Saturday Game React: UND vs. Wisconsin

It seems only fitting that the Wisconsin hockey broadcast featured the “water bottle incident” during the first intermission, as these two teams combined for 172 penalty minutes, most coming within the final four minutes of the hockey game.

Sioux captain Rylan Kaip’s charge behind the Badger net ignited the largest round of fisticuffs, as all five skaters on each side were given game misconducts and shown the exit doors.

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves seemed particularly miffed at the physical play, as his post-game handshake with the North Dakota coaching staff turned heated. A video of this altercation can be seen here. My guess is he was upset at Kaip charging a player with his head down, and also with Matt Watkins’ take-down of freshman phenom Kyle Turris. What he didn’t see from the bench, however, was that Turris had slashed Watkins across the wrist as the two were skating away from the boards.

“From the bench, the whole thing bothered me how it unfolded and carried on,” Eaves said. “I was just disappointed and I expressed it to him. How often do you see that in college hockey?”

North Dakota outshot Wisconsin 34-22 in this one, including 13-6 in the first period, as UND staked a 2-0 lead on a beautiful power-play goal by Chris VandeVelde and a late tally by T.J. Oshie. VandeVelde’s goal, a top-shelf backhander at 10:21, came just six seconds into a Sioux power play. Oshie’s goal, the eventual game-winner, came with under three seconds remaining in the opening period. T.J Oshie now has 14 career game-winning goals, third on UND’s all-time list behind only Mark Taylor (18) and Brandon Bochenski (15).

“We didn’t have a lot of spark coming out of the locker room,” Wisconsin senior captain Davis Drewiske said. “It’s disappointing that we could not match them from the start.”

“We were able to make some plays,” said UND senior Robbie Bina, who tallied assists on goals by VandeVelde and Andrew Kozek. “They weren’t tic-tac-toe or anything like that. It was nice to get out there, get a goal first and go from there. We were able to raise our level a little bit more tonight.”

At 14:21 of the second period, Brad Miller came close to making the score 3-0, but the referee ruled that the puck had not crossed the line before Wisconsin goalie Shane Connelly swatted it out of midair with his stick. The overhead video appeared to show a bit of white between the flipping puck and the goal line, but it was very close. The play was reviewed, and ruled no goal.

Andrew Kozek showed a nifty toe-drag move and rifled a wrist shot off the pipe and crossbar to make the score 3-0 later in the second period. Robbie Bina made a nice play to get the puck up the ice to Kozek streaking down the left wing.

“It was a tale of two different nights for me,” Connelly said. “They had some pretty good looks and took advantage of it. I made all those saves (43) last night and don’t get the bounces tonight. I had chances, but they buried their opportunities.”

The Badgers, scoreless on their first seven power plays, finally cashed in on the man advantage with just over two minutes remaining, spoiling Jean-Philippe Lamoureux’s chance at a fifth shutout in nine games. North Dakota’s penalty kill was particularly impressive in the second period, killing three consecutive penalties. UND finished 1 for 4 on the power play.

UND is now killing penalties at a rate of 91.1% (41 of 45), and scoring on 18.2% of power plays (8 of 44). Wisconsin’s power play percentage falls to 30.2% (13 of 43) after going 2 for 11 on the weekend, while their penalty kill has an 85.4% success rate (41 of 48).

The Sioux have given up only one first period goal this season after blanking the Badgers in both opening frames this weekend.

As UND head coach Dave Hakstol said in the post-game interview, this weekend was the best 120 minutes of hockey North Dakota has played to this point. He deemed the 5-3-1 overall record “acceptable”, given the quality of competition. He is pleased that the team is making progress in all areas.

The Ryan Duncan-VandeVelde-Oshie line registered 2 goals and 2 assists, Robbie Bina notched two assists and now has nine through nine games, and Andrew Kozek (1 goal) now has five goals this year and continues to display the quicker, more accurate wrist shot that was missing from his game last season. Evan Trupp had his best weekend, and the Matt Frattin-Darcy Zajac-Brad Malone line may be together for a while, as they created opportunities all weekend long.

