Despite the rough outing, UND head coach Dave Hakstol didn’t second guess his decision to start the freshman goalie.
“He’s a big part of our hockey team.” Hakstol said. “We talk about having depth at all positions I think that’s very, very important at this time of year, but as we move into the second half of the year that goaltending position is critical as well to have good depth.”
Johnson’s will want to forget his first collegiate start. The rookie goalie gave up three goals on 12 shots, and was chased from the game at the 00:54 mark of the second period. Junior goalie Zane McIntyre replaced Johnson and shortly after the momentum began to swing in UND’s favor.
Coach Hakstol broke down his goalies misfortune, “The first one was a bounce of the puck. The third one was a bounce of the puck to the back door. It was time to make a change for our team at that time.”
Coming into tonight’s game, spotting the Lakers a 4-1 lead was not in UND’s game plan.
“That was a pretty interesting game,” senior forward Michael Parks said. “Obviously, spotting them three, and four goals that early was not in the game plan. We just had way too many lapses in our game. We need to start playing the way we did in the second period from the drop of the puck.”
Even though UND was down by three goals, they never looked like they were out of the game. UND would put 23 shots on goal and make a frantic push.
The Lakers played a great road game for 28:22. Then the roof came down on the Lakers.
UND would score five goals in the second period, including four goals in a span of 6:46. Freshman defenseman/forward Tucker Poolman would lead the way with two power play goals. At the 19:21 mark of the second period, senior forward Connor Gaarder would score the game-winning goal sending the building into frenzy.
UND would score two more goals in the third period by Michael Parks and Brendan O’Donnell to ice the game.
According to the head coach, the UND bench wasn’t happy with the way the game started. They bared down and got win.
“Guys were pissed off on the bench,” Hakstol said. “That’s what I felt. That’s what I sensed.”
UND outshot the Laker 43-25. UND put 23 shots on net during the second period.
The same two teams play in the series finale Saturday at 7:07 p.m. CT.
UND had two players hurt in the first period, junior forwards Colton St. Claire and Drake Caggiula left the game and didn’t return. At this time, their status is unknown.
Michael Parks (1g-2a—3pts), Jordan Schmaltz (0g-3a—3pts), Nick Schmaltz 0g-2a—3pts), Mark MacMillan (1g-1a—2pts) and Brendan O’Donnell and Tucker Poolman (2g-0a—2pts) had multiple point games for UND.
UND freshman defenseman/forward Tucker Poolman has scored five goals, four of them have been on the power play.
This is the first time in 41 years that UND has played LSSU in hockey. UND’s last series against the Lakers was on December 14-15, 1973.