Fighting Hawks Topple RedHawks with an Eagle Looking On

Graphic via Univeristy of North Dakota Twitter

GRAND FORKS, ND– After a tough weekend against Denver the previous week, the University of North Dakota used the energy from another bird of prey to help boost them for Friday’s game. Eddie “the Eagle” Belfour was in town for his “One Last Shift” at the Ralph Engelstad Arena and his energy for his skate around helped the Fighting Hawks handily defeat the Miami RedHawks by a count of 7-1. 

It started 3:31 in with a solid tic-tac-toe play between Mark Senden, Louis Jamernik V, and the goal scorer Gavin Hain– a line reunited after some jockeying around the last few weeks. Hain potted his six to get the scoring going for the Hawks. At the end of the frame the Hawks again struck with Ben Strinden getting the puck out of the corner and drove to the net for his first NCAA goal to make it 2-0. What was apparent was the tenacity North Dakota showed that they may have not had the week prior. They were crisp in their own zone, they make big pushes in the offensive zone, and were buzzing around Miami goalie Ludvig Persson and putting the pressure on Miami, as a whole. 

“Right from the puck drop, I thought we had a jump,” captain Mark Senden said post game. “I thought we played really well as a five-man unit up and down the ice. That was the main point in practice this week. Being sharp in those plays, supporting each other up and down the ice, working as a five-man unit up and down the ice. I thought we executed that very well.”

“You know, what really got me going on the bench tonight was the guys started to talk on the bench,” noted head coach Brad Berry. “When guys made a good play, there was positivity there, there was encouragement, there was reaffirmation. When guys didn’t make the right play, it was the accountability side, for me, that when they came back it was, ‘You know what, you got to get that puck in. You know what, you’ve got to take a shorter shift.’ It was standing up and telling someone. And we got better.”

Things definitely got better in the second period, with four goals in the frame– two coming from a major power play and one from the shorthanded side. Jackson Blake and Griffin Ness used redirections off Miami defenders to post the power play goals for UND, while Mark Senden finished off a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush for North Dakota’s first shorthanded goal of the season. Though Miami’s Blake Mesenburg scoring late in the fame, UND battled back 18 seconds later with Judd Caulfield restoring the five-goal lead to end the second frame. 

Persson was given the rest of the night off, with Logan Neaton getting third period duties. Blake added his second goal of the game 4:43 into the frame to give North Dakota the 7-1 lead and victory. Jakob Hellsten got his second straight start and was solid when called upon, making 18 saves in the victory. 

POST GAME VIDEO

North Dakota Drops Series Opener to Denver 3-2

Graphic via North Dakota Hockey Twitter

GRAND FORKS, ND– Almost there. 

That seemed to be the theme from the North Dakota Fighting Hawks following a 3-2 defeat against Denver on Friday night. With bits and pieces of their game coming together, the whole package hasn’t seemed to be completed for this squad, as the Hawks drop to 4-4-1 on the season. 

“Just buying into the little things here and there,” mentioned Chris Jandric post game. “We kept them to 19 shots, stopped their top line; but it comes down to the little things and have to have a more business-like mentality. Just have to gain some more speed and clean up our defensive zone, too. It’s just buying in, whether it’s blocking shots or chipping the puck out; but it’s unacceptable to be losing these games.” 

After a messed up travel schedule coming into this weekend, the Pioneers were the first on the board when Kyle Mayhew beat Ty Farmer to a loose puck in the corner and found Carter King in the slot, who whipped one over Drew DeRidder’s shoulder for the early 1-0 lead. North Dakota picked up the pressure after that, taking control offensively, but couldn’t solve Magnus Chrona for much of the first frame. It wasn’t until under three minutes left did UND get on the board with Ryan Sidorski jumping into the rush and centering a pass in front that initially got deflected by Chrona, but laid in the crease for Griffin Ness to pick up and put home to tie the game going into the intermission. 

Denver got going early in the second with Aidan Thompson creating a takeaway in the slot and using a couple of screens in front from North Dakota skaters to beat DeRidder and make it a 2-1 Denver lead only 2:17 into the second frame. The score could have gotten a lot worse, as North Dakota was getting the brunt of the penalty calls against them; but DeRidder made some fine saves during those PKs and kept the deficit at only a goal heading into the second intermission. 

To start the third, UND was able to get it going early on a carry-over penalty with Jandric getting the puck at the blue line, taking his time for a screen to form, and wristing one through everyone to tie the game only 33 seconds into the last regulation period. With each team pressing to break the tie, the Pioneers would be the team to do it, with Jared Wright picking up a rebound and getting just enough on it to have it squeak through DeRidder’s pads to make it a 3-2 score. North Dakota would hold Denver to only two shots in the last 13:27 of the game, but could not find an equalizer themselves, even with the extra attacks for almost three minutes at the end of the game. Denver wins only their second games in 20 trips to The Ralph by a score of 3-2. 

