MEN'S HOCKEY: UND dismantles Providence College 6-1
Two weeks ago, UND was routed at home in its season opener. The fans may not have recognized the team that returned on Friday. A tenacious UND squad dismantled the fifth-ranked team in the country, Providence College, 6-1 in front of 11,525 jovia...
Two weeks ago, UND was routed at home in its season opener.
The fans may not have recognized the team that returned on Friday.
A tenacious UND squad dismantled the fifth-ranked team in the country, Providence College, 6-1 in front of 11,525 jovial fans in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Luke Johnson scored in the first period, his teammates added three in the second and two in the third and UND won its fourth straight game - this one against a Friar team that was picked to win Hockey East prior to the season.
The goalie showdown between Providence’s Jon Gillies and UND’s Zane McIntyre never materialized as Gillies was yanked by the end of the second period and UND was well on its way to improving to 4-1 overall.
The offense came from all over the lineup: Drake Caggiula scored a goal and added three assists, while Johnson, Michael Parks, Paul LaDue, Tucker Poolman and Bryn Chyzyk all added goals. Jordan Schmaltz had three assists and his brother Nick added two.
“We just played our game,” Caggiula said. “UND hockey is playing fast, playing physical and just overall being hard to play against. That’s what we did all night long. Put the puck in deep, cycle, use the points. We did everything right today.
“Any time you get embarrassed in your home rink, you have something to prove the next time you come out here. We absolutely did that today. We all brought it tonight.”
UND, known for its slow starts, is on its first four-game winning streak in the month of October since 2002, when Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise was a freshman on campus. If it is able to finish off a series sweep tonight (7:07 p.m., Ralph Engelstad Arena), UND would have its longest October win streak since the Hrkac Circus team of 1986-87.
The biggest difference between UND’s 5-1 loss to Bemidji State in the season opener and Friday’s blowout of the Friars was UND’s effort level.
“It was what we expect,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”
It was UND’s most lopsided victory over a top-five team since 2011, when it routed Denver 6-1 in the Midwest Regional final in Green Bay, Wis. It was the most lopsided victory over a top-five team at home since beating Michigan State in the Hall of Fame Game to open 2007.
For Providence, its first trip to Grand Forks since 1987 did not go well.
“It was pretty one-sided,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said of the decisive second period. “I thought they outcompeted us in the second period. I thought they were winning all the stick battles. I thought their feet were moving. But I think some of that we compounded upon ourselves. We were taking long shifts. We were turning pucks over. We were getting to the end of shifts and we didn’t have any legs. We weren’t winning a lot of races. We were reaching for a lot of pucks and they made us pay for it. They are a good hockey team.”
UND was able to get the crowd into the game early when Johnson ripped a wrist shot past Gillies from the right circle for a power-play goal at 7:05 of the opening frame. It was UND’s eight consecutive special teams goal.
In the second period, UND went to work at even strength.
Parks scored on an open look from the top of the crease at 6:25; LaDue buried a rebound from the high slot at 16:02; and Poolman sniped a wrist shot from the inside of the left circle at 18:25 for a power-play marker to open up a 4-0 lead.
The only concern after that period was for forward Mark MacMillan, who appeared to be cut by a skate late in the second period. He did not return and his status was not available immediately after the game.
In the third, Chyzyk added a goal from the top of the crease and Caggiula sniped a shorthanded breakaway off the crossbar and in.
The only thing keeping McIntyre from a shutout was Kevin Rooney slamming home a loose puck from the side of the net on the unsuspecting goaltender.
“The guys were all going real hard and doing their jobs,” Poolman said. “You can get up for (these games), that’s for sure.”
Notes: Mark Lindquist sang the Canadian national anthem prior to the game as a salute to the country in the wake of the Ottawa shooting earlier in the week. . . UND’s scratches were Keaton Thompson, Austin Poganski, Andrew Panzarella, Wade Murphy and Coltyn Sanderson. Providence played without forward Mark Jankowski and defenseman Tom Parisi. Neither made the trip due to injuries.