GRAND FORKS, N.D. — North Dakota (4-1-0 overall) was superb in all aspects of the game tonight in rolling to a 6-1 nonconference victory against Providence (1-2-0 overall) in a highly-anticipated showdown between No. 3-ranked UND and the Friars, No. 5 in the national polls.
UND junior wing Drake Caggiula had a goal and three assists and UND killed all eight Providence power plays as the 11,525 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena saw a far different UND team than two weeks ago.
“Anytime you get embarrassed in your home rink like that,” Caggiula said, “you’ve got something to prove next time you come out here. I think we absolutely did that today.”
The four-point game doubled Caggiula’s previous career best and was capped by a shorthanded goal at 14:22 of the third period to close out the scoring. It was UND’s fourth shorthanded goal in five games this year. Caggiula was named the game’s No. 1 star by the media.
UND, after scoring five power-play goals in a 7-2 win at Colorado College last Saturday, added two more tonight, including the first of the season by sophomore Luke Johnson to set the tone at 7:05 of the first period. His wrister from the right faceoff circle beat Providence goalie John Gillies to the far side just inside the post just 20 seconds into the power play for a 1-0 UND cushion after one period.
Michael Parks had an open net for a rebound goal at 6:25 of the second period to make it 2-0. Then defenseman Paul LaDue cranked in his third goal of the season on a rebound stick side on Gillies at 16:02 to make it 3-0.
For good measure, UND freshman defensemanTucker Poolman went high glove side on Gillies on a power play at 18:25 to close out a three-goal period for a 4-0 UND lead.
That spelled the end of the night for Gillies, the highly-touted goalie who finished with 20 saves in the two periods he worked. His replacement, Nick Ellis, allowed goals by Bryn Chyzk in a tip-in at 6:54 and by Caggiula on his shorthanded breakaway at 14:22 while making eight saves in his period of work.
Providence’s only goal came from Kevin Rooney, who beat UND goalie Zane McIntyre (22 saves) on the short side midway through the final period.
UND outshot the Friars 34-23, including 25-15 in the final two periods.
“Everybody on our team had a job to do,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said, “and I thought everybody showed up ready to do their job. They’re a good hockey team and they’re going to make plays, and they did that. But our guys showed up and played hard tonight, played through 60 minutes.”
It was the type of performance Hakstol demands from his team.
“What we expect,” he said. “Nothing more, nothing less. It was a good effort at home.”
Chyzk had just the one goal on his stat sheet to show for his night, but he was the most effective penalty killer for UND with his relentless effort.
“My mindset on the penalty kill is to outwork their five guys,” Chyzk said. “The group of guys we got killing penalties right now are a bunch of hard-working guys, lunch pail kind of guys.”
Despite taking 14 of the game’s 23 penalties, UND allowed the Friars just six shots on their power plays — and no goals.
“I actually really enjoy it,” Chyzk said of killing penalties. “You’re kind of against the odds, right? You’ve got to outwork them to even things up, so I enjoy that. I think a lot of other guys on this team do, too.”
The victory ran UND’s win streak to four after the opening home loss to Bemidji State. Since then, UND has outscored the opponents 18-5 in the four wins. Specialty team play has been big for UND. The four shorthanded goals in five games match the season total for the team in 42 games last season. With two more power-play goals tonight, UND now has scored seven in the last two games after tallying five in last Saturday’s win at Colorado College.