UND Hockey: Positives From Last Weekend’s Series

Shane Pinto 5

This past weekend, the University of North Dakota hockey team split their series with the Omaha Mavericks (6-2 W, 4-5 L). After 18 games, UND is 13-4-1 (.750). The Fighting Hawks sit in first place of the NCHC standings five points clear of second place UMD and SCSU.

On Saturday night, after listening to coach Berry’s post-game press conference, I came away with that impression that he optimistic about his team’s play. He was very matter of fact and ready to get back to work. While fans could dwell on the loss, I think there’s a lot to things to be positive about. This week UND is idle. Next weekend, the Hawks take on their rival the Denver Pioneers.

Shane Pinto

Enjoy Shane Pinto while he’s here. There’s a good chance that he’ll be playing in Ottawa next season. This past weekend, he continued his torrid pace. Against the Mavericks, Pinto scored three goals and four points. Pinto now has nine multi-point games that leads the NCAA. Pinto leads the NCHC in goals (11), points (23), and power play points (11), and faceoff percentage 62.8 percent. This week, he was named the NCHC Player of the Month. Finally, for his career, Pinto has scored 51 points in 51 games (27g-24a—51pts). He’s also a plus-32.

Jordan Kawaguchi

This past weekend, senior forward Jordan Kawaguchi remained hot. Against the Mavericks, He added three assists. In 18 games, Kawaguchi has scored five goals and 16 assists for 21 points. Kawaguchi leads the NCHC in assists. He’s tied for second in the NCHC scoring race with Duluth’s Nick Swaney.  Kawaguchi has six multi-point games.

Grant Mismash

With his goal on Friday night, senior forward Grant Mismash has equaled his season-best goal total with nine goals. Seven of Mismash’s nine goals have been scored in the third period. Mismash is on a four-game point streak (3g-3a—6pts).

Riese Gaber

After racing to the early goal-scoring lead in the NCHC, freshman forward Riese Gaber has cooled off a bit. He’s goalless in six games. Gaber is tied for second in the NCHC in rookie scoring race with Denver’s Carter Savoie. In 18 games, Gaber has scored (8g-6a—14pts). He’s also a plus-seven. Currently, Gaber has a four-game point streak, four assists. I would expect Gaber to break out of his goalless streak.

Adam Scheel

This past weekend, I thought UND junior goalie Adam Scheel was the difference in Friday’s win and was the victim of some unfortunate bonces in Saturday’s game. For his career, Scheel is one of UND’s top goalies in goals against average.

Yes, Scheel needs to stay closer to the net and not cough up gifts to the opposition forwards. I would imagine that UND assistant coach Karl Goehring will work with Scheel to remedy that. Statistically, Scheel (12-3-1, .921 save percentage, 1.99 GAA) is one of the best goalies in the NCHC. He ranks first in goals against average, second in save percentage, first in winning percentage. Scheel is also tied for third in the nation in shutouts with three.

Based on his play, Scheel has solidified his position in net. While Peter Thome (18-13-5, .905 save percentage, 2.23 GAA)  is an able goaltender, Scheel is statistically the better of the two goalies (44-17-5, .911 save percentage, 2.05 GAA) and gives UND the best shot to win in a tough conference.

For this efforts, named the NCHC Goaltender of the Month. Here’s Scheel’s numbers for the month of January: eight games (6-2-0 record, .929 save percentage and a 1.84 GAA). He also had two shutouts. Finally, Scheel also led the NCHC in saves with 183.

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