Gaarder leads UND past Terriers
GRAND FORKS -- Rocco Grimaldi saw Twitter this week.
"Added motivation," the University of North Dakota forward said. "We all saw it."
Boston University senior Ben Rosen posted a picture of barren land next to the Grand Forks airport and wrote that there's "nothing out here but 4 points" on Thursday afternoon.
Rosen didn't play on Friday night and the Terriers won't have a shot at getting those points (two wins) after UND sophomore forward Connor Gaarder scored three goals to rally his team to a 4-2 win over Boston University on Friday night in front of 11,589 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Grimaldi assisted on the game-winner and added an empty-netter as UND improved to 3-1-1 with an entertaining win over a traditional powerhouse team that hadn't been in Grand Forks since December 1996.
"I just thought it was a good hockey game," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "It was close. It was hard-fought. There was a good pace to it. There was a lot of physical play. It was a hard-fought, 60-minute game. They're a very good hockey team and they showed that tonight.
"I thought other than the first two or three shifts, we played a pretty solid hockey game."
Gaarder scored twice in the second period, then broke a 2-2 tie with a five-on-three power-play goal at 4 minutes, 24 seconds of the third period. Grimaldi started the play flying up the right wing. He cut behind the net and threw a no-look pass to Gaarder, who was alone out front. Gaarder snapped the shot past the blocker of BU goalie Sean Maguire.
"It felt good," Gaarder said.
Moments earlier, Gaarder thought he broke a tie when he pounced on a rebound and put it five-hole on the goalie, but the referees ruled the play dead and waved off the goal. It was not reviewed.
UND continued to pour on the pressure during the third period, outshooting the Terriers 14-5 and eventually finishing off the victory, dropping BU to 3-2.
"It was a really exciting game, obviously," said Boston University coach Jack Parker, who is in his 40th year at the helm. "There were a lot of great chances. I thought the penalties wore us down as the game progressed. When we got the five-minute major on the power play, I got the feeling that the calls might go the other way for them once we got the five-minute major. We just had to kill too many penalties. The game-winning goal was on a five-on-three power play. They had other really good chances, too. I thought as the game progressed, we got a little tired."
BU came out of an entertaining first period with a 1-0 lead on a goal by Danny O'Regan, who was alone on top of the crease, found a rebound of a point shot, took one step had an open net to shoot at.
UND, which hit three posts in the opening frame, gained the lead in the second on back-to-back goals by Gaarder.
At 1:11, Mark MacMillan sent a pass toward the crease area, where it went off of Gaarder's leg and high into the net. About six minutes later, Drake Caggiula sent Gaarder in the zone on a rush on the right wing. Gaarder blasted a slap shot stick side for the goal.
BU caught a big break midway through the period, however, when Andrew MacWilliam was assessed a major for contact to the head for a hit on BU defenseman Ahti Oksanen, who immediately grabbed his head and remained on the ice for a couple of minutes.
Oksanen came back on the ice for the power play and threaded a point shot to tie the game at 12:12. But the third period belonged to UND.
"I thought it was pretty close to as good of a 60 minutes as we've played all year," Grimaldi said.
Notes: Danny Kristo played left wing for the first time since Nov. 6, 2010. ... St. Louis Blues teammates T.J. Oshie (UND) and Kevin Shattenkirk (BU) attended the game, as did former BU standout Colin Wilson, a Winnipeg native who plays for the Nashville Predators. ... Rowney played right wing for the first time in 11 months.