Good Afternoon College Hockey fans. We’re fourteen games into the 2018-19 season and the University of North Dakota hockey team is struggling, badly. Currently, the Hawks are 7-6-1 and 1-4 NCHC. Yes, you read that right. UND is last in the NCHC standings.
Last night, against the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, the Fighting Hawks were run out of Amsoil Arena, 5-0. For those keeping track at home, that’s UND worst loss since November 15, 2015, when UND was beaten 6-1 by the SCSU Huskies in St. Cloud. It was also UND’s worst shutout loss since they were beaten 6-0 by the Minnesota Gophers at the Ralph on October 23, 2004.
The players and coaches will tell you that it wasn’t pretty. Not a lot needs to be said after a beating like that. There are not a lot of positives moving forward.
As many have pointed out, this isn’t UND hockey. If UND is going to play at in the conference tourney and make a run in the post season things will need to improve quickly.
Tale of the Tape
Offensively, UND is scoring 2.64 goals per game, that’s good for 41st nationally.
Defensively, UND is giving up 2.71 goals per game, that’s good for 26th nationally.
UND has scored 37 goals and given up 38 goals.
UND is ranked 30th for scoring margin with -0.07.
Special Teams are struggling
On the power play, UND is ranked 21st, 12/62, 19.4%.
On the penalty kill, UND is ranked 54th, 39/52 75.0 percent. They’re dead last in the NCHC. There are only six teams in the nation that have worse penalty kills.
Individually, freshman Adam Scheel has been UND’s best goalie 6-3-1, 2.08 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Currently, he has the best GAA among freshman goalies.
Sophomore goalie Peter Thome has struggled. He’s 1-3-0, 3.75 GAA and a .838 save percentage. He’s given up 16 goals in 99 shots.
The Hawks lost nine of the last 10 games against the Bulldogs. During that those 10 games, UND has been outscored 41-19 by UMD.
UND was 5-4-0 (.555) during the month of November.
UND was 5-3-0 against nationally ranked teams.
Three players are tied for the lead in scoring with nine points. Defensemen makeup half of the top-four leading scorers on this team.
Rhett Gardner, SR, Forward, (8-1-9)
Jordan Kawaguchi, So, Forward, (2-7-9)
Jacob Bernard-Docker, Fresh, Defense, (3-6-9)
Matt Kiersted, Soph, Defense, (4-4-8) (Link to Stats)
I know fans are getting antsy, and this isn’t traditional UND hockey. Frankly, there’s hasn’t been a lot to cheer about this season, and I can’t paint you a pretty picture, because there isn’t one. I still think that Brad Berry is a good hockey coach and scholar of the game. He’s coached at a very high level in professional hockey. That said, the coaching staff and the players own this.
Finally, last night, some UND fans have suggested hiring former head coach Dave Hakstol as the head coach if and when he loses his job in Philly. I imagine that the fan base in Philly would make that trade in a heartbeat. Yes, Flyers fans are unhappy with Hak. They wanted him gone, last year. It’s kind of funny, but I think we’ve come full circle.