UND moves to 5-3-1 (3-3-0 WCHA) on the year, while Wisconsin falls to 5-3-0 (2-2-0 WCHA). North Dakota is off next weekend, and returns to game action November 23-24 when they host the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs for a pair at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Badgers head to Colorado Springs to face the Tigers in WCHA action.

Thank you for reading this edition of the Game React. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

14 thoughts on “Saturday Game React: UND vs. Wisconsin”

  1. It’s good that you’re not trying to justify Kaip’s stupid hit but it’s sad that you use any ink commenting on Turris’ feeble slashes trying to protect himself against the ensuing thuggery.

    Hakstol really ought to discipline Kaip (like taking away his captaincy). As much carping as came out of North Dakota after the Paukovich hit on Bina it’s beginning to seem as what is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander in Grand Forks.

  2. I stand by my earlier comments. I believe that if you ask Coach Eaves, he will tell you that what made him most upset was the takedown of Turris, a move that, from the bench, would have appeared to be simply targeting his best player.

    I don’t think we can logically infer that Kyle Turris swung his stick “to protect himself against the ensuing thuggery”. How would he know that the “thuggery” was about to ensue? No, all we can logically infer is that Kyle Turris slashed Matt Watkins because his hands were on his stick as he swung and made contact with Watkin’s wrist.

    I think comparing any of this to the Paukovich hit on Bina is a mistake.

    Dave Berger

  3. Hey Donald! STOP leaving comments everywhere! We get you didnt like the hit. Wasnt a huge fan of it mself,(Destroyed him though) now go somewhere your not so annoying. Its time for you to hibernate to your hole.

    It was a fun game to watch,Eaves was upset that he was outplayed all weekend and thought the best way to deal with it was behind Hakstols back. Sioux were hustling to every puck. looing forward to Duluth!

  4. This was a good weekend of hockey for the SIOUX despite the split.I really believe this weekend is what the doctor ordered and will jump start this team to start getting sweeps intead of splits.Looking forward to the thrashing the boys are going to put on the dogs in 2 weeks.

  5. Old Hak thought is was the best they played all year, well they did have 90 minutes in penalties. Nobody knows how to GOON it up like the Sioux.

  6. Donald, dakota69er, et al. — Have you heard of a DVR/Tivo? When I reviewed the sequences leading up to the “melee” (3-5 times with the added objectivity of “morning after” assessment) I think Mike Eaves’ childish behavior was because he was embarrassed about the way his Wisconsin players acted! Where to begin? Hmmm… Cross-checking from behind on Oshie/Genoway by Davis Drewiske, followed immediately by a cross-check to the facemask of TJ Oshie by Blake Geoffrion — all because TJ shelfed Connelly and tried his best to avoid contact. That’s a little tough with a stick in your back driving you into the goalie. Earlier, TJ slowed to a stop when Connelly stopped Dunc’s shot and Kyle “Please don’t touch him” Turris promptly cross-checks TJ’s arm. Watch the tape — Kaip COASTED behind the net, took a stride and one-half and delivered a SHOULDER to the unsuspecting Badger. No different than a “look-out” pass and hit in open ice — and Kaip’s hit was parallel to the boards, too. Head down in the corner is no way to go through life! Kyle Turris’ ensuing two-hander to Matt Watkins, followed by his attempted follow-up elbow ended with Matt putting the youngster to the ice — with Kyle Klubertanz then jumping Watkins from behind — CLASSY hockey. Is hitting after the whistle called “Kyling on” in Wisconsin now? I forgot to mention Ford’s jab (spear?) of Phil Lamoureux when the puck was obviously frozen earlier in the game. As far as the melee itself goes, two-on-one’s? Grabbing facemasks from behind? Who is calling whom goons? See you in GF!!! BTW, I wonder if Mike Eaves shares his son’s glass jaw? He could have joined his son prone on the ice and out cold had he actually tried to “engage” Hakstol — who, you will note, was classy enough to shake his head in disbelief and walk away. Get a life, Badger faithful!

