Monday, October 12, 2015

Roses and Thorns: A Sight Unseen... A Title

The UND men's hockey team left the ice in Portland, Maine on Saturday night a bit deflated.

They had just dominated the Maine Black Bears for three periods, out shooting their Hockey East foe 45-20 and carrying play throughout, but lost in a shootout following a 1-1 tie. Despite the barrage of pressure and shots, the Green and White could only once beat Black Bear freshman goaltender Rob McGovern, leading to the tie.

However, on the back of a 5-2 win on Friday afternoon against Lake Superior State and Maine's tie and shootout win over Michigan State, a surprising and welcomed guest joined the UND locker room -- The Ice Breaker Invitational trophy.

Seemingly unaware that they had won the tournament, the Green and White celebrated a wholly successful weekend.

For the first time since in longer than he can remember, DDC did not get a chance to see even one second of this weekend's games as neither game was broadcast in any format. Seriously. No coverage... not even a highlight.

So, on the word of media and the sweet, silky voice of UND's play-by-play radio announcer Tim Hennessy, here's your sight unseen Roses and Thorns column for this weekend's play.


No. 1 -- Cam Johnson

UND sophomore goalie
Cam Johnson

Eleven seconds into the game on Friday, the sophomore goaltender seemingly had allowed his first goal in the
season. However, the quick strike was disallowed and UND fans everywhere breathed a deep breath. But, two goals on the first three Laker shots, Johnson was having flashbacks to his only start in his freshman year as LSSU took a 2-0 lead just six minutes into the game. This go-around with the Lakers would be different. Shaking off the demons of being pulled last year in Grand Forks against LSSU, Johnson settled down and did not allow another goal in 21 shots faced, pacing a 5-2 win. Johnson was solid on Saturday in limited work, allowing just 1 goal on 20 shots in a 1-1, Ice Breaker Invitational clinching tie. Cheers to Johnson.

No. 2 -- Freshman Chemistry

Again, DDC did not get to see them in action, but every media member raved about the line of freshman Shane Gersich, sophomore Nick Schmaltz and freshman Brock Boeser. Gersich scored his first career goal on Friday and the trio of Gersich, Schmaltz and Boeser had noticeable (again, DDC didn't see it, but he trusts the eyes of the media) chemistry on Saturday. Schmaltz had several set ups to his linemates, particularly Boeser who had eight shots on goal in the game. Don't forget about the other freshman, too. Chris Wilkie scored his first career goal on Saturday, UND's only tally in the 1-1 tie. It's exciting to see (well, hear) about a young group playing with a lot of chemistry just two games into the season.

No. 3 --  Brad Berry

Down 2-0 in his first game behind the bench as head coach just six minutes in, Brad Berry called his timeout. The Green and White took the pause well and ran away with a 5-2 victory. After the game, Berry talked about his first-ever timeout. "I thought, 'This coaching thing is pretty tough.' ". Well, UND took care of business the rest of the way and Berry got his first-career head coaching win.


No. 1 -- What Year is This?
"I thought 'Great Scott! No video coverage from the Ice Breaker
Invitational?!' I told Marty, 'we better not come Back to the Future!' "
-- Dr. Emmett L. Brown's direct quote in an exclusive to DDC.

Seriously. It's 20-frickin'-15.

How was there no video coverage of these games this weekend?!

When Doc and Marty McFly come Back to the Future later this week on October 15th, they will be ashamed of the Ice Breaker Invitational not having a way to showcase these games to fans of college hockey. If you don't get the reference, Google it. DDC feels bad for you.

Thank you, Mr. Tim Hennessy and UND athletics for letting us hear these games. Shame on you, Ice Breaker Invitational officials.

Head back to the blog later this week as the Green and White play a home-and-home, non-conference series with Bemidji State.

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