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The University of North Dakota hockey team ran its unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1) with a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Gophers.
Post sweep, UND improves to 12-1-2. With the victory, UND finishes the month of November 8-0-0. UND has won four straight games against the Gophers. With Saturday’s victory, UND swept Minnesota at home for the first time since the 2006-07 season. It’s only the second time, in 40 years, that UND has swept the Gophers on their home ice.
Last Saturday, in the post-game press conference, head coach Brad Berry was asked if his team was back.
“Here’s the deal, everybody asks that,” Berry said. “I don’t think we left. Last year, we had trouble scoring goals. We haven’t changed the way we played in five years here. Now, we’re starting to get some goal production from guys and that’s a big deal. I don’t think it’s a surprise, and I don’t think we were ever gone. I don’t think we’re back. I think we’re a good team that’s going to keep building.”
And build they have. The third-ranked Hawks have their swagger back. After 15 games, it feels a lot like 2015-16. We don’t want to get ahead of our skis. Yes, it’s early. With that said, I think UND hockey fans can feel it.
Don’t Look Now
With Saturday’s win, UND is the first Division I hockey team to win 12 games. Yes, it’s early. Historically, the Pairwise Rankings are meaningless until after the first of the year. No, there won’t be a weekly Bracketology blog post. For your information, College Hockey News has the Pairwise Rankings next to each team in the live scoreboard. It’s hard not to look. Sorry I looked.
They Said What?
Head coach Brad Berry on his team getting the sweep against the Gophers.
“Obviously, last night was good win for us,” Berry said. “Tonight was a lot tougher. There was a lot of pride in their locker room. They played a hard physical game against us. A fast paced game. They scored an early one on us, but I thought we got better as the period went on.
“In the second period we kind of took over a little bit. In the third period. I thought we were playing with a one goal lead with 13 minutes left. I thought our guys did a good job locking it down and getting the win.”
Senior forward Cole Smith on getting the series sweep against the Gophers.
“It’s hard to describe,” Smith said. “It’s awesome. Growing up, you hear about the rivalry. You come in here as a senior, we played like this, and get two games. Watching our fans come down here and the way our team stuck together in the last game was awesome.”
Senior captain, defenseman, Colton Poolman on his team’s mindset and what it’s like to be in the UND locker room right now.
“Our group is clicking right now,” Poolman said. “ I love seeing it. It’s such a fun locker room to be in. Guys are having so much fun. It’s some of the funnest hockey that we’re playing right now.”
Junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi has scored 22 goals and 67 points in 90 games with the Hawks. This year, things have clicked for the junior from Abbotsford, B.C..
You might say that Kawaguchi is having a Hobey Baker like season. He’s tied for second in the nation in scoring (7g-15a—22pts), he’s also a plus-16. What’s more remarkable, Kawaguchi gone 14 games without taking a single penalty. Seriously, Kawaguchi hasn’t taken a single penalty since the first game of the season.
It’s time to get the #HobeyGuchi campaign off the ground.
In the last four games, Kawaguchi has scored (4g-4a—8pts). This season, Kawaguchi has seven multi-point games. With his next multi-point game, Kawaguchi will surpass his season, career-high of seven multi-point games. A feat he accomplished last season.