|NCHC Standings: |
1) Miami, 20 points; 2) UMD, 15 pts; 3) UND, 12 pts;
4) DU, 9 pts; 5) UNO, 9 pts; 6) St. Cloud State, 7 pts;
7) Western Michigan, 5 pts; 8) Colorado College, 0 pts
Another week in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference brought yet another split for UND as they took on No. 16 St. Cloud State at the Herb Brooks Center in St. Cloud.
The Huskies rode the stellar play of their star, Jonny Brodzinski, who netted two goals en route to a 3-1 win on Friday night. UND battled back with an energetic performance on Saturday night and earned the split with a 3-2 win behind two Trevor Olson goals, the first two of the freshman’s career.
Here’s what stood out to DDC this weekend:
No. 1 – Troy Stecher
Another solid defensive weekend for this budding star. DDC wishes this kid would find the score sheet more often so people could know more about him. He was everywhere this weekend again playing shutdown defense with his partner Gage Ausmus. Stetcher has been nothing but astounding
this year and this weekend was no different.
No. 2 – Trevor Olson
Happy birthday Mr. Olson. The Freshman winger sat out Friday night’s loss and his addition back into the lineup with Bryn Chyzyk going down with an injury sparked a UND win. Olson netted his first two career goals on his 21st birthday and added a physical presence that the Green and White have lacked for much of the year.
No. 3 – Jonny Brodzinski
This kid is a stud. He showed it on Friday night. UND kept him quiet on Saturday and that ultimately got North Dakota the split. A unique blend of size, speed and scoring makes this forward really fun to watch.
No. 4 – Herb Brooks National Hockey Center
DDC had the opportunity to watch UND’s win on Saturday with Mrs. DDC and two friends, and the barn was rocking. There was lots of green in the stands and the small, intimate rink provided an amazing college hockey atmosphere. It doesn’t have Bavarian almonds and the seats aren’t padded, but despite this, DDC will definitely be making this trip again next year.
No. 1 – Faceoffs
Yuck. UND got slaughtered in the dots on Friday 22-34, losing key faceoff after key faceoff in the defensive zone. Saturday was much better as senior Mark McMillan was slotted as the top centerman, going 19-14 for the top line. This needs to be a point of focus for North Dakota going forward. The teams in the NCHC are too good to be given opportunities in the offensive zone because of lost faceoffs.
No. 2 – Bad bounces
No excuses for UND on Friday night, but it is of DDC’s opinion that North Dakota was the better team 5-on-5 and a couple of awful bounces off defenders and offensive players a like ended up in the back of the net for the Huskies. These happen and Saturday night provided better bounces for UND, but again, these happen and the Huskies took advantage on Friday.
No. 3 – Missing the net
Too many times this weekend, UND came down on a rush and whistled shots wide that ended up being transition offense for St. Cloud. Hit the net. St. Cloud shot from all over the ice all weekend and created big rebounds that led to offensive chances. UND gets a few of these misses on net on Friday, especially early in the game while they carried the play, and we could be talking sweep for the Green and White.
So, that’s it. Up next, it’s Turkey Day weekend as the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks head to the Ralph for another important NCHC tussle. Come back later this week and DDC will bring you the breakdown.