By now, University of North Dakota hockey fans have processed the impressive 9-3 trouncing of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. On Thursday night, the Hawks were two steps faster and skated through a pedestrian Gopher defense with ease.
No matter how you sugar coat it, the game wasn’t even close. In the end, the game looked more like a mercy killing. Now, before we get out over of our skis, it could be a different result tonight. In this historic series, you can expect the unexpected. Team win-loss records mean nothing.
But I digress.
Through 14 games, Hawks fans have a lot to be thankful for. They own an 11-1-2 (.857) record. Moreover, UND is the first Division I team to win 11 games. The only blemish, a 2-1 loss to Minnesota State in Mankato. With a win tonight, UND could finish the month of November 8-0-0. For comparison sake, UND was 12-2-2 (.813) on November 29, 2015. Again, I don’t want to get over our skis, but this team has turned some heads. (How do you like them now?)
Looking at the national statistics, UND is ranked 4th in the nation in goals for per game 4.21. They’re ranked 3rd in the nation in goals against per game 1.64. They’re leading the nation in goal margin with +36. (Link to Stats)
For comparison sake, UND finished the 2015-16 season ranked 7th nationally in goal for per game 3.88. They finished second nationally in goals against per game 1.84. UND also finished the 2015-16 season ranked second in goal margin 81.
After going winless in seven games against the Gophers, UND has won three straight in the series. Outscoring them 16-4. Tonight, the Hawks hope to make that four in a row and go unbeaten in November.
Against the Gophers
Since moving to the NCHC, UND hasn’t played the Gophers as much as we’d like. With that said, there are a few players have done well against the Maroon and Gold. Check it out.
In four games against the Gophers junior forward Grant Mismash has (1g-6a—7pts).
In six games against the Gophers senior defenseman Colton Poolman has (4g-0a—4pts).
In two games against the Gophers sophomore defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker has (1g-2a—3pts).
In three games against the Gophers, junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi has (2g-2a—4pts).
For those keeping track at home, Kawaguchi is currently tied for 3rd in points nationally. Counting last night, through 14 games, Kawaguchi already has seven multi-point games. Last season, he had seven multi-point games. I don’t think it’s too soon to start the #KawaHobey
They Need a Name
Over the years, UND has had some prolific forward lines. The most recent was the CBS line of Brock Boeser, Nick Schmaltz and Drake Caggiula. During the 2015-16 season, they lit the college hockey world up.
There’s another forward line giving opposing goalie fits. Based on their play, it’s my conclusion that UND’s top forward line needs/deserves a name. The forward line of Grant Mismash (3g-7a—10pts), Collin Adams (5g-7a—12pts) and Jordan Kawaguchi (6g-15a—21pts) has been very effective. They’re also an impressive +40. I don’t’ know? MAK Line?