The first half of the season is over for the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team. Currently, UND sits in second place three points behind NCHC leading St. Cloud State. With all of the injuries that UND suffered during the first half of the season, I think we can conclude that UND has been pretty successful.
“It’s a good time for the break, I think our team has grown a lot since August,” Head coach Brad Berry said.
During the first 20 games, the Fighting Hawks have lost 46 man-games due to injury or illness, including: Trevor Olson (10), Cam Johnson (8), Dixon Bowen (7), Ludvig Hoff (7), Gabe Bast (4), Johnny Simonson (4), Collin Adams (2), Joel Janatuinen (2), Nick Jones (1), and Andrew Peski (1).
While it’s probably way too early, looking at the all-important Pairwise Rankings, UND sits comfortably in seventh place. If you think about that for a few seconds, that’s pretty remarkable, especially, with all of the injuries during the first half of the season. UND has had 20 different lineups in the first 20 games.
Breaking down UND’s record, overall they’re 10-5-5 (.625). At the Ralph they’ve been tough to beat, going 6-2-2 (.700). On the road, they’re respectable 4-3-3 (.550).
“I love our team as far as where we’re at,” Berry said. “A lot of good, young guys have had some reps. I like our leadership. We’re building as a team. This was a heavy, hard weekend against a good team and I thought we passed the test. I know the result wasn’t what we wanted tonight. Tonight, we came up a little short. It was about a two- or three-minute span where we gave up a couple of goals. You have to play a 60-minute game to win against a good team.
I think coach Berry is right, due to the injuries, a lot of younger players have gotten valuable minutes and gained some great experience over the course of the first half of the season.
Leading scorers for UND:
Christian Wolanin (5g-11a—16 pts), plus-nine
Grant Mismash (5g-9a—14pt), plus-five
Nick Jones (6g-7a—13pts), plus-four
Colton Pollman (4g-8a—12pts), plus-11
Shane Gersich (5g-6a—11pts), plus-three
Rhett Gardner (4g-7a—11pts), plus-five
Cam Johnson 7-3-2, 1.83 GAA, .917 save percentage