UND's Junior Class Steps Up

Photo Credit: Eric J. Burton, Sin Bin Photography

UND's Junior Class Steps Up

NCAA

UND's Junior Class Steps Up

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On Saturday night, UND recorded its first conference sweep of the 2019-20 season. How did we get there? On Friday night, the Hawks rolled the RedHawks 7-1. Saturday night, it was a bit closer, with UND winning 5-4. No matter who you’re playing, sweeps don’t come easy in the NCHC. Last season, UND has two conference sweeps.

Last season, UND never won more than five games in a row. This season, UND is currently on a five-game winning streak. During those five games, UND has outscored the opposition 21-8. This weekend, that winning streak will be under attack when the Hawks take on their hated rival the no. 1-ranked Denver Pioneers.

It will be interesting to see how well that tweet ages. I am guessing we will see that tweet again if UND takes more than a point next weekend.

UND forward Grant Mismash. (Photo Credit: Eric J. Burton)

First, the Fighting Hawks top forward line is getting it done. Something that they lacked last season. This past weekend, the forward line of comprised of junior forwards Grant Mismash, Collin Adams and Jordan Kawaguchi were unbelievable, they scored (3g-7a–10pts). Moreover, they were a cumulative plus-nine on Saturday night. That’s pretty impressive. If Kawaguchi isn’t the NCHC offensive player of the week, I will be highly surprised.

For the weekend, junior forward, Collin Adams scored (3g-0a–3pts) against the RedHawks. This season, Adams has elevated his game, currently, he’s on a six-game point streak. After struggling his first two seasons, Adams is developing into a good first-line, top-six player.

“I think it’s being older, the confidence level,” Adams said. “Knowing that I can play in this league and make an impact… Bubbs having the confidence in me and putting me out there on the ice has helped me grow as a player.”

UND defenseman Matt Kiersted takes a shot on net. (Photo Credit: Eric J. Burton)

Adam’s linemate, junior forward, Jordan Kawaguchi recorded (1g-5a–6pts) in the series against the RedHawks, and is also on fire. He’s currently on a five-game point streak (3g-7a–10pts) and has vaulted to the top of the UND scoring race.

Another junior that has stepped up is defenseman Matt Kierstad. He’s on a three-game points streak and has scored (1g-4a–5pts).

Breaking Down the Numbers

Looking at the numbers, the junior class is leading the team in scoring (12g-24a–35 pts). Breaking it down further, the junior class has scored 31.0% of UND’s goals.

The senior class is second in scoring with (13g-15a–28pts) and they’ve also scored 33.3% of UND’s goals.

The sophomore class is third with (10g-17a–27pts). The sophomores have scored 26.0% of UND’s goals.

Finally, the freshmen class has scored (4g-11a–15pts). Forward Harrison Blaisdell leads all UND freshmen with (2g-5a–7pts) he’s also a plus-six. Against the RedHawks, Blaisdell had (0g-3a–3pts). In his young career, he already has two multi-point games.

UND’s Low Penalty Minute Total

Early in the season, UND isn’t taking a lot of penalties. Currently, UND is ranked 54th in the nation in Penalty Minutes averaging 8.1 minutes per game. That’s not a misprint. For comparison sake, last season, Colorado College was 50th averaging 9.3 minutes per game. This season, Omaha is leading the nation averaging 19.2 penalty minutes per game.

For the most part, they’ve played disciplined hockey and stayed out of the penalty box. On Saturday, they had a parade to the penalty box. Big picture, head coach Brad Berry isn’t all that concerned about it.

“If we did it each, and every night then I’d be concerned,” Berry said. “Unless we take a bunch more going forward, and we see a pattern. Tonight, we addressed how we do it. Not only as a team but individually as far as the guys are taking the penalties. Then you go from there. But like I said until that happens consecutively, that number, then we’ll make that change.”

Deep Dive into the Numbers

UND’s offense is ranked fourth in the nation, averaging 4.33 GPG.
Only one team has scored more goals than UND, Providence 41 goals.
UND’s defense is tied for second in the nation, allowing 1.67 GAPG
UND is third in the nation in scoring margin, 2.67.
UND’s power play is ranked 38th in the nation, (5/34, 14.7%)
UND’s penalty kill is ranked sixth in the nation (27/29, 93.1%).

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