A few of the bigger talking points from around the NCHC landscape this weekend.
UND digs out of early holes again
We’re talking about a small sample size just five games into the season, but North Dakota doesn’t seem to have much trouble erasing early deficits.
The top-ranked Fighting Hawks have now given up the first goal in each of UND’s past four games. It happened twice again this weekend at home against Bemidji State, yet UND picked up a sweep and moved to 5-0 on the season.
On Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena, the Hawks actually gave up the game’s first two goals as BSU’s Phillip Marinaccio and Brett Beauvais put UND in a 2-0 hole going into the second period.
Brock Boeser then put UND onto the scoreboard 14:51 into the second period on a 5-on-3 power play goal. He struck twice again in the third period, netting the game-winning goal on a penalty shot.
In Saturday’s rematch, Bemidji went ahead 1-0 2:53 into the game on a Leo Fitzgerald goal. Fast-forward to early in the third period, however, and another two goals from Boeser propelled UND into a 5-1 lead. After five consecutive Hawks goals, Bemidji scored three of its own to make the final score tight at 5-4.
UND’s schedule over the next month is potentially brutal: at No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth, at No. 7 Minnesota, sixth-ranked Denver at home and then a series at No. 14 St. Cloud State.
RedHawks impress at home
Miami continued its own promising start to the season with a win and a tie at home against Maine. The visiting Black Bears started the season with three wins and an overtime loss but were unable to pick up another victory on their first road trip of the season.
Friday’s series-opener was an entertaining 3-3 draw in which neither team was ever ahead by more than one goal. Anthony Louis was the hero for Miami with two goals, including a power play tally with 4:30 left in regulation that capped the game’s scoring.
Miami was even stronger offensively Saturday in a 5-0 win. The RedHawks peppered Maine’s net with 40 shots on goal. Louis picked up a goal and an assist, while Louis Belpedio knocked in a pair of goals.
MU (2-1-2) is back in action this upcoming weekend at home against former CCHA in-state rival Bowling Green ahead of a trip to currently undefeated Western Michigan (3-0-1).
Omaha’s defense struggles at home
A week after Omaha won the Alaska Goal Rush tournament, the Mavericks opened their home schedule in relatively underwhelming fashion.
UNO needed an Austin Ortega goal with 4:44 left in regulation Friday to salvage a 4-4 tie against Vermont in the teams’ series-opener at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks had found themselves 2-0 ahead after the opening 20 minutes on tallies from Justin Parizek and Tyler Vesel before Vermont scored four of the game’s next five goals.
Both teams were given plenty of power play opportunities. UNO went 2-for-7 on the man-advantage while Vermont capitalized on two of its six chances.
That happened again Saturday during a 5-2 victory for Vermont. The Catamounts capitalized on one of eight power play chances, while UNO went 1-for-6.
UNO again jumped out to a 2-0 lead, this time on goals from Mason Morelli and Ian Brady. Vermont roared back, however, scoring five unanswered goals.
Omaha (2-1-2) will look to get back on track this weekend at home against another Hockey East opponent. Little is likely to come easily, though, against fifth-ranked Massachusetts-Lowell.