Game 4: UMD 6, Western Michigan 5 (OT)
Jack Connolly 1 (Michael Gergen, Justin Fontaine), 13:37 1st period. Fontaine threw the puck high in the air out of the UMD zone. Gergen used his speed to get past the defense and beat them to the loose puck in the UMD zone. His shot was stopped by WMU goalie Jerry Kuhn, but Connolly (Jack) followed him up and stuffed the rebound in for his first collegiate goal.
Evan Oberg 1 (Justin Fontaine), :45 3rd period (5X3 power play). With UMD down two goals and up two men, Fontaine fed a puck from the left wing to Oberg in the high slot. Oberg's one-timer got home for his first career goal at the DECC.
Andrew Carroll 1 (Evan Oberg, Cody Danberg), 5:05 3rd period (shorthanded). This one rivals the goal by Connolly (Mike) from Friday as the best of the season so far. Danberg blocked a puck to center ice. Carroll ran it down and started a two-on-one with Oberg, who came flying down the left side. Carroll fed Oberg, who got it back to Carroll in front for a tip-in. Great goal.
Mike Connolly 2 (MacGregor Sharp, Jordan Fulton), 8:23 3rd period (power play). Connolly got a feed from Sharp on the right wing, skated into the right circle, and shot it in off a WMU defenseman in front. Went right through Kuhn's legs.
Jordan Fulton 2 (Andrew Carroll), 18:30 3rd period. Carroll outworked the Western Michigan forwards along the left boards near the WMU bench. He kept the puck in the WMU zone, skated into the left circle, and fed Fulton in the slot. Fulton ripped a one-timer past Kuhn.
MacGregor Sharp 4 (Evan Oberg), 2:33 overtime. Oberg intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and shot it towards Sharp, who was open near the goalmouth and tipped it past Kuhn to set off a raucous celebration along the glass in the WMU zone.
Entertaining. Fun. Dramatic. Not good for the ticker. Not good for the voice.
It was a great night at the DECC. That game had everything, including some great offensive plays (the individual effort by Patrick Galivan of WMU for the game-tying goal late in regulation was a beauty, as was the UMD shortie that earlier had tied the game 3-3). It also had the Alex Stalock gaffe that led to the first game-tying goal by Western Michigan.
(For those who don't follow UMD closely, but may know of Stalock's tendency to wander, it's worth noting that this is the second goal directly attributable to a Stalock turnover in his UMD career. So while Stalock is always good at getting on people's nerves with his willingness to skate anywhere he wants to get a shot at the puck, it hasn't been problematic for UMD. Hopefully, this is just a blip on the radar.)
At 3-0-1, UMD is certainly off to a good start. However, the challenging WCHA schedule is about to begin. Getting points in Anchorage next weekend is a must, as UMD follows that with the XCel game against St. Cloud, a road trip to Denver, and a home series against a Wisconsin team that won't suck defensively forever.
(On Wisconsin, yes they're 0-4 and yes they've allowed 23 goals in those four games. But they have great talent on defense, and it is going to come around eventually.)