UND forward Austin Poganski (Photo Credit: Russ Hons)
Through eight games, the University of North Dakota Hockey team was 1-2-1 on Friday nights, and 4-0-0 on Saturday nights. On Friday night’s UND has struggled to score goals averaging 1.25 goals per game. On Saturday nights, it’s been a different story, UND has gotten fat averaging 4.75 goals per game. On Friday night, UND changed their fortunes and scored three goals to beat the Wisconsin Badgers 3-2 and improve to 2-2-1 on Fridays.
On Friday, senior All-American goalie Cam Johnson suffered an undisclosed injury during the morning skate and was unable to play in the series-opening game. Johnson’s absence created an opportunity for freshman goalie Peter Thome. After giving up two goals on the first four shots he faced, the freshman from Minneapolis, MN, settled down and stopped 36-of-38 shots to backstop UND to an important non-conference victory.
Last Saturday, I mentioned that UND had taken a majority of their shots on goal from the perimeter. On Friday night, it was a much better effort by the Hawks, they got lots of chances from the slot area. As you can see from the tweet below, UND took a lot more shots from the slot area in the first period.
It was a little bit different story in the second period, freshman goalie Peter Thome faced a lot of shots from the slot area, but he stood his ground. A stat of note, from Jayson Hajdu, Thome is the tallest goalie on record in UND history. That distinction previously held by Clarke Saunders.
After not recording a single point in the first seven games of the season, senior forward, captain Austin Poganski has scored two goals in the last two games. Incidentally, UND is 2-0-0 when Poganski scores. On Friday night, Poganski found the twine in the second period to tie the game at two. I also noticed something, Poganski has found the twine twice this season and the same players have assisted on both of his goals. There seems to be some chemistry with the Poganski, Joel Janatuinen, and Nick Jones line.
Speaking of Poganski, that’s a perfect example of what happens when you go to the blue paint.
If you were unable to watch Friday’s game and you haven’t seen the game highlights, you can check them out below.