A bye week couldn’t come at a better time. With the recent injuries, a week off is a gift. The bye week gives Matt Kierstad and Gabe Bast some extra recovery time.
Moving forward, here’s what we know. With eight games remaining, the University of North Dakota hockey team is closing in on another Penrose Cup. Through sixteen league games, the Hawks have taken 40 of a possible 48 points. They’re eight points clear of second-place Minnesota Duluth.
This weekend, UND fans should cheer for the Omaha. The fifth-place Mavericks travel to Duluth looking to advance their seeding. Looking at the schedule, the Bulldogs will be off next weekend
First, don’t forget to vote for Jordan Kawaguchi Hobey Baker. As they say in Chicago, vote early, and vote often. As the season plays out, Kawaguchi is building one hell of a resume.
During the magical 2015-16 season, UND has three players over 40 points. The Hawks also had eight players with 20 or more points. Since that season, no player has gone over 40 points.
This season, after 27 games, Kawaguchi has (15g-26a—41pts), he’s also a plus-19. Kawaguchi is second in the nation in points and leads the NCHC in points (all games). He’s third in goals and second in assists. In league games, Kawaguchi leads the NCHC in points with (7g-19a—26pts). He’s second in power play points with (2g-12a—14pts).
Pinto and Brink Fighting For NCHC ROY
As I mentioned last weekend, the NCHC Rookie of the year is going to reside in Denver or Grand Forks. Currently, in conference play, Bobby Brink (5g-10a–15pts) leads Shane Pinto (8g-5a–13pts) by two points. (Link to stats)
Overall, Brink (10g-13a-23pts) leads Pinto (13g-9a–22pts) by a single point. Pinto is tied for the league lead in power play goals with (Kobe Roth, Tanner Laderoute, Noah Coats and teammate Jasper Weatherby).
You can find out a lot about a hockey team by looking at their stats. While I was digging into the NCHC points race, I discovered that UND leading the NCHC in plus-minus stats. What’s impressive, the first 10 plus-minus leaders are Fighting Hawks players (Collin Adams +24, Matt Kiersted +21, Jonny Tychonick +20, Jordan Kawaguchi +19, Andrew Peski +17, Grant Mismash +16, Jacob Bernard-Docker +15, Shane Pinto +15, Westin Michaud +15 and Judd Caulfield +12). Freshman defenseman Ethan Frisch checks in at 13th with a +11. (Link to Stats)
Grand Forks Herald: UND hockey team to auction off game-worn jerseys over next several months
Grand Forks Herald: UND defenseman Andrew Peski talks senior year, speaking French and more
Grand Forks Herald: UND hockey teammates say they’d hate to play against their shutdown line
Duluth News Tribune: College men’s hockey: Preparation key to Bulldogs success on special teams
USCHO: This Week in NCHC Hockey: St. Cloud State student-run broadcasts ahead of curve in rapidly-changing media world
USCHO: NCHC picks Feb. 6-7