Hats off for series sweep

Sweeping the Tigers in Colorado Springs was never a common feat for the UND men’s hockey team — until last Saturday.

Thanks to a seven-point weekend from senior forward Mark MacMillan with five goals and two assists, North Dakota surged past CC in its first sweep at World Arena since January of 1999.

Friday’s 3-1 win set the stage for a 7-2 game that saw five power play goals and MacMillan’s first career hat trick.

“CC is a hard place to play and get a sweep, so it was nice to come out and get some power play goals in the first period there and just kind of roll from there,” MacMillan said. “It’s nice to help contribute to two wins … but (it was) overall a good weekend. Happy about it for sure.”

MacMillan opened scoring at 5:50 of the opening frame with a shorthanded goal. In a seven-minute span that followed, North Dakota didn’t let off the gas as it scored three power play goals from Paul LaDue, Tucker Poolman and Jordan Schmaltz.

The crease became a critical spot for specialty teams.

“We were ready to play coming out of the gates,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “I thought we answered the bell every situation that came up and we did a good job for the second night on the road, especially in the first period. Obviously to get out and get a couple goals. Not fancy goals, just good power play goals with shooting mentality and good net front.”

The Tigers posted the only second period goal, but North Dakota responded with a tenacious third period thanks to power play goals from LaDue and MacMillan.

CC fired a shot past McIntye midway through the third period, but MacMillan topped off his weekend with a quick response and one last goal for UND to set the score at 7-2.

Setting the stage

While Saturday was a bright spot for scoring on the man-advantage, North Dakota trialed through its own penalties in Game 1 of the series.

In Friday’s second period, UND skated through more than seven minutes on the penalty kill and nearly made a clean escape before CC’s Hunter Fejes slipped one past McIntyre.

But its goals were enough for the win, and a strong presence in the net remained a key to success.

“It’s pretty nice when you’ve got one of the best goalies in college hockey back there for us every night,” MacMillan said after Friday’s victory. “He brings it every night and no different tonight. He stood tall for us when we needed him to and he was one of the main reasons we got the win tonight.”

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