Tigers snap skid against UNDGRAND FORKS — First, the University of North Dakota lost Drake Caggiula to an injury.
By: Brad Schlossman, Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS — First, the University of North Dakota lost Drake Caggiula to an injury.
Then, it lost Michael Parks because of a penalty.
By the end of a stormy Friday night in Grand Forks, UND’s seven-game unbeaten streak was gone, too.
Colorado College forward Jeff Collett’s re-direct with 7 minutes, 4 seconds left had just enough on it to cross the goal line to give the Tigers a 4-3 win in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
It was UND’s first loss since a November 30 game against the same Colorado College team.
“We didn’t have it tonight,” UND defenseman Dillon Simpson said.
“We weren’t good enough all night,” said forward Mark MacMillan, who scored a highlight-reel, game-tying goal early in the third period.
It was an uncharacteristic game for UND on a number of levels.
For starters, just 2:54 into the game, goalie Clarke Saunders allowed a goal on an unscreened snap shot from outside the dot by fourth-line sophomore Jordan DiGiando. It was his first-career goal.
Later, UND’s power play was unable to get anything going on a five-minute major to Tiger defenseman Mike Boivin, who checked Caggiula from behind into the boards. Caggiula skated off on his own power but never returned. There was no immediate update on his condition.
And every time UND appeared to get momentum, it would be lost in a hurry.
Colorado College scored go-ahead goals every time the game was tied — at 0-0, 1-1, 2-2 and ultimately, 3-3.
“We didn’t do a good job building a lead,” Simpson said. “Whenever we had momentum, there was always something to kill it. We didn’t come out the way we wanted to. Throughout the game, it showed. We weren’t executing.”
MacMillan added: “Obviously, the game is a lot easier when you are playing with the lead. We weren’t good enough all night tonight. Any time we got some momentum, we’d make a stupid mistake or something and they’d capitalize on it.”
MacMillan, Danny Kristo and Nick Mattson scored the goals for UND, which moved to 12-6-3 overall and 7-3-3 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. It was only UND’s second loss at home this season.
Hobey Baker Award candidate Corban Knight extended his point streak to 16 games on an assist in the first period, but that wasn’t much consolation at the end of the night.
“We created a hole for ourselves and we didn’t play well enough to get ourselves out of the hole,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said.
Colorado College snapped a seven-game losing skid — its longest in 20 years — and improved to 9-12-2 overall and 6-8-1 in WCHA play, using a couple of goals from unlikely sources.
DiGiando opened the game with the first of his career and Collett finished it with just his second tally this season. It was assisted by Scott Wamsganz, who has two points on the season. That’s the type of production the Tigers were looking for when they stacked their top line with Alexander Krushelnyski, Rylan Schwartz and William Rapuzzi.
That top line was quiet, though, scoring once on a four-on-three power-play to make it 3-2 late in the second.
UND tied it early in the third on a highlight-reel goal by MacMillan, who blew past defenseman Eamonn McDermott on the right wing, went hard to the net and tucked it just inside the far post as he slid to the ground.
“It did (bring us momentum), but we didn’t sustain it,” Hakstol said. “Good play off the rush, good individual effort. We sustained it for probably five to six minutes after, but we didn’t sustain it throughout the remainder of the period.”
Notes: Rocco Grimaldi was recognized before the game for winning the gold medal at the World Junior Championship. . . Parks was ejected for a major facemasking penalty at 9:35 of the second period. Colorado College did not score on the major power play. . . Tonight’s series finale is at 7:07 p.m. in Ralph Engelstad Arena. . . UND was outshot for the first time since Thanksgiving weekend. Colorado College held a 35-31 edge.