(Photo Credit: Russell Hons Photography)
Win’s in college hockey require a mistake free, full 60-minute effort. You can’t take segments off at crucial points. So far, this season, this has been a recurring theme for the University of North Dakota hockey team.
While the Fighting Hawks are playing good hockey, they’re making mistakes at these crucial points that end up in the back of their net. That needs to change if they want to be successful in the long run.
After Saturday’s non-conference 2-2 tie against Michigan State Spartans, the Fighting Hawks had a players’ only team meeting where they aired out their differences. Sophomore defenseman Christian Wolanin was very frank on what needs to done.
“All we talked about was putting it together Wolanin said. “It’s unbelievable how well we play when we’re on and we’re firing on all cylinders, forwards, defense, and goaltenders. Then, we turn it off for a period, turn it off for five minutes and there’s a momentum swing and the energy on the bench dies.
“It’s not that we’re young. It’s not that we have no leaders. It’s just a mindset that we have to develop.”
Sophomore forward Johnny Simonson echoed Wolanin’s thoughts, “Guys aren’t too happy about that in the locker room. We still have a long ways to go as a team.”
While UND is a young team, that doesn’t excuse their play. Every time the players but the UND uniform there’s expectations from their fan base.
“We’re the University of North Dakota,” Wolanin said. “That’s what’s expected, excellence or nothing. We’ve got ourselves to believe in.”