North Dakota Loses Lead This Time
One Night After Blowing Lead, Vermont Rallies to Salvage Tie
by Virg Foss/Staff Writer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. After blowing a 3-1 lead in Friday's loss, Vermont was able to rally from down two goals for a tie with North Dakota, in the season-opening non-conference series for both teams.
Brendan O'Donnell hit a pair of goal posts and Rocco Grimaldi crossbars twice for North Dakota. Although Grimaldi and fellow sophomore Drake Caggiula continued their hot starts to the season, each with their second goal in two games.
Caggiula stretched the lead to 2-0 at 19:17 of the opening period. When Vermont goalie Mike Santaguida slid slighly to his right in anticipation of a pass by Caggiula, he wristed his backhander high to the short side with freshman linemate Adam Tambellini assisting.
Vermont pressed the attack and tied it in the second period.
Sophomore center Robert Polesallo's wrist shot bounced off the catching glove of UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg and rolled into the net at 3:34 to get Vermont on the board. Senior wing Chris McCarthy scored shorthanded later in the period.
"We're not pleased with the tie but we're pleased with the resilience, being down 2-0 and all the momentum with them," said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. "It was good for our freshmen to experience and for our leaders to show the way."
The clanking of pucks off of crossbars and posts frustrated UND. "I think we hit three or four posts the last half of the game," Grimaldi said. "There were so many close opportunties. That's the way the game goes sometimes. We were that close — but not close enough.''
UND killed all six Vermont power plays and 16 of 17 for the weekend. That included a Vermont power play that carried into overtime.
"I liked the overall presence as a team early in the year," North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. "Pretty good cohesion. I like what I see on the bench. We have quite a few guys who are able to recognize situations and have the poise to go out there and play the next shift in that situation."
Elsewhere in the NCHC
Western Michigan was swept by Notre Dame in two games, and didn't score a goal in either game.
One night after losing to Bentley in its season opener, Nebraska-Omaha got revenge on the Falcons with a 4-2 win. Kirk Thompson got his first start in net for the Mavericks, getting the win.
Miami's Riley Barber scored four goals as his team swept Ohio State.
St. Cloud State heavily outshot Bemidji State, but settled for a 1-1 tie after winning Friday.
Sam Brittain earned back-to-back shutouts for Denver over Merrimack, 1-0 on Friday and 4-0 on Saturday.
Another pair of former WCHA rivals met in Duluth, Minn., as UMD got a win and tie against Michigan Tech on the weekend. Mike Neville scored with just over six minutes left in regulation to give the Huskies the tie Saturday.