MEN'S HOCKEY: UND ties 2-2 with Providence College

The UND men's hockey team wasn't able to give the 11,676 in Ralph Engelstad Arena their first stick salute of the weekend. That chance went away when Providence's Nick Saracino scored an extra-attacker, game-tying goal with 38.3 seconds left in r...

UND's Gage Asmus clears a rebound puck from goalie Zane McIntyre with Providence's Noel Acciari in pursuit on Saturday, Oct 25, 2014, at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)


The UND men’s hockey team wasn’t able to give the 11,676 in Ralph Engelstad Arena their first stick salute of the weekend.

That chance went away when Providence’s Nick Saracino scored an extra-attacker, game-tying goal with 38.3 seconds left in regulation. But after the team had a few minutes to reflect on the weekend, Saturday night’s 2-2 tie with the Friars wasn’t a bad result.

No. 3 UND extended its unbeaten streak to five games and was able to grab a series win against No. 5 Providence, a result that will help the team months down the road when its NCAA tournament selection time.

“It’s tough to give up a late goal,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “You want a little better when you have a one-goal lead. There are some things there, not just the goal, that we have to improve upon a little bit as a team. As disappointing it was to give up that goal and end up with a tie, you also have to turn around and look at the positives. We got a series win against a really good team this weekend and our team competed hard.”


Luke Johnson and Austin Poganski scored the goals on Saturday, while Zane McIntyre was once again terrific in net, stopping 31 of 33 shots.

Saracino scored both Providence goals, while goaltender Jon Gillies, yanked a night earlier, responded with a strong game in stopping 24 of 26.

In the waning seconds of the game, freshman defenseman Jake Walman intercepted a Gage Ausmus clearing attempt at the blue line, made a move to create space and launched a shot to the slot area. Saracino deflected the shot past McIntyre’s stick to even it 2-2.

The Friars had a chance to win it in overtime when it got a power play with 1:19 left, but UND killed it off and walked away with the tie.

“I was a little disappointed we didn’t win the game,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “I was proud of the guys trying to win the game in the third and in overtime. But I thought it was a really good college hockey game. I think they have a really good team. I think their defensemen are extremely tough to handle from an offensive standpoint.”

Leaman also praised the play of McIntyre, who has led UND’s defensive charge since a 5-1 season-opening loss to Bemidji State. In the last five games, UND has allowed just seven goals. Only two of them came at even-strength.

UND played without its leading scorer, Mark MacMillan, who had wrist surgery Saturday morning after he was cut by a skate blade during UND’s 6-1 win on Friday night.

Even so, the team got off to a good start when Johnson shot a loose puck from the right circle past Gillies on the short side at 13:16 of the first period. Saracino evened it at 18:00 of the first period, burying a long rebound off the end wall for a five-on-three goal.


Bryn Chyzyk created the go-ahead goal midway through the second period by torching a Providence defender on the right wing and taking the puck to the net, where Poganski tapped it in for the first goal of his career. The game stood that way until Saracino’s tip-in.

“Fun. Exciting. Playoff hockey,” McIntyre said. “Two big giants going at it in college hockey. It was a good series, I think. It’s a learning curve, playing a big game like this early in the year. A lot of people can take away great things, especially knowing how to close a game in a big situation. It’s more of a maturation process than anything, getting to experience this, the heartbreak and stuff.”

Notes: U.S. astronaut and UND graduate Karen Nyberg dropped the ceremonial first puck Saturday night. The puck that was dropped was the same one she brought to the International Space Station. . . The parents of the players were recognized during the first intermission. . . Poganski and Wade Murphy replaced MacMillan (wrist) and Colten St. Clair in the lineup. Keaton Thompson, Andrew Panzarella and Coltyn Sanderson were the other scratches. . . Providence used the same lineup as Friday.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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