Wow! This past week has been a blur. Last Saturday, in the Midwest Regional Final, the UND hockey team lost 3-2 to the UMD Bulldogs in five overtimes ending their magical season. In one shot, it was all over. The game ended up being the longest game in NCAA men’s hockey tournament history, but for UND fans, the pain remains.
First the good news. Jake Sanderson is returning for his sophomore season at UND.
Also want to confirm Sanderson will stay at UND. @TSN1200
— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) April 1, 2021
In sports, there are no sure things. A season can end in one play. UND head coach Brad Berry’s comment from last Sunday morning’s post-game press conference still sits in my mind.
“I told the guys after the game, this is life,” Berry said. “This is what life is. It’s not fair. And at the end of the day, you could argue we should have won the game. We felt we had a very good opportunity. We had a ton of opportunities to win the game. We felt it wasn’t fair that we didn’t win the game. Again, that’s what sports is. That’s what life is. You’ve got to learn from the past. I think our young guys are going to put this in the back of their minds, as far as having this experience — which I think was positive to a standpoint that it added to our tradition, and our culture here of what we always are.”
Yes, the sun came up on Sunday morning. For the UND hockey team, they’ve moved on to the 2021-22 season. There’s a lot of work to be done to assemble next season’s team.
So here we are. First, here’s what we know. Senior defenseman Matt Kiersted, and forward Jordan Kawaguchi, have signed NHL deals. Underclassmen forward Shane Pinto, goaltender Adams Scheel, and defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker have signed NHL deals.
Updated: according to the Grand Forks Herald, Weatherby informed the Sharks he is going to return to school for his senior season.
Yes, it’s been a wild week.
UND men’s hockey SID Mitch Wigness, sums it up best with this tweet. There are going to be a lot of spots to fill on the Hawks roster. There are some big skates to fill, and I wouldn’t be shocked if UND took a step back next season.
Welp, just got the ol “too many emails to this addy today” bounce back so I should prob cash it in for the night.
— ℂ𝕒𝕟 𝕀 𝔾𝕖𝕥 𝔸 𝕎𝕚𝕘𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕤? (@MitchWigness) April 2, 2021
Shane Pinto and Jacob Bernard-Docker signed for the rookie max. I
Pinto and JBD signed to the rookie max. Kiersted gets a nice deal, too. pic.twitter.com/QkqwRHKj1a
— Eric J. Burton TSD (@goon48) April 2, 2021
Grad Transfer Goalie Needed
From Brad E. Schlossman’s article this morning. The biggest question is at the goaltending position: even if senior goalie Peter Thome returns, UND is going to have to sign a transfer at goalie. Finally, if Thome decides to leave, UND might have to pick up two goalie transfers from the NCAA transfer portal.
Here’s Chris Heisenberg’s list of UND recruits. You can also access the list here on Elite Hockey Prospects. You can look for yourself at Chris Heisenberg’s list here. I added the Elite Hockey Prospects link to each name so you can look at their stats.
The UND coaching staff has some decisions to make. They have a lot of work to do. Another question: how many, if any of the seniors from this year’s team coming back? There haven’t been any announcements yet. Also, the list below could change.