Friday, October 26, 2007

The more things change

So the final score looks awfully familiar so I'll just say great game, I really wish I could of made it up because watching it was just a great feeling. Two teams that played sixty minutes of hard fought evenly matched hockey anchored by strong defense and excellent goaltending, what's not to like about that.

This score is the exact same as I witness the Huskies walk away in the first game of the last series between these two teams, so instead of writing a recap of this game instead I turn the floor over to Brad Schlossman with the Michigan Tech game one victory of North Dakota from December 16, 2006, published in the Grand Fork Herald December 17, 2006. I'm sure very few of the Huskies have forgotten and odds very few of the Sioux either.


Nothing is coming easy for UND this season, not even the perennial doormats of the league.

The Sioux lost for the sixth time in seven games Friday, a 3-1 decision to Michigan Tech in front of a silent, stunned Ralph Engelstad Arena crowd of 10,321.

The game mirrored UND's most recent seven-game stretch, which began in mid-November with a pair of losses to typical bottom-feeder Alaska Anchorage.

The Sioux gave up opportunities Friday in the first, goals in the second and didn't generate enough offense until it was far too late in the third. The loss dropped UND to 7-9-1 overall and 5-7-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Last hurrah at home

UND's six-game homestand comes to an end at 7:07 tonight, when it finishes a two-game series against Michigan Tech - a team that snapped several dubious droughts against the Sioux on Friday.

The Huskies won a game for the first time in more than a month, and they broke an 0-12 stretch against the Sioux, which dates back to a time when no current Husky players were in college.

And if it weren't for Brad Miller's tally with 1:27 left in the game, UND would have been shut out by Michigan Tech for the first time since Rube Bjorkman was coaching in 1977.

“We have to stay very mentally tough,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “We have a job to do. We have to do that job. Things don't always go right. Things don't always come easy. Certainly things aren't coming easy right now for us.”

That includes games at home, where the Sioux are 2-6-1 in the last nine games. On the current homestand, UND is 1-4.

Two tallies in a row

After a scoreless 35-plus minutes, Michigan Tech popped a pair of goals past Philippe Lamoureux before the end of the second period to spark the victory.

Sophomore Alex Lord scored for the first time in his career (37 games) from the inside of the left circle at 15:48 and Peter Rouleau helped the Huskies break a 5-for-92 drought on the power play at 19:31.

Ryan Bunger (two points) added a goal at 13:08 of the third period to help put the game away.

“We were flat in the first period,” Sioux captain Chris Porter said. “We had a lot of turnovers, and that gave them a lot of jump. When we're down, we always play good. But we've got to come out and get a lead early. We're never playing with a lead.”

Tough cookie to crack

The Sioux generated several chances early in the game, but Michigan Tech goaltender Rob Nolan was able to stop all of them. Nolan, who was winless in 13 games last season, totaled 29 saves.

He helped his team kill all six Sioux power plays.

The Huskies, who improved to 7-8-2 overall and 4-7-2 in the WCHA, have been strong penalty killers all season. They came into the weekend ranked No. 2 in the conference in penalty killing with an 87.5 percentage. Nolan made nine stops while the Huskies were skating a man down.

Keeping it close

On the other end, Lamoureux finished with 24 saves. He helped keep the game scoreless through the first period, turning away a pair of Husky breakaway chances.

In the second, the game turned physical.

UND's Darcy Zajac, Andrew Kozek and Joe Finley all laid out Michigan Tech players with big hits. Finley and defenseman Kyle Radke were both ready to drop the gloves in the final half of the game, but referees intervened.

“I thought our effort was very good,” Hakstol said. “When it comes to execution, offensively, we're struggling right now. I don't think that's putting any pressure. That's just saying how it is. We're struggling to finish plays. We had some plays that were there to be finished, but we didn't finish on them.”

Notes: The Sioux played without sophomore forward Jonathan Toews, who is participating in the World Junior Championship selection camp for Team Canada. Toews was named assistant captain Friday. . . . The Sioux moved Chay Genoway from defenseman to forward to fill the void. Genoway played on the blue line last week.

The game mirrored UND's most recent seven-game stretch, which began in mid-November with a pair of losses to typical bottom-feeder Alaska Anchorage.


geezer said...

It's all good stuff: The list, the apology, today's rebounded story. It was a great game tonight... The doormats seem to be accustomed to beating the Sioux.

Goon said...

Enjoy it while you can.