Parts of the game we stared to get some flow into the game. Started to get some five on five shifts going – couple of big shifts from some guys – started getting that flow going.”
It was evident that once UND slowed their march to the penalty box, they were able to take the game over and over power the Catamounts.
UND will go for the sweep tomorrow night as the same two teams face off at 7:07 p.m. at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.