GRAND FORKS, ND– For the first time since 2018, the University of North Dakota was swept in the Ralph Engelstad Arena, as the Cornell Big Red followed up Friday night’s comeback win with a 3-1 victory on Saturday. The last time that the Fighting Hawks were swept at home was in November 2018 against Western Michigan.
North Dakota got off to the start they wanted, buzzing the offensive zone and attacking Ian Shane with shots, even drawing an early penalty. On the ensuing power play, Riese Gaber had time and space to pick his spot; which happened to be over the shoulder of Shane to make it 1-0 exactly two minutes into the game. Moments later, while shorthanded, Mark Senden was hauled down as he made a break to the net. However, Senden’s attempt to go five-hole was thwarted and the game remained 1-0. Just after the penalty expired, Cornell got on the board as Kyler Kovich got behind the coverage and tipped home a rebound in a wide open net for the game-tying goal. Cornell’s pressure was starting to get to UND, as they took some untimely penalties, including one to Tyler Kleven that was reviewed for a major– but was deemed a minor. The Big Red’s attack resulted in Ondrej Psnenicka getting a tip off a Hank Kempf shot to give Cornell the lead.
The second period yield no goals, as Cornell started to clamp down defensively with the lead. Unable to get the puck through the defensive scheme, North Dakota and its fans seemed to feel the pressure and start to get a little anxious about what was to come.
North Dakota made bigger strides in the third period, finally finding ways to get pucks toward Shane, but still unable to find away past him. The Cornell defense played rebounds very well and cleared the puck out of the danger zones quickly. North Dakota wasn’t so fortunate, as Brenden Locke put home his fifth of the season, after being on the door step with no defender on him for a gimme-goal. Even with North Dakota putting up 15 shots– almost half their game total– in the third, they did not have an answer for Shane, as the Big Red take home a big non-conference away sweep; leaving North Dakota wondering what went wrong as they look ahead to NCHC play the rest of the year.
THEY SAID IT
“They’re big and fast, but so are we. We just needed to match that this weekend, but we didn’t. We just have to stick together, stay positive and have a good week at practice.” — Jake Sanderson on what to do moving forward.
“It sucks. This weekend, we didn’t play terrible. I thought we controlled a lot of the weekend. There’s a lot of plays where we need to be a lot stronger. Offensively, we need to generate more. It was a disappointing weekend.” — Riese Gaber on the weekend.
“It was the start we wanted with that one-goal lead. They had a push and scored a couple, then it was kind of back-and-forth. For the most part, we had enough chances to win the game. We didn’t get it done scoring goal wise and I think that’s magnified in the goals you gave up. We gave up a couple of tap-in goals in front. At the end of the day, it’s a situation where I don’t think we did enough to score enough goals to win the game.” — Brad Berry on the effort from Saturday