Former UND goalie Matt Hrynkiw (Photo Credit: Russ Hons)
I like when nice things happen to good people. By now you’ve probably heard that the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team has a new volunteer goalie coach. Former UND goalie Matt Hrynkiw replaces Karl Goehring who was hired earlier this summer by the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is a great move by the UND coaching staff.
I had the pleasure of covering Hrynkiw for four seasons and he’s one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He’s a great student and very good teammate. Hrynkiw also has a very impressive work ethic, on the ice and in the classroom. When the coaching staff called his name, he was ready to go. This is one of my favorite Matt Hyrnkiw stories.
Hrynkiw stepped on the ice for the first time to start the third period of Friday’s game against the Bemidji State University Beavers. However, this wasn’t for a few meaningless throw away plays at the end of a game.
The stage was set; UND was the visitor’s in a hostile arena and the score was 4-2 with UND leading. The Beavers were pressing and smelling blood, but Hrynkiw stood his ground. Hrynkiw stepped in and stopped 10-of-12 shots, securing a much-needed tie for the UND hockey team.
Hrynkiw was asked if he was nervous getting in the first official game action, “Little bit for sure,” Hrynkiw said. “More of the fact that I hadn’t seen a puck for 50 some minutes or whatever. It’s always a little nerve-wracking getting a feel for the biscuit in the middle of the game.”
Taking a trip down memory lane, during the 2015-16 championship season, Hrynkiw was one of the reasons UND won number eight. When Cam Johnson went down early in the season, Hyrnkiw stepped in and added an element of calm until the starting goaltender returned to the net. Things could have gone down hill, but they didn’t.