Omaha vs North Dakota, and Beyond

As the 2021-22, college hockey season winds down the University of North Dakota hockey is sitting in 12th place of the all-important Pairwise Rankings. If the NCAA tourney started today, they’d be a low three seed. Their schedule for the last eight regular-season games is not easy, they will play CC, UMD, and WMU (UND and WMU are two teams ahead of them in the Pairwise Rankings) before traveling to Omaha for one final series.

Transfer Forwards Fill in Nicely

I wrote about this in the preseason:

Looking at the roster, this isn’t the same UND hockey team from last season. They suffered significant losses in the offseason that depleted their forward group. That said, they picked up two talented forwards from the NCAA transfer portal. The offensive players from the Transfer portal, Ashton Calder (16g-13a—29pts) and Connor Ford (16g-12a—28pts) could be poised to make a significant contribution on the ice. Both players finished in the top five in scoring for the WCHA. It will be interesting to see how they match up in the NCHC.

Both aforementioned players have performed at a high level, and have filled key roles with the Fighting Hawks. Conner Ford has played in 26 games scoring (4g-17a–21pts) he’s also a plus-five. He leads the NCHC in faceoffs won and is third on the team in scoring. Ford has taken 626 faceoffs and won 384 of them for (.613) he’s ranked second nationally behind BSU’s Owen Sillinger. Recently, he was appointed alternate captain.

In 22 games, Ashton Calder has scored (10g-7a–17pts), he’s also plus-three. He’s fourth on the team in scoring and has scored some big goals. Last weekend’s penalty show and the shootout clinching goal come to mind.

UND Banged Up

Yes, UND has taken some lumps this season. They’ve also learned some valuable lessons. There have been some positives. They have a daunting task ahead of them. All of a sudden, they’re missing their shutdown line.

On Saturday night, UND lost forwards Mark Senden and Louis Jamernik to undisclosed injures. Here’s the video of the hit that took Jamernik. If this was any other player, I’d say that it was an accident. However, based on Joey Abate’s reputation of being a dirty player. Yes, I am cynical. It looks like Abate has enough time to stop. Again, you have to consider the player, he’s done something every time he’s come to the Ralph. With that said, we don’t know his intent without asking him.

In the post-game press conference, UND head coach Brad Berry was upset with what had transpired.

“It was a preventable play after the whistle to a guy that’s done it time and time again,” coach Berry said. “So, yeah, disappointing in the fact that I didn’t think it was within the rules.”

Hockey play. Again, if this had been any other player on the Mavericks roster, it could’ve been excused as being an accident. It was Abate who was skating around all night long taking liberties with the UND players. Earlier in the game, he went after Ashton Calder. Of course, there was no call by the on-ice officials.

Points of Interest

UND sophomore forward Riese Gaber is on fire, in the past four games, he’s scored (4g-5a–9pts). During the 2021-22 season, he’s played in 31 games (13g-18a–31pts). The Gilbert Plains, Manitoba native leads the team in goal, assists, and points. Gaber is ranked fourth in the NCHC in points, and 18th nationally.

UND defenseman Ethan Frisch joined some pretty elite company when he scored a power-play goal at the 19:52 mark of the second period. He became the first defenseman to score in three straight games since Chay Genoway did it during the 2009-10 season.

After the loss on Saturday night, UND falls to 62-3-2 since 2018-19 when leading after two periods. Usually, UND seals the deal when leading after two periods.

Entering, Saturday’s game, the Omaha Mavericks were 11-2-0 (.846 winning percentage) on Saturday nights. Their record on Friday nights is not soo good 5-9-0 (.357 winning percentage).

Linkorama

From Jordan McAlpine from the UNO Student News Paper: Fighting Hawks capitalize and hand Mavericks another Friday loss

From Jordan McAlpine from the UNO Student News Paper: McManus delivers Mavericks OT comeback win in Grand Forks

From Jordan McAlpine from College Hockey News: I got a chuckle out of this article. Omaha Finally Set to Battle North Dakota

“Every game is pretty easy to get up for when you’re playing a good team, especially when you have to win games,” Tychonick said. “Going to their rink, their fan base and just the history that they have, it makes it a little bit easier I guess than some other games. But we need to get up for every game from now on- We don’t really have any other option.”

During this past weekend, Tychonic was booed every time he hit the ice. In the end, he got the last laugh. The two teams will meet on March 4th and 5th, 2022.

Some of my Images from Friday Night

Here are some of my other images: Omaha vs. UND in Pictures, UND wins 4-1