Cornell storms back in third period to rally past UND
The Fighting Hawks had won 47 in a row when leading after two, but failed to extend that streak Friday night.
GRAND FORKS — Things looked promising Friday night.
UND was playing at home, where it entered the weekend with a 35-4 mark in the last 39 games.
It took a lead into the third period. It had won 47 consecutive games when doing so.
On top of that, the Fighting Hawks allowed Cornell just eight shots on goal through two periods and four shot attempts below the faceoff dot the entire game.
But all of those positive signs went out the window in the span of 4 minutes, 45 seconds in the third period.
Cornell rallied on goals by Jack O'Leary, Max Andreev and Kyler Kovich to storm back and beat the Fighting Hawks 4-3 in front of 10,128 stunned fans in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
"Two-goal lead with a little more than 10 minutes in the game and you lose the game," UND coach Brad Berry said. "It's not what we do. For the most part, I thought we played a pretty good game. But a couple of breakdowns toward the end of the game cost us. . . a lost opportunity against a good team."
UND dropped to 13-7 overall. Cornell, playing without leading scorer Matt Stienburg, improved to 10-3-1.
"They had a good push," UND defenseman Chris Jandric said. "We tried to push back, but I think we've got to get more good shifts together rather than just one. I think we're going to play a full 60 tomorrow, then we should be good."
UND received goals by Mark Senden, Ashton Calder and Jake Schmaltz, but it wasn't enough against Cornell freshman goalie Ian Shane, who stopped 23 of 26 shots in his first-career start.
Shane didn't see action until Sunday at Arizona State, sitting behind senior Nate McDonald and fellow freshman Joe Howe.
A similar goaltending battle may be brewing at UND, too.
Rookie Jakob Hellsten didn't see action until November and didn't get a start until the final game of the first half of the season — a 4-1 win at Colorado College. He played in UND's exhibition game on Jan. 1 and will likely start the series finale against Cornell at 6:07 p.m. Saturday after fifth-year senior Zach Driscoll allowed four goals on 17 shots Friday.
"It's not one person," Berry said. "It's the five players and the goaltender on the ice when you give up something. It's not on one guy when you give that goal up. Usually, it's more than that. When we win, we win as a team. When we lose, we lose as a team. It was a situation where we lost it as a five-man unit and our goaltender."
Berry lamented defensive breakdowns that led to the goals — three players below the red line in the offensive zone on one and not boxing out in front of the net on another.
Offensively, Berry thought UND could have been better, too.
"They're a good defensive team," Berry said. "They block a lot of shots. They make it frustrating trying to get some pucks to the net because they do a good job boxing out and blocking shots. But we need to have some patience in our game here. It can't be all or nothing. It's a situation where if there's adversity in a game, we're going to have a response on being mentally tough and strong."
UND lost senior winger Gavin Hain to an undisclosed injury in the third period. He had to be helped off the ice. Berry said he didn't have any update on Hain, who had scored a goal in four consecutive weekends entering Friday.
"He's getting observed right now and getting some tests done," Berry said. "We'll see where he's at."
Notes: UND played without forward Brendan Budy, who is expected to be out indefinitely (undisclosed). . . Cornell played without Stienburg and fourth-leading scorer Ben Berard. . . UND wore its NoDak jerseys for the second time. It also wore them for the series finale against Minnesota.