Jimmy Snuggerud ties the game at 4 in the 3rd.
Jimmy Snuggerud ties the game at 4 in the 3rd.

North Dakota’s Five Good Minutes Good Enough to Down Gophers

Minneapolis, MN – When you outshoot a team 41-20 in a hockey game, something weird needs to happen for your team to lose.

Unfortunately for the Gophers, North Dakota brought five minutes of weird to squeak out a win.

In a dominating effort, Minnesota (4-2-0) lost to North Dakota (3-2-1) by a 5-4 overtime score. The Hawks played five minutes of good hockey throughout the game, taking advantage of three penalty calls on the Gophers in less than three minutes of play along with some crazy bounces to score a four goals in a four-minute stretch in the second period.

Outside of the four minute stretch, the Gophers owned the game, putting up double-digit shots in each period and ending the game with a 41-20 advantage. Minnesota steadily built a 2-0 lead midway through the 2nd period behind goals from Matthew Knies and Rhett Pitlick.

That’s when the weird started.

Pitlick threw his stick into the crowd in celebrating his goal, earning a 10-minute misconduct penalty. Minutes later, Cal Thomas took a boarding penalty, and UND scored when a shot deflected off a Gopher skate to pull within one at 2-1. Shortly after that, Ryan Chesley took a hooking penalty, and UND scored on the ensuing power play after a shot deflected off a Gopher stick in front. UND added their third goal 18 seconds after tying the game, when Gopher goalie Owen Bartoszkiewicz’ save deflected high up in the air, and the only player to see the puck was UND’s Senden, who batted it out of midair into an open net to take the lead. 40 seconds after that, a scrum behind UND’s net resulted in a facemasking penalty to Minnesota’s Logan Cooley, earning him a game misconduct and a five-minute major penalty. On the powerplay that followed, UND scored when Bartoszkiewicz saved a shot, only to have it deflect off the Hawks player in front of the net and back into the goal.

The weird 6:03 stretch from Pitlick’s goal / penalty to the last UND goal saw the Gophers go from a 2-0 lead to a 4-2 deficit. Despite the massive momentum shift, Minnesota was not done.

Connor Kurth scored in the final minute of the second period to pull the Gophers within one at 4-3, and Jimmy Snuggerud scored at 6:30 of the third to tie the game 4-4. At this point, it felt like Minnesota had regained all the momentum, but UND’s Drew DeRidder (who was the Hawks’ best player all weekend) kept the game at 4-4 through the end of regulation.

In the 3-on-3 overtime, UND’s Senden scored again, and after a short review for goaltender interference the goal was confirmed. After the dust settled, the net result was a split, but for Gopher fans it has to feel a bit hollow. The Gophers outshot the Hawks 79-38 on the weekend, and only came away with one overtime win to show for it. Special teams were the difference, as UND went 4-7 on the powerplay for the weekend while the Gophers only were 1-6.

Bartoszkiewicz was pulled in favor of Justen Close after UND’s fourth goal, but coach Bob Motzko said that he felt the team left Bartoszkiewicz out to dry in the second. After seeing all the goals UND scored, it’s hard to pin any of them on the goaltender.

The Gophers move on to Big Ten play next weekend, as they travel to Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes. Game times are a bit earlier than usual – it’s a 5:30 puck drop on Friday followed by a 4PM game Saturday.