Last season, UND goalie Cam Johnson went 24-4-2, 1.66 GAA, .935 save percentage. Johnson garnered All-American honors and was a finalist for the Mike Richter award. The 2016-17 season has gone a little differently.
Make no mistake about it, Johnson’s numbers have fallen off this season. Johnson will be the first one to admit that, but he’s not the problem.
In 30 games, Johnson is (15-11-3, 2.36 GAA and .907 save percentage). Again, I’ve said this many times, Johnson isn’t the reason this team is struggling. This is a team effort, folks. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
If you don’t believe me go back and re-watch Friday’s game. Johnson made 21 saves in the second period alone. Friday’s game could have gone either way. Defensive breakdowns and untimely odd-man rushes have been the downfall of this team.
You cannot continue to let your goaltender face multiple grade-A opportunities and expect them to bail out the forwards and defensemen all of the time. Eventually, they’re going to need to be more responsible play in the defensive zone. Again, this is a team effort.
Hawks Have Been Highly Inconsistent
This year’s team has been highly inconsistent. One night they’ve looked like a team that could beat anyone in the nation. The next night, they played like a team that’s lost and fighting for sixth place in the NCHC standings.
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times this season, missing from last season’s championship team are underclassmen that gave up their college eligibility to play professional hockey (Paul LaDue, Keaton Thompson, Nick Schmaltz and Troy Stecher). Imagine if half of these players had come back for another season?
NCHC Team Statistics
Statistically, The Hawks have struggled in comparison to previous seasons. At the present moment, their conference statistics are mediocre and beg for improvement. Offensively, the Hawks are ranked fifth in the NCHC in scoring 2.77 G/PG. Defensively, they’re are ranked third in the NCHC 2.68GA/PG. On special teams, they’re ranked fifth in the NCHC on the power play with 19.1%. On the penalty kill, they’re ranked second in the NCHC with 86.7%. (Courtesy of College Hockey Stats Net)
National Team Statistics
The Hawks’ national statistics are down from previous seasons. At the present moment, they are ranked 24th in the nation in scoring 3.06 G/PG. They’re ranked 20th in the nation on defense 2.58 GA/PG. On special teams, the Hawks are struggling nationally: they’re ranked 27th on the power play, 26/140 (18.6%) and ranked 18th on the penalty kill, 121/143 (80.0%). (Courtesy of College Hockey Stats Net)