With each loss, the University of North Dakota watches their season slip further away.
Though 26 games, UND sits at 13-12-1. Currently, that’s not good enough to make the NCAA tourney.
Moving forward, nine games remain before the NCHC playoffs. As of this morning, UND sitting at 21 in the Pairwise Rankings. That’s also not good enough.
In retrospect, the Hawks have played pretty well, however, they’re not scoring. You can’t win hockey games if you can’t score goals. This season, UND has taken 842 shots on net. They’ve scored 67 times. That’s a shooting percentage of 7.9 percent.
Not good enough.
Here’s illustration of how the season has gone. From Saturday’s UND game notes. On Friday, UND registered its fourth game with at least 40 shots on goal. UND’s 46 shots were third-highest of the season, but UND is a 2-2 (.500) in those four games.
“It’s it is a little frustrating, but you can’t lose your faith and you’ve got to keep moving forward and we’ll have chance to win the game and stay ahead of them in the standings,” UND head coach Brad Berry said during the post-game radio show.
An upbeat Berry continued, “What’s important is moving forward and cleaning up a couple different areas. What’s important to me, we kept their best players off the score sheet tonight. That’s been a kind of a trademark of our team; the resiliency and the push-back. There’s no quit. The guys believe every time they go on the ice, and that’s a big deal.”
With that said, not all is lost. However, there’s little room for error, the Hawks need to bear down and find a way to score goals. They’ve got to get to the dirty areas. They’ve got to crash the net. They have to take the eyes away from Denver goalie Filip Larsson.
Through all of this, UND is in fifth place and home ice is still in reach. I know that people don’t like silver linings, but it is what it is.
The biggest thing is getting a win here tomorrow and staying ahead of them in the standings,” Berry said.
UND will get back at it and try to bring home a series split. Grind it out. Win close games.
“It hasn’t been coming easy offensively all year, but believe me we’re trying to make tweaks and changes and try to open things up without giving up high risk opportunities for the other team,” Berry said. “Like I said, it’s one of those things we got to keep grinding.”
With the absence of junior defenseman Colton Poolman, sophomore defenseman Matt Kiersted stepped up and played a solid game.
“He (Kiersted) played a lot of minutes and really made some good decisions,” Berry said.