No. 7-ranked Notre Dame splits with UNDNOTRE DAME, Ind. — The last period of the weekend was one of the University of North Dakota’s best this season.
By: Brad Schlossman, The Dickinson Press
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The last period of the weekend was one of the University of North Dakota’s best this season.
The team pressured the puck, forced turnovers, cycled down low and created a bunch of Grade A scoring chances.
Not that it made the team feel any good.
UND was salty after dropping a 5-2 decision to Notre Dame in the series finale at Compton Family Ice Arena.
“You walk away with a sense of leaving something on the table,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s the bottom line. We didn’t come here to walk away with a split. So, what do you walk away with? You walk away with a real angry feeling, to be honest with you. That’s how you feel. It’s not a very good feeling.
“We came in here today with the opportunity to take another step forward and we were a little bit too soft in the first half of the hockey game. We did everything we could in the last half of the hockey game, but in doing that, we left two points here in South Bend.”
UND, which won the series opener 2-1 on Friday night, boarded a charter flight back to Grand Forks upset that it wasn’t able to complete the series sweep. It’s the fifth time this year the team had a chance for a weekend sweep on Saturday night but was unable to close it out.
Notre Dame captain Anders Lee scored two goals and added an assist, Jeff Costello added two goals late and Kevin Lind scored a back-breaking shorthanded goal in the second period to help the Irish improve to 9-4 overall.
Mark MacMillan and Rocco Grimaldi scored for UND, which dropped to 6-4-2 overall and 3-3 in nonconference play.
“I thought we played well in the third period,” UND sophomore Stephane Pattyn said. “But you don’t win hockey games when you play one period. Our team has got to play 60 minutes.”
Freshman forward Colten St. Clair agreed.
“I think we gave it our all in the third period,” he said. “But our first two periods were a little slow. If you want to win a game, you have to give a full, 60-minute effort.”
The key point in the game happened in the second period.
Right after UND tied the game 1-1 on a picture-perfect two-on-one between Danny Kristo and MacMillan, a Notre Dame player skated over to Kristo and cross-checked him in the throat. UND didn’t retaliate and after the referees sorted out the penalties, UND had a five-on-three power play for a full two minutes with a chance to take the lead.
UND came out of those two minutes down by a goal, though.
Corban Knight was called for cross-checking early in the power play, and after Notre Dame was awarded an offensive-zone faceoff because the puck was played with a high stick, defenseman Kevin Lind scored on a point shot at 6:09.
“That’s a momentum swing,” Hakstol said. “But you move past that and we got a pretty good 25 to 30 minutes. It wasn’t good enough tonight.”
UND had plenty of scoring chances against Notre Dame goalie Steven Summerhays, who starred in stopping 30 of 32 shots. Some of UND’s top players had breakaways or wide open looks from down low, including Grimaldi, Knight and Brendan O’Donnell.
“The last 30 minutes of the game, we finally started to push the pace, win some races, win a lot of puck battles and create opportunities,” Hakstol said. “Unfortunately, that was probably the timeframe where their goalie was the difference-maker for them. I thought he was the difference in the second half of the hockey game after we got ourselves down 2-1.”
UND was outshot for the seventh straight game, a 41-32 advantage for Notre Dame. But UND hopes it can build off the third period, when it looked like teams of the past.
“You look at the number of Grade A opportunities that we had in the final 25 minutes of this hockey game and there were enough there to put us right back into it. That’s really the bottom line to me. We dug ourselves a hole and we couldn’t get past (Summerhays) to get ourselves back into it.”
Notes: USA Hockey’s director of hockey operations Jim Johannson and U.S. World Junior coach Phil Housley attended the game, evaluating players for the upcoming World Junior roster selection. . . UND played its 11th game without forward Michael Parks, who is out with a leg injury. Parks is week to week. . . Knight extended his point streak to eight games with an assist on MacMillan’s goal. . . Lee had nine shots on goal. . . Derek Forbort registered a minus-5 rating. . . Andrew MacWilliam had seven blocked shots.