Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Hockey Notes and Thoughts: UMD Answers Tying Goal With Emphatic Rally, Topples No. 1 North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Leave it to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald to unearth a pretty cool stat. After Saturday, UMD will have played 25 percent of its games -- five out of 20 -- against teams ranked No. 1 in the country at the time of the game.

Now, no matter what happens Saturday, UMD is guaranteed an above-.500 record in those games.

The Bulldogs rode a three-goal surge in the final half of the third period to a 4-1 win Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena, improving to 3-1 against No. 1 teams this season.

(Schlossman, by the way, didn't vote North Dakota to the top spot this week. He's been voting UMD No. 1 since like November.)

We get that polls don't matter, but what does matter is that UMD is third in the PairWise, and UMD is now in sole possession of first place in the NCHC (more on that later). And UMD is now 15-5-1 away from Amsoil Arena in the last year.

The first period wasn't pretty for UMD. North Dakota had a couple doorstep chances to go along with a goal that was disallowed after video review (more on that later, too), and UMD was probably fortunate to get out of the first 0-0.

We'll just say it was a good road period.

In the second, UMD started to generate offense. An Adam Krause goal was disallowed because of goalie contact, but Kyle Osterberg made it 1-0 less than three minutes later after Justin Crandall mishandled a pass and it came free to Osterberg in the slot.

Those weren't UMD's only chances in the second. Willie Raskob made a great play to get a puck out of the defensive zone, then skated in on UND goalie Zane McIntyre and rang one off the iron. Austin Farley was sprung for a breakaway in the closing seconds by Karson Kuhlman that McIntyre denied, too.

It stayed 1-0 until about halfway through the third, when UND senior Connor Gaarder got loose in the left circle and ripped a shot past UMD freshman Kasimir Kaskisuo. The puck went in off the right post and the game was tied.

It stayed tied exactly 67 seconds. What happened next was probably UMD's most emphatic statement of the season to this point.

Raskob got a puck at the right point, dangled by a North Dakota defender in the right circle, and fed a puck to Tony Cameranesi in the slot. The UMD junior made no mistake for the eventual game-winning goal. Carson Soucy got a partial breakaway goal barely a minute later, and Alex Iafallo hit the yawning net with 14 seconds left.

UMD has prided itself on rallying from behind and answering adversity all season. With the crowd finally going and the game tied on Friday, the Bulldogs did what they do. They silenced another big home gathering. Once UMD took the lead back, North Dakota never really threatened again, even with McIntyre pulled for most of the last two minutes.

Going back to last season, this marks the first time UMD has won back-to-back games in Grand Forks since Jan. 28, 1995, and Nov. 3, 1995.

The standouts were aplenty. Krause, Iafallo, and Dominic Toninato generated offense just about every time they were on the ice. Cameranesi's line was fantastic again, and the Decowski line had another strong game. Raskob, who had his share of struggles in the first half, was fantastic, as was Soucy. Kaskisuo was sharp as a tack, making 23 saves for the win.

When UMD moved its feet and got its pace game going, North Dakota didn't have many answers. The Bulldogs probably could do a better job dictating the pace on Saturday, and you can bet your bottom dollar that North Dakota will make sure its blue line plays a more physical game. We'll see whose will wins out.


You just don't see many goals overturned by video review. It's even rarer to see it happen twice in the same game.

In Friday's case, I believe both calls were correct.

In the first period. North Dakota's Drake Caggiula had a goal waved off after review. It was determined that UND's Bryn Chyzyk was in the crease and interfering with Kaskisuo, who bounced up after Caggiula scored and was emphatic that he was interfered with. Chyzyk may have been bumped into the crease area by UMD's Carson Soucy, but he made no effort to avoid the contact or get out of the crease after he went in.

In the second, Krause's goal was disallowed because the officials ruled that he bumped McIntyre and then put the puck into the net on a rebound chance. While the bump was not severe contact, and it didn't seem to affect the goal, Krause went there on his own and was not checked into the goaltender.

I've seen more malicious contact and goals allowed to stand in the past (especially in the case of the Krause goal), but there's no question that -- via letter of the law -- the officials got both calls correct. No matter what, you can't complain when they make a call and they have the rulebook 100 percent on their side.

And even though video review helps the stripes, they still do miss one on occasion. They're human, after all.


Miami and UMD entered the second half of the season tied for first in the NCHC.

UMD is all alone now.

David Morley scored twice as St. Cloud State beat Miami 3-1 in St. Cloud on Friday. SCSU goalie Charlie Lindgren stopped 37 of 38, including all six Blake Coleman shots. The RedHawks outshot the Huskies 17-8 in the first period, but Lindgren kept them off the board.

Mr. Hockey Avery Peterson had a goal and two assists as Omaha rallied from 3-0 down to beat Denver 5-4. DU had a 4-3 lead in the third before David Pope tied the game on a delayed penalty call. Since this is college hockey, the penalty gets called anyway, and Joey LaLeggia had to sit for holding the stick. Luc Snuggerud set up Dominic Zombo on that power play for the winning goal.

It's a dumb rule. Sorry, but it is.

In a non-conference game, Western Michigan scored the last three goals in a 4-2 win over Notre Dame in Kalamazoo.


Couple programming notes: I'll post my midseason NCHC awards Saturday, so we'll see which fanbase gets really mad at me this time.

Also, I'll be on KFAN radio's "Beyond The Pond" with Brandon Mileski, Pat Micheletti, and Nate Miller Saturday at 10:35am. Listen in Duluth on The Fan 1490, in the Cities on KFAN 100.3 FM, or anywhere on the internet at

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