  7. Oh, wait — Turris HAD to “defend” himself (by making a pre-emptive strike?), because Wisconsin won’t play the Sioux again this year, short of one of the NCAA Regionals somewhere. It is too bad there will be no GF series with the BADgers. With their Gopher-style aggression (lead with your hands or elbows, slash, hook and hold, and grab facemasks and/or jump guys from behind — preferably after the whistle) they show their lack of seasoning. Klubertanz’ jump from behind would have gotten him seriously injured — or marked for some time — in any other situation BUT a WCHA series. Unless my TV did not show another set of boards somewhere around Smith, there was nothing wrong with the hit — except that Kaip’s number was visible to Derek Shephard! Big D. was not even going to call a penalty until he saw who it was — or until he heard the Kohl center faithful (or it could have been the little “extra” finish Kaip put in). No Pauko hit, not even close — for those of you who cannot count, one and one-half, possibly two, strides is NOT charging in the NCAA (or bantams).

  8. I don’t believe I implied here (or in the forum) that the Kaip charge was a CFB. What it had in common with the Bina incident though was that a player was in a vulnerable postion and potential serious injury could have been the result.

    I also don’t remember saying ANYTHING about who hacked who more during the crap that followed. The refs handled all that hoohaw properly. They didn’t however handle the Kaip charge properly. And regardless of what happened after that hit … it was the spark that created the fire.

    It was uncalled for, unecessary and unwarranted in the situation. Kaip was carrying around a chip on his shoulder from earlier incidents (notably the disappointing loss when UND outplayed bucky but lost the night before) and with the game winding down HE CHOSE to put another players well-being at risk.

    Feel free to carp about the specifics of what happened after that hit. I’m not in the least concerned about those events. And the only slash I saw from Turris happened after “scrumming” began but that doesn’t mean he didn’t slash someone prior to that. Slashing happens all the time. Brutal charges to players in vulnerable postions don’t happen all the time and they should be addressed.

  9. I should add that Kaip had plenty of speed coming around the net and whether he took 1, 2 strides or 3 (or whatever) is meaningless in the context of the play and the hit he delivered. You can quote scripture chapter and verse and find ways to excuse it perhaps but that doesn’t make it a clean play.

  10. Donald, you’re absolutely right, skating with your head down puts you in a vulnerable position which is why we teach SQUIRTS to avoid doing this or risk severe injury in PEEWEES where the checking begins. Afterall, checking a person who is skating with his head down (and separating him from the puck) is a ligitimate hockey hit and is not a penalty.

  11. And also, I suspect that in your view it was not “clean play” because the Badger was on the receiving end of the check in question whereas when Turris slashes a guy while another teammate tackles an opposing player from behind, all committed after the whistle, that would be the quintessential Badger definition of acceptable “clean play”…

  12. Hey Donald…………Where you one of those kids that always got smoked at the blueline cause your nose was aimed at the puck? Kaip could have hit the guy alot harder!
    Dakota69er…………If YOU think UND was a bunch of goons what did that make Bucky? They punched TJ in the head on 3 different occassions that night and it wasn’t until the third time (after he scored) that it was called. UW also had third man in twice during the scrum that occurred at the end of the game.
    Both of your comments are jokes! Most of us that understand the game can tell that you have very little hockey experience. Go away and leave the commentary to those that understand the game!!!!!!!!!

  13. I watched the replay several times too. The Kaip hit wasn’t all that bad, really. He smoked the guy, but did so by hitting him in the soulder, not the head. I thought Kaip’s follow through to the head afterward (when they were both on the ice) was the only “dirty” part of the whole thing.

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