Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gaarder Tricks BU, Sioux Take Round One

Ahti Oksanen scored his first
goal as a Terrier last night.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Last night was a pure battle. It had the feel of a playoff game. Play was up and down, really fast moving, and BU played very well until they just ran out of gas in the Third.

UND almost went up 1-0 midway through the first when Corban Knight tossed a back-hander off the post, cleanly beating Sean Maguire. The whole play was nicely set up by Andrew MacWilliam.

BU opened the scoring with little over three minutes to play in a dominant first period. Matt Nieto found Matt Grzeclyk at the point. Grzeclyk fired a low shot that Clark Saunders kicked out right on to the tape of Danny O'Regan. O'Regan was staring at a soccer net and did not miss. It was his third goal in as many games.

North Dakota struck back less than two minutes into the second. Mark MaxMilan's centering pass from the far circle found Connor Gaarder's left left skate as he was being heavily defended by Garrett Noonan. The puck, not with a kicking motion, deflected off of Gaarder's skate, over the shoulder of Maguire and into the back of the net.

Gaarder was not done in the second, as he ripped home his second of the game at the 7:08 marker. He caught a long stretch pass from Nick Caggiula at the BU blue line. From there, he blew by the BU defenseman and let go a low slap shot, about a foot off the ice that beat Maguire to the far side. All in all, just a poor goal to give up if you are the Terriers.

With little over half the period to go, Andrew MacWilliam was kicked out of the game for a cheap shot hit on Ahti Oksanen. Oksanen was cutting across the ice after the whistle blew and MacWilliam popped him in the head. Oksanen got his revenge, as he scored his first collegiate goal with a blast from the point the 12:12 of the second. It would be the only goal and really the only good chance BU had to score on the five minute power play.

Gaarder capped his hat trick with a five on three goal, less than five minutes into the third. Rocco Grimaldi swooped in behind the net and made a heads up centering pass to Gaarder who was camped out down low on the post. Gaarder shoveled it home, regaining the Sioux lead.

Grimaldi sealed the deal in the closing seconds with an empty net goal.

North Dakota badly out played BU in the third period. In addition to NoDak hitting two posts, both teams had a disputed goal. Neither counted. ND's was in the second stanza and that would have up them up 3-1. BU's came with about five minutes left in the game that would have tied the game at 3. UND definitely had a case for their's. The puck was clearly loose, but the whistle did blow.

---> Tonight will be a bloodbath, as it was pretty clear that these two teams don't really like each other.

---> Matt O'Connor will get the start in the BU net tonight.

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