“It’s the same thing every day.” — Phil Connors, Ground Hog Day
For the University of North Dakota hockey, Saturday’s game against Denver was Ground Hog Day. Different game, same result. The Fighting Hawks dominated everywhere but in the final box score.
Once again, UND outplayed, outshot another opponent only to tie, 1-1.
For the weekend, UND outshot DU 78-54 but was only able to put two pucks behind freshman goalie Filip Larsson. Statistically, that’s a shooting percentage of two percent. Unfortunately, that’s not going to win many hockey game or series.
On the flip side of the equation, DU only managed three goals on 54 shots. That’s a shooting percentage of five percent. Make no mistake about it; this past weekend was an exhibition in goaltending.
Both Goalies Shine in Series
The goaltending stats from this past weekend were nothing short of amazing. UND goalie Adam Scheel (0-1-1, GAA 1.47, and a 944 save percentage). His counterpart, DU goalie Filip Larsson (1-0-1, GAA .096 and a .974 save percentage).
When it’s all said and done, the University of North Dakota outplayed the Denver Pioneers but left Denver with a single point. The series had the making of a playoff series. Hold that thought. More than likely, the two teams are destined to play each other in the first round of the NCHC playoffs. We’ll know more in about four-five weeks.
Moving forward, some will decide to focus on the negatives, however, there are a lot of positives that you can take from this weekend. UND went head-to-head with one of the top teams in the nation and was in both games till the end. Second, over the past four games, UND’s penalty killed 15 of the last 16 opposition power plays. That’s tops in the NCHC.
You have to think that one of these 50-50 games is going to eventually end up in their favor.
The Blown Call
At the 08:35 mark of the second period, freshman forward Jasper Weatherby scores what appears to be the game-tying goal. After a lengthy review, the on-ice officials ruled that Filip Larsson was interfered with on the play. No goal.
Reviewing the video, the on-ice officials made an incorrect call. If you go back and watch the video, UND forward Johnson was pushed into Filip Larsson by Pioneer defenseman Ian Mitchell. There’s no reason that goal should’ve have counted. You can watch the non-goal in question at the 2:20 mark of the embedded video.
This blown call bears a heavy cost for UND in the standings. It could be the final nail that costs UND home ice for the NCHC playoffs.
“I thought the guys had an outstanding effort,” head coach Brad Berry told the Grand Forks Herald after the game. “I thought the first two periods, I thought we controlled play. The third period was kind of back-and-forth. We took a few icing calls that got us back on our heels. But we had a good enough effort to win a game. It’s disappointing that a disallowed goal comes into play.”