GRAND FORKS, ND– For 46 minutes, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks look to be in control of Friday night’s game against Cornell. They were up 3-1, they had plenty of momentum, and had the Big Red on their heels. However, in a span of 4:45, Cornell netted three goals and held off a late flurry by UND; as Game One of the weekend went to Cornell by a score of 4-3.
Wearing their white fauxback jerseys– dubbed the home business suit– UND got off to a quick start with solid shifts in the offensive zone in the first six minutes of the game. While they didn’t score, they set a tone early for the game. However, Cornell did have a pushback for the Hawks offense, at one point outshooting the Hawks and getting some shots on Zach Driscoll. North Dakota would get on the board first, as a turnover in the zone saw Chris Jandric have a clear path to the net, but he saw Mark Senden to his side, slide a pass over and had Senden net his fourth of the season.
Cornell got on the board early in the second thanks to a power play goal by Sam Malinski patiently skating across the blue line and letting a wrist shot go through a screen to beat Driscoll. It was one of the three shots of the period for the Big Red. North Dakota locked things down defensively, but also took the offensive posture again, firing 13 shots in the period at Ian Shane. The long goal to go through, was a wonderful goal by Ashton Calder. On the power play, Jake Sanderson dropped a pass back to Calder on the slingshot scheme, then Calder blew through the Cornell defense and released a quick shot on Shane, beating him five-hole to give UND the lead again.
North Dakota was able to continue form the second period, bringing the offense to Cornell, which concluded in Jake Schmaltz burying a shot past Shane after a wonderful pass from Sanderson to give North Dakota a two-goal lead. That seemed to wake up Cornell, who started to pick up their counterattack and it paid off just before the midway point of the third. A Sebastian Dirven shot form the point went wide of Driscoll, but Jack O’Leary was able to pick up the rebound before Driscoll could and tucked it in to make it a 3-2 score. As North Dakota was on the attack, a pile-up behind the net ended with Gavin Hain down on the ice, unable to put pressure on his right leg. As play went the other way, Max Andreev put home his eighth of the year to tie the game, as Hain was helped off the ice by his teammates. To finish off the comeback, Kyler Kovich netted the game winner, out-muscling Jandric in front of the net to bang home the rebound off a Malinski shot and make it a 4-3 scoreline; which would be the final.
“You need a quicker response, you need a quicker pushback,” head coach Brad Berry said postgame. “When they score to make it 3-2, you still have a goal lead with less than ten minutes left in the game. You need to have some mental toughness as far as the next shift. When a team is down late in a game, there’s a push. We need to meet or exceed that and when you don’t do that you break down in those scenarios.”
“It’s not one person, it’s the five players and goaltender on the ice,” Berry mentioned talking about the second Cornell goal. “It’s not incumbent upon one guy when you give that goal up. When we win as a team, we win as a team. When we lose as a team, we lose as a team.”
The two teams face off Saturday, which will be the last non-conference match-up for UND of the season.