Friday, January 20, 2017

Game 23: UMD at North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- As much as UMD fans don't like North Dakota, and as much as anyone can understand the myriad of reasons why this might be the case, this is still a building every UMD fan should take the time to see at least one.

Greetings from the gorgeous Ralph Engelstad Arena, where the Bulldogs try to continue a recent run of success against their longtime nemesis, the University of North Dakota, um, Fighting Hawks (it's still weird, sorry).

UMD got progressively better last weekend, finding a way to eek out an overtime win over St. Cloud State on Saturday after being stymied 2-1 by the Huskies on Friday. North Dakota had to respond on Saturday as well, and did so by beating Miami 3-1 after a 6-3 loss Friday that featured five third period goals by the RedHawks.

The Bulldogs play this series without the services of sophomore forward Parker Mackay (undisclosed injury). He was not practicing this week when your humble correspondent was at the rink. That will mix up UMD's lines, with the most notable change being on the top two lines. Adam Johnson moves back to wing and is on the top line, while Joey Anderson will skate on the second line with Jared Thomas and Kyle Osterberg. The top line can still go without Anderson, as has been proven numerous times over the last year-plus (that was UMD's preferred combination for the second half of last season, too). Can Anderson have an impact on Thomas' game, which has been up and down for a goodly chunk of this campaign? We shall see.

Also, center Sammy Spurrell draws back in on the fourth line as Thomas moves back up. This restores what has become a key piece of the UMD penalty kill.



Iafallo - Toninato - Johnson
Osterberg - Thomas - Anderson
Tufte - Peterson - Kuhlman
Miller - Spurrell - Exell

Soucy - Raskob
Pionk - Kotyk
Wolff - Molenaar

Miska - Deery

Gersich - Jost - Poganski
Janatuinen - Gardner - Boeser
Yon - Hoff - Bowen
Olson - Simonson - Wilkie

Poolman (Colton) - Poolman (Tucker)
Ausmus - Shaw
Wolanin - Peski

Johnson - Hrynkiw - Tomek

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