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UND Struggles with Execution in Friday Loss to Minnesota

UND+Struggles+with+Execution+in+Friday+Loss+to+Minnesota
Maeve Hushman

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA — The crowd at the Ralph Engelstad Arena filed out of the stands, still clad in their green-out attire, before the final buzzer ever sounded.  

“Not what we wanted,” Captain Riese Gaber said. “I think we stopped skating at times, especially in the second period. You can’t take a night or period off in college hockey.”  

The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the University of North Dakota 4-0 on Friday Oct. 20 with a final shot count of 32-25 in favor of the Gophers. It was UND’s first loss of the season and the first game where they allowed more than two goals and more than 30 shots.  

The first period started off in UND’s favor, with Coach Brad Berry taking the most positivity from the first 10 minutes of play saying the team would be watching film of those 10 minutes ahead of Saturday’s game. 

“Great energy to start the game, the first 10 minutes probably had a couple opportunities to score, didn’t score,” Berry said. “And then it was kind of even from there and then obviously the second period… but we had a good start. There’s energy in the building and we got away from the game a little bit.” 

With one second left in the first, Minnesota’s Aaron Huglen took a cross checking penalty giving UND almost a full power play to start the second. It looked like an excellent opportunity for UND to pull ahead. 

To start the second, right in the dying minutes of UND’s powerplay, sophomore Brody Lamb opened scoring for Minnesota on a breakaway goal. He scored right as UND’s powerplay expired.   

After Lamb’s goal, the Hawks had a chance to re-gain some momentum when they killed a 5-on-3 opportunity for Minnesota, but they could not take advantage of it.  

On a 3-on-2 opportunity, freshman Oliver Moore scored Minnesota’s second goal of the night, with a top corner shot. The period ended with the shot count and score in favor of Minnesota. 

“I thought we just got spread out,” Gaber said of the second period. “We stopped skating. We weren’t as hungry as we were. “ 

UND would have two more power play opportunities in the third, but they once again failed to convert on either. The general lack of production in the third led Berry to tinker with the lines, hoping to generate offense.  

“It’s not about panic,” Berry said. “It’s just about trying to generate some consistency as far as trying to get in and get some opportunities and looks…  just trying to do try to get some looks where other guys can get to the net and get some offensive opportunities by switching the lines.”  

When the line adjustments didn’t work, Berry pulled goaltender Ludvig Persson to give UND the extra skater during an offensive zone draw.  

“We haven’t scored a goal yet and it’ll be in an offensive zone face off,” he said. “The execution and the sharpness was a little lack there … then they ended up clearing.”   

UND could not maintain possession of the puck and Minnesota’s Bryce Brodzinski was able to score a third on the empty net.  

With Persson back in net, 18 seconds later the Gopher’s would score their final goal from a quick front of the net rebound shot by Jimmy Snuggerud, who had 50 points last season with the Gophers. It was a defensive error by UND which left Snuggerud open to score the rebound.  

Minnesota’s Justen Close completed his second consecutive shutout saving 25 shots and being named the first star of the game. 

Berry said the biggest issue for UND tonight was the execution and consistency. 

“The difference between the first 10 minutes and then the way the game went on as far as the pursuit, the forecheck, the execution on handling the puck side and playing as a five-man unit up the ice,” Berry said. “When you’re playing good teams, you have to have that consistently for 60 minutes.”  

The loss has not phased UND, and they are ready to comeback and beat the Gophers on Saturday. 

“We got to be on right away,” Gaber said. “And you know, we got to get the crowd into it right away and try and get the first one. So yeah, I think just coming out hard and heavy.”  

 

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

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