The University of North Dakota started off the 2014-15 season with a 5-1 non-conference loss to the Bemidji State Beavers.
Since that season-opening non-conference loss to the Beavers UND has gone 9-0-1 in non-conference games.
With the 5-0 win on Saturday night, UND swept Niagara University in a two-game non-conference series.
Niagara was outclassed in both games and was never in either game. UND outscored the Purple Eagles 12-1 on the weekend.
The Purple Eagles were only able to sneak one goal past Zane McIntyre in 120 minutes of hockey. The junior goalie was rock solid on the weekend and stopped 42-of-43 shots (.976).
The results shouldn’t shock anyone; Niagara came into this weekend series as the worst team in college hockey.
Seniors lead the way
This past weekend UND was led by its senior class. Mark MacMillan (3g-1a—4pts) and Michael Parks (2g-1a—3pts) led the way for UND. Brendan O’Donnell also chipped in (1g-2a—3pts).
“We started out non-conference season and our season overall with a real tough loss here at home against Bemidji State,” Hakstol said. “Our senior class is a good solid group of character guys in the room.
To come back from that, to dig ourselves all the way out of that early hole, and to go the rest of the non-conference season without a losing a game is all you need to know about that group.”
Mike Parks broke a seven-game goal-scoring drought with his seven goal of the season. Parks would also score eight game of the season, later in the game.
This past weekend, four UND players had two-goal games (Mike Parks, Mark MacMillan, Bryn Chzyk and Austin Poganski), one player (Stephane Pattyn) had a goal each night.
UND finishes their non-conference schedule 9-1-1, their only loss came on opening night against the Bemidji State Beavers.
UND head coach Dave Hakstol seemed pleased with his team’s effort.
“Really good solid weekend,” Hakstol said. I thought we just stayed with the things that gave us success. Tonight, I thought we stayed with it for pretty much the whole 60 minutes.”
Senior forward Mark MacMillan reflected on his team’s last non-conference win of the season.
“I think it says a lot about the character of this team how hard we battled in all the non-conference games to get the job done,” MacMillan said.
With the win, UND improves to (15-5-2 and 7-4-1 NCHC) and is now ranked fourth in the Pairwise Rankings.
Stats of Note
With the win, UND goalie Zane McIntyre improves to (16-5-2, 1.87 GAA, .933 SV%).
McIntyre leads the NCHC in wins and is second in GAA and Save Percentage.
In their last eight games, UND is 6-2-0.
He said what?
At one point, the Gophers had six players in the sin bin, and things somehow unraveled farther from there. Head coach Don Lucia said that he couldn’t remember the last time he had six players in the box, but joked that it was “probably the last time we played North Dakota.”