Over the past week, there’s been a lot discussion about the University of North Dakota strength of schedule. Through 10 games, UND hadn’t played a ranked team or a team with a winning record. Tonight, that would change.
Entering Friday’s game against the Miami University RedHawks, UND’s strength of schedule was ranked 59th out of 60 teams.
Another area of concern was UND’s power play. UND entered Friday’s game against the RedHawks having scored only one power-play goal in the last 17 man advantages. Something had to give and it did. UND would take just six seconds to score on their first power play attempt.
A week after UND was outplayed badly on their home ice. UND got off to a fast start. UND would score three goals in the first period and tack on two more during the second period. The outcome of the game was never in question. UND was ready to go at the drop of the first puck and raced past the RedHawks 6-2.
“I thought our start was our key tonight,” Nick Schmaltz said. “We came out from the start and got all over their D and made plays. So it was a fun night.”
“Our guys were ready to go tonight,” head coach Brad Berry said. “They knew what was in front of them. The intensity of the NCHC and how tough the league is. They prepared themselves the right way, all week. It was nice to see them get rewarded early in the game and to get off on the right foot.”
Entering Friday’s game, Schmaltz had gone goalless in the first 10 games of the season. Schmaltz would break his 10-game goalless streak with a goal that was worthy of an ESPY.
You can watch the video above. The Puck was touched by no less than six players in four seconds. One could only describe it as tic-tac-toe highlight goal.
The magical play started with Troy Stecher passing the puck to Schmaltz, who passed the puck to Brock Boeser. Moving up ice, Drake Caggiula took the puck and passed it to Tory Stecher who passed the puck back to Boeser. Finally, Boeser passed the puck back to Schmaltz who buried the puck in the twine.
“In the moment, you didn’t think it was cool as everyone else was saying,” Boeser said. “But the bench was like wow, just wow… It was a pretty good play.”
“I can’t remember how many passes were made, but it was a nice play by everyone,” Schmaltz said. “Obviously, it was nice to get that first one. Great play by everyone, just an unbelievable play.”
UND will go for the sweep tomorrow. Same two teams at 07:07 pm CT.