This week, the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team has a much-needed bye week. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time. The Fighting Hawks have beaten a path to the training room. Last weekend, UND was down three of their top players due to injury (Gabe Bast, Rhett Gardner, Nick Jones).
This is UND’s first bye week of the 2017-18 season. From here on out, the Fighting Hawks will play every weekend. The bye comes at a very good time. The month of January wasn’t kind to the UND hockey team 2-3-3 (.437),
Last Thoughts on Last Weekend’s Series
Last weekend, the Fighting Hawks faced a good hockey team minus three of their best players. On glaring absence, Rhett Gardner who could have made a difference on the ice. Gardner is a heavy player that’s strong in all three zones of the ice. He’s also very good in the faceoff dot. Leading goal scorer, Nick Jones’ absence left a huge hole in the Fighting Hawks offensively challenged lineup.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, the most popular player on a hockey team is the backup goalie. Some in our fan base have tried to pin Saturday’s tie on Cam Johnson. I don’t think that’s fair.
As I mentioned on Saturday night, the story of the day was the senior goaltenders. Senior goaltender Cam Johnson stopped 22-of-23 shots to earn the tie. Pioneers goaltender Tanner Jaillet was equal to the test stopping 21-of-22 shots.
Johnson’s numbers for the weekend, 0-0-2, 1.85 GAA and .907 save percentage. I will just say, I don’t think that goaltending and defense was the problem last weekend.
For comparison sake, if you look at the numbers, Pioneers senior goalie Tanner Jaillet’s numbers were identical to Johnson’s 0-0-2, 1.85 GAA and .907 save percentage.
Senior captain, forward Austin Poganski has been nominated for the Senior Class Award. The 10 finalists will be picked by the members of the college hockey media. For the last three years, I’ve had a vote in this award.
Classroom: Austin Poganski carries a 3.46 cumulative grade-point average as of Oct. 2017. He is a three-time NCHC Academic All-Conference Team selection and a two-time NCHC Scholar-Athlete.
Character: Poganski was voted team captain for the 2017-18 season and served as an assistant captain as a junior in 2016-17.
Community: Poganski has logged more than 70 hours of volunteer service spanning more than 29 different events as of Oct. 2017. He has given his time to organizations including but not limited to North Dakota Special Olympics Grand Forks Youth Hockey North Dakota Champions Club North Dakota Jr. Champions North Dakota State Fair and many others.
Competition: Poganski leads all active NCAA DI men’s hockey players in career games played. He entered his senior season as UND’s active leader in career points (64) assists (38) and game-winning goals. He is a three-year letter winner and co-recipient of UND’s Coaches’ Unsung Hero Award as a junior. Poganski scored 25 points in each of the previous two seasons. He ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 12 goals in 2016-17 received the team’s Most Improved Player Award as a freshman in 2014-15 and was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Here’s some of the stories circulating the blogspehere.
Last night, a local kid made his NHL debut.
Brock Boeser has taken the NHL by storm.
Everyone loves the Drake.