UND splits NCHC series

HOCKEY Green and White defeat Miami on Friday, lose Saturday.

North Dakota’s first ever National Collegiate Hockey Conference game was etched into history books as a victory, but the following night featured a different result.

After claiming a 4-2 victory over top-ranked Miami on Friday night, North Dakota couldn’t execute for the entirety of Saturday — falling 6-2 to the RedHawks.

The Green and White suffered a 1-0 deficit just minutes into Saturday’s contest. Despite holding the score steady for the majority of the period, Miami’s Blake Coleman tallied his first goal of the night and second for the RedHawks at 15:02 of the first.

“We had a really good energy for the first 20 minutes of the game,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “We played with a lot of jump, but I think it’s the details in a couple dirty area that cost us a game tonight.”

Miami’s momentum received no answer as it scored another three goals in just two minutes, 11 seconds to begin the second period. Hats went off to Coleman as he scored two more for a hat trick — increasing the margin to 5-0.

Colten St. Clair kept UND’s hopes alive with a backhander from the slot at 16:09 of the second, and freshman Gage Ausmus continued the streak with a goal to begin the third period.

The RedHawks scored again halfway through the third to post a 6-2 advantage.

Despite the loss, the team is focused on what it can change moving forward.

“We got away from our game a little bit,” St. Clair said. “The little things — that’s really what the game boils down to. It’s the little things that we can fix, and we’re going to fix them right away.”

Juniors shine

Friday night, North Dakota claimed a 4-2 victory in it’s first game in the NCHC as the junior class took the spotlight.

With a 3-0 lead just 21 minutes into the game with a goal from Michael Parks and two from Brendan O’Donnell, Miami responded with two goals in the second period to narrow the margin to 3-2. One of the goals slipped in the net off Nick Mattson’s skate, but Mattson bounced back with a goal of his own at 12:45 of the third period to seal the 4-2 victory for the Green and White.

“That was a positive for them to come out and make some plays,” Hakstol said. “More importantly, there were some good bounces there. They played good, two-way hockey and that’s the most important thing from my perspective.”

North Dakota came away from the weekend killing 23 consecutive opponent power plays. The penalty kill unit was 4-4 on Saturday night and 7-7 for the weekend. Despite its success in those areas, Hakstol said he thinks the team could have claimed more.

“We wanted both (wins),” Hakstol said. “The old adage of ‘a split on the road is pretty good’ doesn’t sit well with me — it doesn’t sit well with us. We had a chance to come in here and win two games. I didn’t think we did everything in our power to accomplish that tonight. I think we left something on the table tonight.”

Elizabeth Erickson is the sports editor of The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].