HAMDEN, Conn. -- There have only been three seasons in the history of UND hockey where the team did not lose back-to-back games at any point during the year.
One was 2000-01.
The other two were 2019-20 and 2020-21.
UND's 68-game run finally came to an end Friday night in People's United Center as the Fighting Hawks lost to Quinnipiac 5-2. The Fighting Hawks lost in overtime to Bemidji State last Saturday. It is the first time UND has lost two-straight games since the 2019 National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs at Denver.
Of course, that trip involved a bit of adventure: UND's flight to Denver was diverted to Albuquerque, N.M., and it had to drive from there to Denver.
UND lost three-straight games twice during that 2018-19 season.
But the Fighting Hawks rolled through the last two years, responding in impressive fashion to its losses. There weren't many of them. UND only lost 11 times during the last two seasons combined, but the Fighting Hawks never followed any of them up with another loss.
The 2019-20 team lost five times. All five times it won the next game. The 2020-21 team lost six times. It followed it up with a tie once, a win every other time.
This was the second-longest run without back-to-back losses in program history.
The longest spanned the 1999-00, 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. That one lasted 73 games. UND was just five shy of matching that run.
One thing that makes this run even more impressive is for half of it, three-on-three overtimes were in place, which means fewer ties when the game gets to overtime.
Friday night also marked the first time UND lost in regulation since Jan. 30 at Omaha. Its last three losses all were overtime.
"It's a big win for Quinnipiac," Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold said. "North Dakota is a great, historic program, tons of really, really high-end players now and always. I think Brad Berry is one of the better coaches in the game. So, we're excited about the win. I thought our guys really battled tonight."
- A look at Quinnipiac's linesheet shows how veteran of a team the Bobcats have this season. The Bobcats played only one freshman last night, and it was a fourth-line winger, Cristophe Tellier. They played only one sophomore forward (third-line winger Ty Smilanic) and one sophomore defensemen (third-pair Iivari Rasanen). The Bobcats played like a veteran team.
- Quinnipiac tallied the game's first eight shots on goal.
- UND attempted 14 shots in the third period, but only three got to the net. Nine were blocked and two were shot wide.
- Faceoffs again were tough for UND. Quinnipiac won the faceoff battle 40-28. Connor Ford was UND's best at 12-12.
- Defenseman Tyler Kleven led the Fighting Hawks in shots on goal with five. In fact, nine of UND's 16 shots on goal came from defensemen. Forwards had just seven shots on goal and Louis Jamernik (two) was the only with more than one.
- It's entirely possible UND could see a different goaltender tonight. Yaniv Perets (14 saves Friday) has been splitting time with Notre Dame transfer Dylan St. Cyr.