Grand Forks, ND – In the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, there’s no easy games. Colorado College Tigers came to Grand Forks with a (5-14-1, 1-10-1) record and gave UND all they could handle.

This series was a dogfight from the drop of the first puck to the last whistle.

“Especially in this league, there’s so much parity,” senior defenseman Nick Mattson said. “Since I’ve played in this league, there’s hasn’t been one easy game. It’s pretty crazy. You can’t look at records too much. They’re a good team and they might be a team that you don’t want to play at the end of the year.”

Senior forward Mark MacMillan agreed with Mattson assessment.

“They’re a lot different team than they were at the first half of the year,” MacMillan said. “First-year coach, got them playing the right way now. They’ve loosened up to not worry about making mistakes out there. It just goes to show how close college hockey is, especially our league.”

I know it sounds cliché, but records mean nothing in the NCHC. The league is a meat grinder from top to bottom. Any team can beat anyone on any given night.

Lucky for UND, they were able to use their depth, both nights, to gut a couple of one-goal games.

“I thought it was a real close series where both teams played well and played hard,” head coach Dave Hakstol said.

At the 3:50 mark of the first period, UND would get a power play goal from Luke Johnson. That was UND’s first NCHC power play goal in seven games.

The Tigers would answer with a power play goal from Charlie Taft at the 12:41 mark of the first period.

The game wasn’t tied for long. UND senior captain Stephane Pattyn tapped in a goal to give UND a 2-1 lead.

The Tigers would re-tie the game with a goal from Scott Wamsganz at the 18:24 mark of the first period.

UND would get some breathing room with goals from Mark MacMillan and Bryn Chyzhk. But the Tigers would not go quietly into the night.  The Tigers would score at the 18:07 mark of the third period to make it interesting.

Finally, Drake Caggiula would ice the game with an empty net goal at the 19:33 mark of the third period.

Senior class leads the way

UND’s senior class has been leading the way for UND and they’ve been scoring a lot of goals.  This past weekend, the senior class accounted for four of UND’s seven goals and nine of the last 12 goals over the past three games. Breaking it down further, the senior class has scored 16 of 25 over the last six games.

 

Statistics

UND has now won five games in a row and is 8-2 in their last 10 games. With the win, UND improves to (18-5-2, 9-4-1 NCHC).

With the loss, C.C. falls to (5-16-1, 1-11-1 NCHC).

UND is 3-5 in games where they give up three or more goals.

Senior forward Mark MacMillan has scored seven of his 13 goals against the Tigers.

Three of the top five scorers on the team are seniors.

(Official Box Score)

About The Author

College Hockey Writer, Contributing Editor

Eric Burton is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers college hockey and the University of North Dakota for Inside Hockey. Eric is the editor of the SIN BIN. Lastly, Eric was the college hockey writer for The Hockey Writers.

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