Happy New Year! When you woke up today, we entered a new decade. Officially, we’re now in the 2020s. The 2010s are over. Before we move forward, let’s take a look backward. The last decade was an exciting time for UND sports.
Here are my top UND sports stories of the last decade.
First, the University of North Dakota hockey team joined a new conference in hockey. The National Collegiate Hockey Conference was established on July 13, 2011, and began play during the 2013-14 season.
The story of the decade, the UND hockey team’s magical 2015-16 season. The season ended with the Fighting Hawks winning the 2016 NCAA Championship. Their eighth NCAA title.
UND’s record during the 2015-16 season 34-6-4 (.818), NCHC 19-4-1 (.813). UND would finish six points ahead of rival Denver in the final NCHC standings.
While there were many highlight goals during the 2015-16 season, forward Nick Schmaltz’s tic-tac-toe goal against Miami takes the cake. Assists to Brock Boeser, Troy Stecher. Of course, we can’t have a highlight goal without a long lengthy review from the NCHC officials Tom Sterns, Brian Aaron.
Brad Berry Promoted to head coach
On May 18, 2015, UND promoted Brad Berry to head coach after head coach Dave Hakstol was hired by the Philadelphia Flyers. Berry became UND’s 16th head coach. To date, Berry has a 104-53-21 (.643) record.
What’s amazing about this story, it kind of flew under the radar. Not a single writer from the NHL got wind of this story. That’s unheard of today, especially with top-notch beat writers like Brad Schlossman. Finally, the story broke the day the Flyers officially signed Hakstol to a five-year deal worth 10 million dollars.
UND beats Michigan in Midwest Regional
UND beats Michigan to advance to the 2016 Frozen Four 5-2. It never gets old watching UND beat Michigan in hockey. Right?
UND blasts Northeastern in Midwest Regional
Going into the 2016 Midwest Regional, the Eastern-based college hockey media was sure that Northeastern (22-14-5) was going to upset UND. They entered the tourney as one of the hottest teams in the nation going 20-1-2 from the end of December to March. The Huskies were unbeaten in the 14 games entering the 13-0-1 heading into the regional semifinal, At the time, that was the longest active undefeated streak in the country. The rest was history.
When it was all over, UND was the topic of discussion. It wasn’t even close, final score 6-2. The Fighting Hawks showed the college hockey world they were for real.
UND Football wins Big Sky Conference
UND won the 2016 Big Sky Championship in Football. UND was 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference. UND would start the season 0-2 after losing two games to Stoney Brook and Bowling Green. The Fighting Hawks would win nine games in a row before losing 24-27 against the Richmond Spiders in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
Big Sky Slam
During the 2016-17 school year, UND won four Big Sky Conference titles. UND Men’s Basketball, UND Volleyball, UND Football, and UND Women’s Basketball all won their respective league championships during the 2016-17 school year. Last season, UND left the Big Sky for the Summit League.