North Dakota closed out the first half of the 2013-14 season with a non-conference series sweep against Northern Michigan in Grand Forks at Ralph Engelstad Arena this past weekend.
On Friday, North Dakota jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Northern Michigan fell to UND in a 4-1 rout where North Dakota found goals from four different players. North Dakota finished with 30 shots to Northern Michigan's 25, and were 2-for-4 on the power play.
In contrast to Friday, North Dakota scored three goals in the final 10 minutes of the third period on Saturday to overcome an early deficit and earn a 3-1 win. UND dominated in shots throughout the night, doubling Northern Michigan's final amount; 31-14. Netminder Zane Gothberg (Boston Bruins) earned his fifth straight win with the series sweep, and gave up just two goals over the weekend.
Rocco Grimaldi (Florida Panthers) and Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues) both finished the series with three points, joining a few others in the NCHC as the weekend's leading scorers. Luke Johnson (Chicago Blackhawks), Paul LaDue (Los Angeles Kings), and Michael Parks (Philadelphia Flyers) all finished the weekend with two points.
Gothberg earned both wins this weekend and stopped a total of 37 shots and allowed just two goals. During his five game win-streak, the Thief River Falls, Minnesota native is sporting a .938 save percentage while allowing, on average, just 1.60 goals per game.
After this weekend, UND will be idle until traveling to Burnaby, British Columbia, Jan. 3-4 to face the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in the Great Northwest Showcase.
1st Period - UND (4:10) Mark MacMillan from Michael Parks and Troy Stecher
2nd Period - UND (9:57) PP Luke Johnson from Rocco Grimaldi and Jordan Schmaltz
2nd Period - UND (16:23) PP Dillon Simpson from Rocco Grimaldi and Jordan Schmaltz
3rd Period - NMU (7:46) Darren Nowick
3rd Period - UND (12:36) Paul LaDue from Connor Gaarder
1st Period - NMU (15:20) PP Shane Sooth from Ryan Daugherty and Mitch Jones
3rd Period - UND (10:35) Gage Ausmus from Michael Parks and Paul LaDue
3rd Period - UND (14:12) Drake Caggiula from Rocco Grimaldi and Luke Johnson
3rd Period - UND (19:25) Derek Rodwell from Stephane Pattyn and Jordan Schmaltz
Zane Gothberg (UND): 5-11-8 = 24 (1 GA) - W
Mathias Dahlstrom (NMU): 9-6-11 = 26 (4 GA) - L
Zane Gothberg (UND): 4-6-3 = 13 (1 GA) - W
Mathias Dahlstrom (NMU): 8-9-11 = 28 (3 GA) - L
With the win, UND is now riding a season-long five-game winning streak while completing the sweep of the Wildcats. Last weekend they swept NCHC rival, Western Michigan.
Junior forward Stephane Pattyn played in his 100th career game on Friday night.
Over the last five outings North Dakota's special teams have been on fire; producing a power play of 27.3% and penalty kill of 87.5%.
Over the last nine years, North Dakota has seen seven seasons in which they've performed better in the second half (.698) over the first (.579).
Matt Christians covers Minnesota Duluth and the NCHC for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also give him a follow here -> Follow @matt_christians
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