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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service , Published January 25 2013

Fans boo as UND's offense struggles in home men's hockey loss

GRAND FORKS – Some fans booed at the end of the second period.

A couple even left midway through the third.

Whether the feeling was anger, apathy or boredom, the 11,821 in Ralph Engelstad Arena were not entertained or amused by the University of North Dakota’s 3-1 men’s hockey loss against St. Cloud State on Friday night.

It’s hard to blame them.

UND mustered just eight shots in the opening 45 minutes and never seriously mounted a rally against the Huskies, who moved into first place alone in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with the win.

“We got our tails kicked in our own building,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “There are no real bright spots that I’m going to look to out of this. We didn’t play well.

“I’m not going to try to air it out in this forum. We didn’t play well. The rest is going to be kept behind closed doors. We have a game to play tomorrow night. We’re going to have to come back very, very strong tomorrow night.”

Hakstol said the team won’t forget this loss – one in which UND got outshot 33-16.

“I don’t think we can,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the way to approach it. Obviously, by the time we get to the drop of the puck tomorrow, it’s got to be put in the back of our minds. But no, this isn’t one to forget. This is a hard one.”

Former Fargo Force player Jonny Brodzinski scored two goals for the Huskies, and Ben Hanowski had the third. Those two combined for 15 shots on goal – one shy of UND’s total.

Rocco Grimaldi scored UND’s lone goal, re-directing a pass from Carter Rowney to break up Ryan Faragher’s shutout bid with just 6 minutes, 11 seconds remaining.

“We just played uninspired from the start,” Grimaldi said. “Give credit to their team. They played a great game from their forwards all the way down to their defense and goalie. Obviously we didn’t get a lot of shots. We need a lot more shots than that if we want to win a game. Eight shots through two periods is never going to do it.”

St. Cloud State, led by standout blue liner Nick Jensen, kept UND’s attack at bay all game. Corban Knight’s 19-game point streak ended and the Huskies became the first team all season to hold both Knight and Danny Kristo without a point in the same game.

The only UND goal came on the team’s only power play of the night.

“We got away from our game,” UND forward Drake Caggiula said.

“Normally, we like to cycle down low, battle down low and whip pucks to the net. We didn’t do any of that tonight. We played kind of soft on the outside. We have to be more intense down low and battle for loose pucks.”

UND (13-8-4, 8-5-4 WCHA) had a strong opening four minutes, getting pucks deep and finishing hits. But the Huskies (15-10, 12-5) finally got the puck out of the zone and scored a bad goal on starting netminder Zane Gothberg. Brodzinski tossed a puck toward the net on a turnaround shot from the outside of the circle and it beat Gothberg on the short side.

“It just wasn’t our game,” Grimaldi said. “I can’t even put a finger on it. Starting with myself, no one was inspired to play the game. That can’t happen.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, SCSU, Brodzinski (Murray, Prow) 4:15. 2, SCSU, Hanowski (Kossila, Gravel) 16:36.

SECOND PERIOD: No scoring.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, SCSU, Brodzinski (Dowd, Murray) 7:35. 4, UND, Grimaldi (Rowney, Gothberg) 13:49.

SAVES: SCSU, Faragher 3-5-7–15. UND, 5-11-14–30.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald