UND sweeps Colorado College with back-to-back OT wins
Adam Scheel was vomiting late Friday night and Saturday morning.
When the UND freshman goalie arrived in Ralph Engelstad Arena at 9 a.m. for morning skate, the coaching staff sent him home to get rest and fluids.
"It was concerning," said UND coach Brad Berry, who was already without injured goalie Peter Thome. "We sent him home right away. He got some fluids. I don't think he ate a whole lot, but he got some fluids in him. He came back to the rink with a smile on his face, ready to go. I'm proud of him for digging in and finding a way to get it done."
Scheel got it done Saturday night, and so did his teammates.
For the second-straight night, UND beat Colorado College with a dramatic overtime goal—this one by Jordan Kawaguchi to secure a 3-2 win and UND's first National Collegiate Hockey Conference sweep of the season.
On the winning goal, Nick Jones picked up a rebound of a Kawaguchi shot at the side of the crease and attempted a wraparound. Colorado College forward Grant Cruikshank crashed the crease and got tangled with goalie Alex Leclerc, igniting chaos around the net.
Jones didn't score on his wraparound attempt, but the rebound bounced out to Kawaguchi in the left circle. With Leclerc still down and out of the play, Kawaguchi roofed it to finish the win.
"Honestly, I blacked out. The whole play before Nick came around the net is a blur to me," Kawaguchi said. "I don't remember a lot. I just remember seeing the puck and just trying to get it toward the open net. Jonesy made a hell of a play and Luddy (Ludvig Hoff). Those two guys battled all weekend and they made that play happen."
— UND Insider (@undinsider) January 13, 2019
UND, which is trying to work its way back into contention to reach the NCAA tournament and to gain home ice in league playoffs, improved to 11-9-1 and 5-5 in NCHC play.
Despite the win, the Fighting Hawks dropped to No. 23 in the Pairwise Rankings. They moved to fifth in the NCHC standings, one point behind defending national champion Minnesota Duluth and three points back of Denver.
On Friday night, Ludvig Hoff tipped a Jacob Bernard-Docker point shot for the overtime win. On Saturday, with the 1959 NCAA national championship team in attendance for a 60-year reunion of the program's first title, the Fighting Hawks had more dramatics.
The last time UND swept a two-game series with both wins coming in overtime was Dec. 19-20, 1969, against Denver in Grand Forks.
"It was a dogfight both games," junior forward Dixon Bowen said. "Both games went into overtime. Both teams went back-and-forth. And I've got to tip my hat to Scheeler. He was puking this morning and last night. He battled up and he played a great game. He kept us in that one and we came out with a win.
"That was a huge weekend for us. We've just got to keep that momentum moving forward here."
Scheel stopped 22 of 24 shots, including 10 in the second period, which was the first period an opponent outshot UND since Dec. 7.
Kawaguchi finished Saturday's series finale with a goal and an assist, while Nick Jones had two assists. Both players had four-point weekends. Jones, who was injured for much of the first half, has been in on six of UND's nine goals since Christmas.
The Fighting Hawks also received two goals from players who hadn't potted one yet this season. Senior defenseman Hayden Shaw scored from the slot, while Bowen scored on a shorthanded breakaway to open a 2-0 lead in the first period.
But for the second-straight night, Colorado College battled back from a two-goal deficit.
Westin Michaud scored shorthanded at 5:58 of the second period and Trey Bradley scored on a breakaway at 7:21 of the third.
"It was kind of the same game in finishing it off in overtime, but it was a different way of winning the game," Berry said. "We have to learn from tonight as far as being undisciplined in the second period. It wasn't the way we play as far as being team-first. We took a couple penalties that were undisciplined. It's one of those things where you have guys waiting on the bench to get on the ice. And that's the strength of our team, when four lines are rolling six 'D' are getting out there. When you take penalties, it drains guys out of the game. We've got to make sure we remember that.
"We'll take the win, but we've got to make sure we move forward here and remember we've got to play hard and play with discipline."
UND plays at Omaha next weekend in a two-game NCHC series before returning home to face No. 1 St. Cloud State.
UND's big assignment this week will be to get players back.
Defenseman Gabe Bast was suspended by the NCHC for the series finale for a check to the head of Colorado College forward Alex Berardinelli. On top of that, UND was still without goalie Peter Thome, forwards Grant Mismash and Joel Janatuinen and defenseman Jonny Tychonick.
Then, UND had Scheel's illness pop up Saturday morning.
"I think we knew he was going to play," Bowen said. "He just needed a little bit more rest in the morning. He must have gotten a bad bug last night. It was good to see that out of him. That was a good, character weekend for our team. We didn't play a full 60 (minutes), but we grinded it out and got the job done."