What a Difference a Day Makes: UND Earns 5-1 Victory Over Colorado College

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee for Violent Turtle Photography)

In front of  11,860 fans at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks played in a must-win game over Colorado College. They did not disappoint their fans tonight. They earned a 5-1 victory thanks to strong special teams play resulting in two power play goals, and timely goaltending from Peter Thome.

In a completely different first period than last night, UND controlled the pace of play throughout. Although they did not score, they had Colorado College on their heels. This pace was consistent throughout the rest of the game.

Finally, for UND things looked up in the second period, the Fighting Hawks earned some five-on-three time on the power play. They did not convert on the two man advantage, as Joel Janatuinen  buried a rebound on a Shane Gersich sharp-angle shot to give UND the 1-0 lead 9:23 into the 2nd .

A few minutes later, Christian Wolanin fired a perfect shot on the power play off Colorado College goalie Alex Leclerc. It never got to him, it went off of the shin pad of Austin Poganski and over to Shane Gersich. The Capitals draft pick made no mistake, and deposited the rebound into a wide open net to give UND its first two goal lead on the weekend.

The third period featured a superb start for the Fighting Hawks. A mere 57 seconds into the final frame, Austin Poganski took a feed from Johnny Simonson and raced in and fired a superb shot past Leclerc short side to give UND its first five-on-five goal of the evening.

Colorado College would answer back, as with 13:24 left in the game, Nick Halloran took a feed from Troy Conzo and fired a perfectly placed shot past Peter Thome to bring the Tigers within two goals.

A few minutes later, UND restored their 3 goal lead as Grant Mismash created time and space in the offensive zone. The Predators’ prospect fired a shot that went off Leclerc, off of Jordan Kawaguchi, and to Janatuinen, who did not miss the open net. The Finnish forward was credited with his second goal of the evening.

Grant Mismash was not done.

A few minutes after he started the play that lead to the second Janatuinen tally, he created his own goal. He took a feed from Trevor Olson , walked in and went top shelf on Leclerc 11:43 into the third to make it a 5-1 game.  That would be the final margin of victory for UND.

UND heads on the road next weekend to Omaha to take on the University of Nebraska Omaha. If UND can mimic some of what it did tonight through playing through the middle of the ice, generating high percentage chances, and using a strong forecheck to limit Omaha’s top line, then the result could possibly be similar to tonight. The Fighting Hawks did not clinch anything tonight, but showed that they can compete when they play their brand of  hockey.

Boston University Shatters UND’s Title Hopes 4-3 in Double OT

On March 24 at Scheels arena, UND came up short against the Boston University Terriers 4-3 in double overtime. Charlie McAvoy found the back of the net on a perfect cross-crease pass from play maker extraordinaire, Clayton Keller. Boston won this game thanks to its superb defense and outstanding job limiting UND second chances. The Fighting Hawks won the shot attempts battle 145-67, yet the Terriers blocked 51 of those shots and UND missed 33 of them. North Dakota was done in by a strong Boston effort on the back end and timely transition opportunities. Jake Oettinger played a great game tonight. The freshman netminder for Boston never looked out of position and made several key saves to allow the Terriers time to survive the constant UND pressure.

The first period featured a series of back and forth exchanges. Both sides had their chances. As the game wore on, Boston’s speed was on full display. Cam Johnson had the first big save on a small breakaway from Kieffer Bellows.

17:04 in the first, Joel Janatuinen fired a pass to Rhett Gardner who used his long reach to put the puck in the net around Terrier netminder, Jake Oettinger. This goal is Gardner’s eighth tally of his sophomore season.

Boston University had some chances the rest of the way, but it remained a 1-0 game for UND after the first period.

2:05 in the second period, Doyle Somerby found the back of a wide open net to tie the game up. UND had chances throughout the rest of the period, but could not convert. Every time it looked good, Oettinger made a key save or UND missed the net.

Early in the third period, Bobo Carpenter took a superb setup from Clayton Keller to fire a puck past Cam Johnson and stake the Terriers to their first lead of the contest.

04:24 into the third period, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson put a puck past Johnson to give Boston a 3-1 lead. UND looked tired at this point.

After a 14 minute delay  due to a pane of glass shattering thanks to a nice check by Mike Gornall, UND came back to tie the game thanks to goals from Ludvig Hoff and later by Christian Wolanin. That was the score until the McAvoy marker in the second overtime period.

In the first overtime, Dixen Bowen looked to have the game winner, however after an inordinately long review UND was determined to be off sides and the goal was waved off. This goal was overturned thanks to a sky cam like angle from the opposite goal end.

The Fighting Hawks have not lost to a team other than Boston University in the postseason since 2015. The challenge for UND is trying to retain as many of its underclassmen as possible as the Fighting Hawks bid farewell to seniors Matt Hrynkiw and Gage Ausmus.