Saturday, February 20, 2016

Game 30: UMD at North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- It's not often that I'm genuinely curious how a UMD team is going to respond to something. This is one of those situations.

After Friday's controversial (read: awful) penalty shot call that led to Austin Poganski's overtime winner and a 2-1 North Dakota victory over UMD, I absolutely want to see how the Bulldogs come out in this game.

So much has gone the way of the adversaries this season. UMD hit two more goalposts in Friday's game, outshot another opponent at even strength (25 times in 29 games, including all three against UND), had a lead for a good chunk of the game and never trailed until the winner was scored, and yet gets nothing to show for it but another addition to the "L" column and a drop to 26th (from 23rd starting the night) in the PairWise.

But this is probably the first time that UMD's players can point to a circumstance -- an officiating decision that even a lot of UND press box staff and media were taken aback by -- almost completely out of anyone's control. Could Carson Soucy have made a better defensive play by keeping his feet moving? Maybe, but we'll never know. He did what he felt he had to do to prevent Poganski from cutting to the front of the net by himself, likely never in his wildest dreams thinking it would lead to a penalty shot.

(By the way, as I just told esteemed UND radio voice Tim Hennessy: If that's established as the penalty shot standard and called such consistently, I have zero issues. But I've seen probably a half dozen instances this season -- both for and against UMD -- where guys have had clear breakaways and been fouled from behind with only a minor called. Based on that loose standard, there's no way the Soucy call from Friday comes close. It's undoubtedly a penalty, but that should never be called a penalty shot with how we've defined that in today's game.)

Anyway, the 18 skaters and goalies have to move on. Friday's game was chippy and got quite emotional late. I would expect that with the way it ended and the desperation the visitors have to be feeling at this point, this game might go off the rails in a hurry. Buckle up.

(One lineup change for UMD. Senior forward Austyn Young is out with what is believed to be an upper-body injury. Watch Twitter for updates, as I'll talk to Scott Sandelin in about a half hour.)



Iafallo - Toninato - Kuhlman
Osterberg - Thomas - Cameranesi
Johnson - Decowski - Mackay
Young (Blake) - Spurrell - Sampair

Welinski - Pionk
Soucy - Raskob
Corrin - Kotyk

Kaskisuo - McNeely

Caggiula - Schmaltz - Boeser
Janatuinen - Johnson (Luke) - Wilkie
Gersich - Simonson - Poganski
Sanderson - Gardner - Olson

Poolman - LaDue
Ausmus - Stecher
Wolanin - Thompson

Johnson (Cam) - Hrynkiw - Tomek

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