St. Cloud Defeats UND in the Shootout on Saturday

Maeve Hushman, Sports Reporter

The University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey team was looking to sweep St. Cloud, and after an amazing overtime win last night, they seemed poised, momentum wise, to do it. While they were not able to pull off the sweep, they put together an amazing effort that in almost any other game would result in a win. St. Cloud State defeated University of North Dakota 3-2 in the shootout with Grant Cruikshank scoring the winning goal. However, the final score did not do this game justice, the final shot count was 31-13 in favor of UND, a situation which should normally result in a commanding win.  

This weekend series against St. Cloud were some of the best games that this UND hockey team has played. The 5-on-5 defense was good, and they did not get bogged down with penalties or make huge defensive lapses. It was a good and complete effort. In the second period, University of North Dakota dominated gained sustained zone time and pressure, but they could not convert on those incredible chances. Through amazing goaltending and strong net front defensive efforts by St. Cloud to clear dangerous rebounds, UND was not able to turn their hard work into a lead in the second. St. Cloud had 1 goal on 2 shots in the second period, giving them the lead, however, after that goal, UND held them off, not allowing a shot for over 15 minutes.  

“We did enough good things to win the game…there were a lot of good efforts,” Head Coach Brad Berry stated. “The second period was king of the turning point where we really didn’t get rewarded for what we did…they defended hard and we didn’t have an answer to score a couple goals that we needed to do, so at the end of the day, I liked our effort, and I liked our compete.” 

The final score was not indicative of the quality of play that UND exhibited, and it was well known throughout the group.  

“I thought we had an excellent game tonight; all our lines were rolling. We were playing solid. Defensively, we had one breakdown there that they converted on but besides that, I thought our game was pretty solid defensively,” Captain Mark Senden said. “I think that was one of our best games of the year. So, we just got to kind of forget about it, stay positive, and make sure we keep playing that same exact way because if we play that way for a full 60, I know for a fact we can beat anybody.”  

This step forward in the team’s ability to play comes at a crucial time as the season is rapidly dwindling away, and the postseason is bearing down, teams that get hot at the right time can go on deep playoff runs despite regular season shortcomings.  

Senior Judd Caulfield said, “it’s playoff hockey right now for us, so we got to go out and compete…every game is important right now…we just got to be bringing that compete level.”  

It was a sentiment echoed by Senden. “You definitely want to be playing the right brand of hockey when playoffs come here, and I think tonight was exactly that we played the right way. I thought everyone bought in and everyone was playing the right way keeping it simple,” Senden said.   

With the regular season starting to wrap up, the University of North Dakota goes back on the road to face off with Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado next weekend. If the team keeps up playing like this, then they should be able to make the next two weekends eventful and good building blocks for the postseason.  


Maeve Hushman is a Dakota Student Sports Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected]