UND Splits Home Series, 2-1 Win Saturday

Claire Weltz, Editor

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Fighting Hawks set the tone in the first period with several quality scoring opportunities. The momentum was kickstarted with a power play, a five-minute major courtesy of UMD’s Carter Loney. Although the team couldn’t capitalize on the power play, Connor Ford almost got the edge on goaltender Ryan Fanti. 


The second period was not as dominant of a performance. The Bulldogs looked scrappier and created scoring chances from pure grit whereas UND appeared hesitant to pull the trigger on any shots – instead opting to wait for a better angle.  


With five minutes left in the second period, the Bulldogs broke through and got on the scoreboard. On a pass from Dominic James, Blake Biondi slipped around Ethan Frisch for just enough space to fire his shot past Zach Driscoll and into the back of the net.  


Falling behind a goal woke up the UND offense. Thirty seconds later, Carson Albrecht nearly scored, but after review, the referees said no-goal. It was no matter for the Green and White as they smelled blood in the water. In the dwindling seconds, Ethan Frisch took care of business and leveled the score to 1-1. The goal came on a UND powerplay which put a dent in Minnesota-Duluth’s conference-play leading kill percentage (92.6% in NCHC play and 86.7% overall). 


Zach Driscoll and Brendan Budy were the stars of the third period. Budy was the night’s second goal scorer, and his tally would prove to be the game winner. Five minutes into the third, Connor Ford won a faceoff in UND’s defensive zone and passed to Ashton Calder who beat not one, not two, but three Minnesota-Duluth players and slid the puck to Brendan Budy. The goal was Budy’s first of the season.  


With UND up 2-1, the Bulldogs turned up the heat in an effort to level the score, but Zach Driscoll was up to the task. Driscoll posted eight of his 22 total saves in the third period, diving and putting his body on the line to make the stop on more than one occasion.  


UMD pulled goalkeeper Fanti to bring on an extra skater, but it wasn’t enough for a comeback. North Dakota secured the win 2-1. In a stark contrast to the previous night’s first period penalty minutes (21 total, including a 5-minute major and game misconduct), the Green and White’s discipline prevented them from recording any time in the box during the first period. Head Coach Brad Berry was pleased with the effort, saying “I thought we were a lot more disciplined today. That’s so key. We were killing [power plays] all day yesterday, and it gave that team momentum.” The North Dakota locker room heard that message loud and clear after last night’s loss and flipped the script.  


Jake Sanderson, Matteo Costantini, and Jackson Kunz were out both nights of the series which paved the way for Cooper Moore to get more time on this ice. Although his name wasn’t on the scoresheet, Moore’s performance earned the nod of approval from Berry. “He was snapping pucks around like he knew the next play, and there were a couple of times where he got it that he had to release it quick to the net,” Berry commented. “He’s going to grow into that role as a top offensive defenseman.” 


As for Zach Driscoll, his night was also impressive. He attributed his success to the special teams unit, saying that the “penalty kill was fantastic tonight, so that helped me out.” With 22 total saves, Driscoll had his work cut out for him.  


Berry also had complimentary words on Driscoll’s performance. “He’s such a quick goaltender, and he’s a student of the game. A hard, hard worker too.” Berry went on to add that, “He [Driscoll] puts a lot of time into his craft, and there’s a reason why he made those saves tonight.” 


North Dakota continues their 2021-2022 campaign against heated rivals Minnesota over Thanksgiving weekend – November 26 and 27 – at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.  

Claire Weltz is a Dakota Student Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].