Grand Forks, ND – The University of North Dakota fresh of their split in Alaska at the Brice Goal Rush Tourney, Fairbanks, Alaska returned to home ice to play the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, a team that they played and beat last Friday night 5-0.
What was amazing with last Friday’s win was UND would beat UAA using only 15 players due to team suspensions and an injury.
Tonight, UND would field a full lineup of players and this time UND would beat UAA 4-1 in front of 11,446 fans at Ralph Englestad Arena.
UND was strong in all three zones of the ice, and played a pretty solid game for 60 minutes. After the game, UND head coach Dave Hakstol agreed.
“For this time of year I thought we played with good pace,” Hakstol said. “Do we want to improve in every area? Yeah! I thought we came out and played a pretty solid game for 60 minutes.”
UND freshman goaltender Zane Gothberg got his first start of his collegiate career and became the first Thief River Falls, Minnesota native to start in goal for UND since the late UND goalie Ralph Engelstad during the 1948-49 season.
UND outshot the Seawolves 14-2 during the first period as Seawolves sophomore goalie Chris Kamal was sharp made many difficult shots to keep his team in the game.
The second period was a wild one, as UND broke the scoreless tie at the 01:10 mark of the second period when senior forward Corbin Knight scored from behind the net. Knight banked the shot off an un-expecting Seawolves defenseman Blake Leask’s skate and the puck ended up in the Seawolves net.
The shot might not have been pretty, but it counted none- the-less.
UND would strike again quickly, three minutes and 26 seconds later at the 04:46 mark, freshman forward Drake Caggiula, would score the first goal of his career, off a nice feed from Rocco Grimaldi.
Senior forward Carter Rowney would add to the lead as he scored at the 06:58 mark off a shot from the point by defenseman Dillon Simpson, 3-0 UND.
The UAA Seawolves would temporarily stop the bleeding as they cut the lead to 3-1, with a goal by senior forward Alex Gellert at the 15:39 mark.
Junior defenseman Derek Forbort would extend the lead to 4-1 when he scored on shot from the point. That would be all of the scoring in the second period as UND outshot the Seawolves 13-12.
After serving a two game suspension – Danny Kristo responded nicely with a three assists and had a strong game in all three zones of the ice tonight. It looked like Kristo had something to prove tonight and he agreed.
“It was definitely frustrating going up to Alaska and having to sit out of both games,” Kristo said. “But it was just something; some guys had to just sit out one game. Unfortunately I had to sit out of two [games]. But, I thought I felt like I some motivation – some stuff to prove tonight. But it’s over with and I think the team is moving on – we’re just trying to move forward…”
That was all the scoring there would be in the game as Seawolves goalie Kris Kamal was solid in net and keep UND off of the board the rest of the way. UND goalie Zane Gothberg was also solid in net as he turned away 17 of 18 Seawolves shots.
Freshman forward Drake Caggiula was all smiles after the game and had this to say about scoring the first goal of his college career.
“Great feeling,” Caggiula said. “Unexplainable basically – to get that goal on home ice – no better feeling on that.”
UND and UAA will face off in game tomorrow night at 7:07 pm.