A few of the more notable notables that stood out to me last weekend:
Wrist injury puts UND’s MacMillan out indefinitely
It won’t look like it if you only check the box score, but not everything went right for third-ranked North Dakota on Friday night during its 6-1 win over No.5 Providence.
True, UND routed a top-five opponent at Ralph Engelstad Arena, and that’s big for a North Dakota program that typically starts seasons slowly. During the game, though, UND lost its leading scorer to a horrific injury.
Late in Friday’s second period, UND senior forward Mark MacMillan found himself tangled up with a Providence player near the two teams’ benches. During the fracas, one of the Friars player’s skates cut MacMillan on the wrist.
MacMillan went to the UND bench and immediately threw the glove on his affected arm off before teammates and UND training staff applied bandages to the wrist.
Surgery was required, and MacMillan underwent it Saturday morning. So far, there is no specific timetable for his return to action.
For as long as UND is without him, though – starting on Saturday when Air Force comes to Grand Forks, N.D. – MacMillan will be missed. He began the season in fantastic form and picked up seven points in two wins at Colorado College the weekend just over a week ago.
Minnesota-Duluth’s inconsistent start to the season continued
Down, up, down, up, down, up. It reads like part of an old-school video game cheat code, doesn’t it?
Frustratingly for Minnesota-Duluth, it also describes the Bulldogs’ start to this season.
UMD is making a habit so far of losing its first game of a weekend before coming back the following night to win the second. That happened again last weekend during the Bulldogs’ split at home against Denver.
The pattern kept going on Friday when UMD dropped the opener to the Pioneers by a 3-1 count. In Duluth’s defense, though, DU goaltender Evan Crowley arguably stole the win by making 30 saves.
The Bulldogs recovered well, however, scoring three goals in Saturday’s second period and three more in the third en route to a 6-1 victory.
It will be interesting to see just how long UMD’s current stye of inconsistency sticks around, and it may for a while yet. The Bulldogs welcome Miami to Duluth this weekend before hitting the road to face St. Cloud State Nov. 7-8.
St. Cloud State takes one of two against defending national champions
UND’s two-game set with Providence last weekend wasn’t the only top-ten matchup that involved an NCHC school, as No. 9 St. Cloud State trekked to upstate New York to face second-ranked Union.
My NCHC writing partner Candace Horgan and I both predicted that the series would end in a split, and that’s exactly what happened. The Dutchmen blew SCSU’s doors off on Friday during a 5-1 win, but the Huskies came back the following night in Schenectady to win 3-2.
Union made SCSU look ordinary early on Friday, as the Dutchmen were up 3-0 8:54 into the game before finding itself up 5-0 late in the third period. A Ben Storm goal with five seconds remaining in the game later ruined unlucky Union goaltender Colin Stevens’s shutout bid.
Three different Huskies scored the following night as SCSU salvaged a series split.
This week, the Huskies move from playing the country’s second-ranked team to playing the first. In-state rival Minnesota will be SCSU’s next opponent during a home-and-home series.