Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UNO Splits Hockey Series with North Dakota

UNO broke North Dakota's three game winning streak over the Mavs on Saturday night with a 4-2 victory, but fell to the former Sioux on Sunday evening.  Due to the unluck of the schedule makers, I was only able to see the final two periods of the Sunday game.  I arrived just after UNO tied the game at 1-1, only to watch the Sioux take the lead on two goals that frankly should never have happened.  On North Dakota's second goal, UNO defenseman Michael Young inadvertently knocked in the rebound of Michael Parks shot.  The third goal probably would have been overturned if the instant replay system were working properly.  North Dakota's Rocco Grimaldi's shot was deflected by Blake Caggiula's skate. It should have been overturned for both the kick as well as Caggiula being in the crease ahead of the puck...but the goal stood.

UNO's Josh Archibald managed to cut the North Dakota lead to 3-2 in the closing seconds of the second period, but UNO couldn't manage to score again.  Down the stretch, the game got very physical with numerous scrums.  Just after North Dakota's Derek Rodwell was sent off for tripping, Grimaldi drilled UNO's Ryan Walters into the boards head first. It should have been a five minute major for Grimaldi, but the infamous Brian Aaron and his partner Brian Thul didn't have the backbone to toss the 2012-13 WCHA all-rookie forward.

Despite the loss, UNO remains tied for first place in the NCHC, which is actually a pretty good position for UNO considering their preseason selection to finish last. This weekend, #2 Michigan returns to Omaha for a non-conference series.  The next week is #8 Miami.  It's a brutal schedule for UNO, though it got off to a pleasantly surprising start by sweeping the Gwoz-less Denver Pioneers on the road.

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