MEN'S HOCKEY: Rust shows on UND in loss against University of British Columbia
BURNABY, B.C. -- Part of the reason UND wanted to take a trip out to the Pacific Northwest to open the new year was to shake off some of the rust. Turns out, that was a pretty good idea. UND looked nothing like the team that entered Christmas bre...
BURNABY, B.C. -- Part of the reason UND wanted to take a trip out to the Pacific Northwest to open the new year was to shake off some of the rust.
Turns out, that was a pretty good idea.
UND looked nothing like the team that entered Christmas break on a five-game winning streak as it lost 3-2 in overtime to the University of British Columbia in the Great Northwest Showcase on Friday night.
The Thunderbirds scored an extra-attacker, game-tying goal with 52 seconds left, then added the winner with 1:04 remaining in overtime as UND lost to a Canadian college team for the first time in more than a decade.
"I don't know where to start," said UND freshman Troy Stecher from nearby Richmond, B.C. "We come in here. We're spoiled. We get to go to a Canucks game. We get wined-and-dined last night. We think we're going to walk all over these guys. That was our first mistake and it cost us a hockey game."
UND alternate captain Stephane Pattyn said: "It wasn't good, starting from the leaders, the old guys, all the way down. We didn't come out and play the way we needed to play.
"I think it was just a mindset. Guys weren't ready to play. Guys weren't expecting to be challenged here."
The Thunderbirds, who play in the same Canadian college league as frequent UND exhibition opponent Manitoba, have given American colleges trouble before. They tied the University of Denver a year ago in Magness Arena.
This time, it was a victory over a traditional powerhouse that left the home fans happy and the large contingent of UND fans in the crowd stunned.
"We got outworked tonight, right from the start of the game," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "We had spurts where we had good contributions from our lineup, but on a whole, we didn't sustain that.
"We just didn't play very well. We looked like we were comfortable, thinking we're getting a lot of guys back in the lineup and things were going to come easy. We didn't work for enough things tonight. We didn't work to make good things happen. And we didn't sustain very much throughout the hockey game."
UND was playing its first game in 20 days, since finishing a sweep of Northern Michigan at home. Its next regular-season games are against National Collegiate Hockey Conference opponent Colorado College next weekend at home.
UND has a lot of work to do in order to return to pre-Christmas form.
"We worked extremely hard those last five games in order to win, and that's the way we have to play to win," Hakstol said. "We're a hard team to play against when we play with that intensity level and that tenacity, and we didn't do that through the game tonight."
If there were any positives to take out of the game, it was the play of Mark MacMillan and Adam Tambellini.
MacMillan showed signs that he's back to his old self after missing four games in the first half with an injury and playing several more at far less than 100 percent. He had several outstanding setups for linemates and got rewarded with an assist on a goal by his brother, Mitch.
"In the first half, obviously, a couple of guys were bumped and bruised, myself included," MacMillan said. "It was nice to go home and have Christmas break and let the body recover, so I can come back in the second half -- not only me, but a couple of guys on the team needed the rest."
Tambellini also continued to show signs he's on the right track even though he didn't end up with any points.
"We just have to play our game -- come out and work hard," Pattyn said. "We didn't work hard today. If we work hard, we're a hard team to beat. We're not going to beat teams just with our skill and playmaking. We have to work hard."
Notes: Former UND goaltender Brad Eidsness, who is attending law school nearby, attended the game. . . UND played without injured forward Brendan O'Donnell and injured defenseman Gage Ausmus. . . Forward Coltyn Sanderson was a healthy scratch. . . The game was attended by several junior teams in the area. . . UND takes on Simon Fraser University at 9 p.m. tonight to close out the Great Northwest Showcase. Simon Fraser lost 8-1 to Princeton in the tournament's opening game. The Tigers scored six goals in the third period.
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