The Nanooks got out of the gate very fast. A few quick chances from North Dakota were turned aside by Scott Greenham, However a penalty to Cody Kunyk in the first period would ultimately lead to North Dakota's scoring run. A quick wrister from Brett Hextall, with the primary assist going to Anchorage native Evan Trupp, with the second assist to Derek Forbert beat Scott Greenham on the rush to go up 1-0.
The Nanooks were able to maintain possession, and cycle the puck in the offensive zone, however their shooting lanes were quite limited. The Nanooks attempted just 8 shots in the first period, and just 4 made it to the goaltender, Aaron Dell who was able to turn them all aside. Not much would be different in the second period, as North Dakota came out with a vengeance. Shots in the second alone were 9 to 1.
North Dakota would add two goals in the second to make it 3-0 headed into the third. But the game is at least a little closer than the score lets on. The Nanooks have been making good pressure, and defending pretty well, however, for the Nanooks to win, they will have to generate offensive pressure, get shots on net and knock a few in to pull out the win. North Dakota gave up towards the end of the game against UAA, we'll see if the same is true for the third period against UA.
And the Nanooks came out firing in the third, getting shot after shot on net. A 5:00 major and game misconduct went to Brad Malone, and the Nanooks capitalized on a 5 on 3 chance, generated by another 2:00 minor to Derek Forbert, but it wasn't enough. North Dakota's pressure defense did a good job limiting the chances. Going into next week, generating offense I'm sure will be a key point of practice. I thought the possession and puck cycling went a lot better than the Air Force game, but North Dakota is not Air Force. After blowing a 4 goal lead to UAA, I knew UND would be ready to go.
Looking to next week, Colorado College and Union are both formidable opponents. Both of them ranked in the top 20 so far, both have been to the NCAA tournament, Colorado College just missed out last year. Both will be great teams to get ready for through this next week and should be a great draw for fans in Fairbanks.