History was made. It was an exciting night for the NCHC, especially for both North Dakota and Miami, as they had the honor of facing off in the first conference game. North Dakota defeated Miami, in a grinding battle, 4-2.
North Dakota held a three-goal lead before Miami was able to add a tally to their side of the scoreboard. Jay Williams, Miami's goaltender, and Zane Gothberg, North Dakota's minder', were both tested, but it was Gothberg who stole the spotlight, stopping 35 pucks in first conference game.
The first period began and looked as though it was going to be all about Miami. They were relentless to the puck and aggressive even when on the man advantage. Unfortunately for the home team, it wouldn't last, not even through the period.
North Dakota took the reigns at 7:55 of the first period when Michael Parks buried his own rebound, lighting the NCHC hockey scoreboard for the first time in conference history.
The momentum had been visibly taken from Miami by Dave Hakstol's North Dakota club after Park's goal. Miami was backing off, not taking the chances they'd been earlier. With under two minutes remaining, North Dakota's Mark MacMillan capitalized again and the team in green skated off the ice at period end with a 2 goal lead over #1 ranked team in the country.
Brendan O'Donnell would put UND up 3-0 early in the second, but Miami's Sean Kuraly and Anthony Louis tallied for the Redhawks before the second period expired, adding to the excitement of the third period's puck drop.
Nick Mattson would tally the dagger midway through the period, but it was Gothberg who was tested over and over again, standing on his head throughout the last period to keep North Dakota on top.
1st Period - UND (7:55) Michael Parks from Mark MacMillan and Paul LaDue
1st Period - UND (18:03) Mark MacMillan from Brendan O'Donnell and Michael Parks
2nd Period - UND (1:14) Brendan O'Donnell
2nd Period - MU (8:25) Sean Kuraly from Taylor Richart and Alex Wideman
2nd Period - MU (18:18) Anthony Louis from Matthew Caito
3rd Period - UND (12:45) Nick Mattson from Luke Johnson and Troy Stecher
- Michael Parks, Mark MacMillan, and Brendan O'Donnell all finished the night with a goal and an assist each; both Parks and O'Donnell finished with a +3 rating.
- Zane Gothberg finished the game with 35 saves on 37 shots. Very impressed with his play.
- Matthew Caito and Anthony Louis were fun to watch for the Redhawks. Both highly skilled and involved players.
- Miami won 57% of the faceoffs.
- Final shot counter finished in favor of Miami, 37-25.
Give SB Nation College Hockey a follow here -> Follow @sbncollegepuck
Matt Christians covers Minnesota Duluth and the NCHC for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also give him a follow on Twitter -> Follow @matt_christians