Grand Forks, ND — The last time Miami the University RedHawks played the University of North Dakota hockey team in Grand Forks, ND, it wasn’t pretty. UND sent Miami back to Oxford, Ohio, on the wrong side of an embarrassing series sweep. During that two-game series the RedHawks were outscored 12-4.
It would appear that Miami didn’t forget that series.
There’s one thing for certain, Miami will not leave Grand Forks without points this weekend. With the 3-2 victory, Miami gets their first-ever win against North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. With the loss, Miami end UND’s eight-game unbeaten streak.
Tonight, the RedHawks were the better team. From the drop of the first puck the speedy RedHawks were on top of UND. The RedHawks were tenacious on the fore-check and took away UND’s time and space.
The RedHawks would take a two-goal lead at the 4:19 mark of the opening period with goals from Alex Gacek and Sean Kuraly. The two-goal deficit put UND behind the eight ball early.
UND didn’t go away quietly. After Miami’s second goal, UND would mount a dramatic comeback. Senior forward Michael Parks would score one of his patented wrap-around goals at the 14:36 mark of the first period.
Drake Caggiula would score a shorthanded goal to even the score at 1:22 of the second period. UND looked like it had the momentum.
The game wouldn’t be tied for long, five minutes and 28 seconds later RedHawk forward Sean Kuraly would score the game-winning goal on rebound off of the end boards.
UND would attempt to stage another late, game-ending comeback, but it would fall short.
“They’re a good team, and we spotted them two goals very early,” Caggiula said. “That’s three times now at home that we’ve come out a little slow out of the gates. It’s tough to keep battling back every night like that, especially against a good team like Miami. We’ve got to have a better start tomorrow. Can’t spot a team 2-0 in our own barn, we’ve got to have a better start. I like the way we finished. We have a lot to build off of.”
After the game, UND head coach Dave Hakstol had this to say about his team’s play, “I thought we were okay for 50 minutes. We didn’t start very well. Work hard to dig ourselves out of a two-goal deficit to get it back to even. It was a hard fought game all the way through.”
Mark MacMillan makes his return
UND senior forward Mark MacMillan would return to the lineup after missing four games with a wrist injury. MacMillan played with a protective cast on his wrist. In his return, MacMillan would get an assist on UND’s first goal of the game. After the game, MacMillan was asked how he felt his first game back after suffering the injury.
“(I felt) Pretty good,” MacMillan said. “Obviously with a wrist injury it’s a little easier to stay in shape. I was able to skate throughout the week, so no complaints.
UND scores shorthanded again
One of the story lines to emerge this season has been UND’s penalty kill. UND has scored an NCAA leading seven shorthanded goals in 10 games. Finally, UND is also leading the nation in shorthanded goals per game with (.70). Conference foe Minnesota-Duluth is second with five shorthanded goals.
The same two teams play again tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m. CT.