UND Comes Out on Top in Denver

UND Men’s Hockey vs. Denver

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UND Comes Out on Top in Denver

Patrick Mulvahill, Sports Writer

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Friday:

UND Men’s hockey traveled to Denver to take on the No. 2 team in the nation this last weekend and came out on top. With a regulation 1-1 tie, following an overtime win on Friday night, and a commanding 4-1 win on Saturday, UND has now improved to 8-1-2 overall. UND was ranked ninth in the country prior to this game, so this Denver matchup was both a top ten matchup and NCHC conference matchup for UND. UND is now 3-0-1 in conference play after sweeping Miami of Ohio last weekend at home and picking up a win and a tie in Denver.

Friday night’s game was very close, each team registered one goal each in regulation. The scoring didn’t get started until the second period with a powerplay goal from UND sophomore Jasper Weatherby as he redirected a slap pass from the point and in from teammate Jordan Kawaguchi. This was Weatherby’s third powerplay goal of the season. The lead did not last long, as Denver’s Olischefski scored just 57 seconds later.

The game was back and forth for each team the remainder of the second and third periods. Goalies on each side performed very well, Adam Scheel had 30 saves and Denver’s goalie had 37 saves.

Each team had their fair share of offensive chances and just could not register. Some crowd stirring chances showed up on Scheel’s doorstep, but he was up to the challenge each time.

The game went into two overtimes and UND was the front runner from the start, sending one puck trickling across the crease in the first overtime. Senior Captain Colton Poolman came up big in the second overtime. Poolman picked up a puck in the slot that snuck through a Denver defenseman’s skate, brought the puck to his forehand, and lifted a shot over the far side shoulder of Denver’s goalie to seal the extra point for UND.

Saturday:

Saturday’s game was a different story as far as scoring, as UND won firmly 4-1. UND played near a full period length on the penalty kill, thankfully their penalty kill is fifth in the country and were able to kill off all seven penalties.

“A lot of penalties tonight, our guys did a good job of having some resiliency on the penalty kill. Scheel was outstanding and our killers were really good, too, in finding a way to just nail it down there,” Head Coach Brad Berry said.

The scoring started with Cole Smith tipping in a shot from the point from Jacob Bernard-Docker on the powerplay at 12:59. Just a minute later, Sophomore defenseman Josh Rieger notched his first career goal off a feed from freshman Judd Caulfield who received a pass from Scheel, then fed the puck through the slot for a perfect shot that snuck low glove on Denver’s
netminder.

In the second period, UND was on the kill once again, as senior forward Cole Smith picked off a puck for a breakaway, he snuck the puck five-hole on a sleek puck-handling display.

Into the third period, Denver scored at 11:43, Pettersen from Demin and Chrona. As time wound down, Denver pulled their goalie in an attempt to recover from the 3-1 deficit, as they worked the puck around their zone towards the end of the third, Westin Michaud picked off a pass and shot the puck in from his own defensive zone to seal the win.

Scheel had another outstanding night with some highlight slide over saves that left the Denver crowd astonished. He had 27 saves on 28 total shots.

UND will take on St. Cloud State Friday and Saturday home at the Ralph. The team will also be looking forward to a trip down to Minneapolis over Thanksgiving to take on long-time rivals, the Minnesota Gophers.

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