As Meatloaf once said, “Two out of three aint bad.” That is unless you are playing hockey where that one period where your team doesn’t play well sinks the entire effort. That is exactly the case at the DECC last night as UMD played arguably the best two periods of hockey this season in the first and third, but gave up the three killer goals in the second to the Sioux of UND. Throw in great scoring opportunities not converted down the stretch for UMD and a Sioux open netter to get the 4-2 final.
Talk at the end of the game was that the scene is set for tonight’s rematch by UMD playing it close and tough right to the end. The reality that can’t be denied is that two of the three UND goals were unassisted. Why? Because they both came off of bad UMD turnovers in their defensive end.
After a well played first period that saw UMD jump to a 1-0 lead on Drew Akin’s third goal of the season, Kenny Reiter attempted a clearing play early in the second that lead directly to Darcy Zajac’s open net goal. First unassisted UND goal. Later in a defensive breakdown in the UMD end, another giveaway and another unassisted goal, this time by Ben Blood. Later in the second, a long range shot by Jason Gregoire found the net though Reiter.
Although it seems that Reiter let himself down with two of the goals, it was the Bulldog netminder that really kept them in the game stopping 13 of 16 UND shots, many of which were decent scoring chances.
In the third, the Bulldogs came out firing and kept it going. The effort was great, but it only resulted in a goal by Kyle Schmidt. UMD did log 16 shots in the third, but Eidsness was up tot the task stopping 15.
Looking over the scoring sheet it becomes apparent quickly that both goals by UMD came from the third line. Names missing from the scoring log were Connolly, Fontaine, and Bordson. The question all along has been how the Bulldogs will respond when a team makes an effort to shit down the big scores of UMD? The answer, as of right now, is that the Bulldogs will be fine, if they play a solid defensive game. More to come tonight.
The Blues in Minneapolis. The Gophers lose another one Friday night, this time to the MSU Mavericks, 3-1. The interesting outcome of that game was the captain, Tony Lucia’s, comments. “We just need to make sure that our morals are where they need to be and make sure we’re playing for all the right reasons, and that’s for the ‘M’ on the front of our sweater.” Decoded, it sounds like discord in the M locker room. I will say now that Jordan Schroeder will have a great World Junior tournament and that he will leave. The smoke and mirrors from the rumored earlier departure are not all wrong, it will just take the right time to have the NHL sniffing around and that will the Juniors.