UND’s roster is full of talented players, many have been drafted by NHL teams. Weekly, it’s a tough decision for the coaching staff. They have to put the best lineup on the ice so the Fighting Hawks are successful. It’s a numbers game, someone is going to get left out when the lineup is posted.
“We have some NHL draft picks out of our lineup tonight, and we’re just trying to find ways to win with guys that we feel can help us win games,” UND head coach Brad Berry said following Saturday’s game against Lindenwood.
It was almost as if coach Berry had been reading the various social media sites. Berry’s post-game comments on Saturday addressed some of the questions many UND fans have been asking this season. Why are these players playing over that player?
“They agreed to come to North Dakota because they’re all team first,” Berry said. “I think at the end of the day, I think they know that they have to probably get better in different areas as well as the rest of our team, but they have to be patient to know they are going to get another opportunity and that’s how we’ve had success here. Nobody’s bigger than the program.
“It’s when you get your opportunity. You have to do it. You just mentioned Ben Strinden, and he’s getting his opportunities and making the most of them. You can’t think about yourself. You have to think about the team. We’re very transparent when we recruit guys. (We tell them) it’s a tough place to play – you’re going to go through some hard times. You’ve got to be all in, and these guys are all in.”
For comparison’s sake, I looked into some of the stats of the players fighting for ice time. I also included three players that have experienced a significant drop-off in their production. Finally, some have asked about the defensemen. I included a few of the d-men competing for playing time.
Matteo Costantini, Sophomore – Buffalo
Last season, he played in 35 games (8-13a—21pts), +12.
his season, he has played in 15 of 21 games scoring (1g-1a—2pts), minus-six this includes a nine-game pointless streak.
Career — 50 games (9g-14a—23pts), +6.
Jake Schmaltz, Sophomore – Boston
Last season, he played in 39 games (8g-16a—24pts), +7.
This season, he has played in 21 games scoring (3g-5a—8pts), minus-five pointless in five games.
Career — 60 games (11g-21a—32pts), +2.
Judd Caulfield, Senior – Pittsburg
Last season, he played in 39 games (11g-9a—20pts), +7.
This season, he has played in 21 games scoring (7g-3a—10pts), +5. He’s scoring on 24 percent of the shots that he’s taking. He could return as a fifth-year senior due to the covid year.
Career 115 games (26g-27a—53pts), +36.
Jackson Kunz, Sophomore – Vancouver
Last season, he played in 31 games (3g-3a—6pts), even.
This season, he has played in 11 of 21 games scoring (2g-0a—2pts), minus-five. Currently on a five-game pointless streak.
Career—42 games (5g-3a—8pts), +5.
Cooper Moore, Junior – Detroit
Last season, he played in 38 games (2g-7a—9pts), +2.
This season he has played in 17 of 21 games scoring (2g-6a—8pts), minus-eight.
Career – 73 games (6g-16a—22pts), -13.
Brent Johnson, Sophomore – Washington
Last season, he played in 23 games (2g-1a—3pts), -4.
This season, he has played in 13 of 21 games scoring (1g-5a—6pts), +3.
Career 36 games (3g-6a—9pts), -1.
Nick Portz Sophomore – Undrafted
Last season, he played in 39 games (2g-5a—7pts), -4.
This season, he played in 14 of 21 games scoring (2g-5—7pts), plus-one. Currently on a three-game point streak.
Career – 53 games (4g-10a—14pts), -3.
Griffin Ness, Junior – Undrafted
Last season, he played in 36 games (2g-4a—5pts), -2
This season, he played in 17 of 21 games scoring (4g-0a—4pts), even. he scored a goal on four straight Fridays, however, he’s currently on a four-game scoreless streak.
Career—71 games (6g-6a—12pts), -2.
Ben Strinden, Freshman – Nashville
This season, he has played in 12 of 21 games scoring (2g-4a—6pts), +2. He has two multi-point games. This past weekend, he scored (2g-1a—3pts) against Lindenwood.
Fifth Year Seniors
Mark Senden, 5th year – Undrafted
Last season, he played in 34 games (5g-12a—17pts), +1.
This season, he played in 21 games (5g-5a—10pts), +1. This season he has four multi-point games.
Career 152 games (24g-42a—66pts), +33.
Gavin Hain 5th year – Philadelphia
Last season, he played in 18 games (6g-3a—9pts), -4. Hain’s season ended last January due to an injury.
This season, he played in 19 of 21 games scoring (8g-3a—11pts), minus-three. He has one multi-point game.
Career—124 games (28g-20a—48pts), +17.
Ty Farmer 5th year – Undrafted
Last season at UMASS, he played in 36 games (1g-8a—9pts), +14.
This season, he played in 20 of 21 games scoring (1g-5a—6pts), minus-two.
Career –154 games (12g-38a—50pts), +50.
Ryan Sidorski 5th Year – Undrafted
Last season, he played in 35 games (0g-3a—3pts), -14.
This season he played in 18 of 21 games scoring (0g-6a—6pts), plus-four. Had one multi-point game.
Career—115 games (1g-10a—11pts), -14. He’s having a career year in points. He was brought in as an 8th d-man and is playing regularly in the lineup.
UND is 11th in goal scoring.
UND is tied for 42nd in goals against,
UND is tied for 60th in save percentage.
UND’s power play is ranked 2nd nationally.
UND’s penalty kill is ranked 13th nationally.