DU goalie Tanner Jaillet (Photo Credit: Russ Hons)
Friday night, it appeared that the University of North Dakota hockey team had watched the Minnesota Wild’s game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
UND followed the Wild’s game plan almost to a “T”.
Much like the Wild, the Fighting Hawks found themselves down 3-0 after 33 minutes of hockey. At one point, UND was outshot 20-2 to start the game. After giving up three goals to the Denver Pioneers, the Hawks grabbed the momentum and outscored the Denver Pioneers 5-1 the rest of the way.
“We got a little bit too fancy in our end of the rink,” coach Berry said. “They take away time and space and we turned pucks over and then when we got to their end in the first period we weren’t putting pucks on net. We just simplified our game. Simo’s line with Smitty and Yonner got us going. Guess what? They scored the game-winning goal, too.”
After a lopsided shot total of 21-12 in the first period, UND outshot the Pioneers 24-13 the rest of the way.
At the 13:38 mark of the second period, Zach Yon cut the Pioneers lead to 3-1 when he snapped the puck from the left faceoff dot.
Less than two minutes later, junior forward Joel Janatuinen cut the lead to 2-1 when he banged home a rebound from the goal mouth. Again, good things happen when you go to the blue paint.
“I thought when we got a couple of goals we got momentum on them,” Berry said.
With the momentum in UND’s favor, Colton Poolman tied the game 1:10 later with this beauty.
UND wasn’t done there, at the 4:49 mark of the third period, Christian Wolanin erased the Pioneers lead. The Fighting Hawks smelled blood and didn’t let up.
After the Pioneers briefly tied the game with a highlight goal from Troy Terry, senior forward, Johnny Simonson, sealed the victory with a deflection from the point. That was Simonson’s second goal of the season. With the victory, UND improves to 8-2-3, 3-1-1 NCHC.