“Just having more consistent habits to details,” said head coach Brad Berry when asked what more is needed from the Hawks. “I do think we’re close. I give Denver credit, they won the game. But sometimes we beat ourselves a little bit. In situations where games in the third period when the game is up for grabs and sometimes we give up a goal at inopportune times by beating ourselves and not by playing the percentages and not having a chance playing in the offensive zone.” 

POST GAME VIDEO

Fighting Hawks Comeback To Tie in First Test of the Season

Graphic via University of North Dakota Athletics

GRAND FORKS, ND– In their first big test of the season, the University of North Dakota came out of it with a mixed review. Despite the 5-5 tie against eighth-ranked Quinnipiac, the Fighting Hawks have plenty to improve on when it comes to their own game should they want to play against the heavy hitters in the NCAA. 

While they outchanced Quinnipiac offensively, North Dakota didn’t have the best of times in their own zone, with the Bobcats picking apart the defensive scheme from North Dakota. It started past the midway point, with Jacob Quillan picking off a bad breakout attempt from UND and found Joey Cipollone streaking unmarked down the slot, who put it over Drew DeRidder’s shoulder for the 1-0 Quinnipiac lead. North Dakota would try to push back, but the Bobcats would strike again with Christophe Fillion taking a shot that was blocked off Ethan Frisch’s ankle and the puck finding Christophe Tellier, who deked DeRidder– who overshot his post in his reset– and Tellier made it 2-0 putting passed the outstretched pad of DeRidder. With under a minute remaining, the Bobcats ended the period on a high as Cipollone beat out Tyler Kleven for a loose puck, pushed it to TJ Friedmann, who found Quillan in front for a one-timer to make it 3-0 at the end of the first and the end of the night for DeRidder. 

“It was pretty firm and direct,” head coach Brad Berry said post game of his talk in the first intermission. “We pulled our goaltender to maybe get a push from our team, and I thought we did that. But I wanted Drew DeRidder to know that when we’re not playing our best, it’s not just one guy. It’s everyone in that locker room who didn’t play up to the standard that we needed to do.” 

The response from UND was solid, as within the first three minutes they were on the board, as Dylan James made a great stick check in at the point to spring himself and Nick Portz on a 2-on-1 with Portz’s shot going off the post, but James following up on the play and notching his first NCAA goal. It was nearly 3-2 for UND, with Mark Senden poking in a puck in front, but a Quinnipiac challenge for offside was upheld and the goal was called back. The Bobcats took that high and got their three-goal lead back with Friedmann being able to skate around the zone and create his own space before wiring one home behind Jakob Hellsten to make it 4-1. The Hawks were pumping in the shots in the second, totaling 21 in the middle frame alone. Those chances helped with Riese Gaber getting onto the board, putting him a one-timer off a slick pass from Owen McLaughlin behind the net and the Hawks cut the lead in half 4-2 going into the second intermission. 

North Dakota benefited from a couple power play in the early part of the third, with Jackson Blake bringing North Dakota to within one with a great spin-move off the half-wall and cutting to the net to put it through Yaniv Perets and make it a 4-3 game. Less than two minutes later on a two-man advantage, Chris Jandric picked up a loose puck in the slot and wired it home to even the game. Thirty-four seconds after that goal, Gavin Hain took a loose puck in the circle and ripped on that trickled behind Perets and made it 5-4 North Dakota as the roof was close to coming off The Ralph with the hypeness from the UND faithful. The Bobcats would get it back to even as Jayden Lee skated the length of the blue line, drawing two defenders, opening up CJ McGee for a one-timer to put this game at 5s with half a period to go.

Neither team was able to get the go-ahead goal, nor the winner in overtime; thus the game would be officially a draw. However, in the shootout– North Dakota got goals from Blake and Gaber with Hellsten stopping two of three Bobcats to give the Hawks the emotional victory on Friday night. 

POST GAME VIDEO

North Dakota Finishes Sweep of Holy Cross

Photo via UND Athletic Department

GRAND FORKS, ND– After a gaggle of goals on Friday, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks were looking to complete the sweep of Holy Cross and maybe shut them out entirely on the weekend. While the defense was strong and the offensive depth was shown from all angles, North Dakota could only complete one of those tasks with the win, but couldn’t hold onto the weekend shutout. 

North Dakota started on their heels a bit, as Holy Cross wanted to jump out early after last night’s debacle on their end. Jakob Hellsten, getting his first start of any kind this season, was solid to start off the game; withstanding the attack from the Crusaders to keep the game scoreless. As the Hawks adjusted the game to counterattack, they were able to get plenty of shots on Holy Cross’ Louden Hogg, though they couldn’t get much past him in the early going. It was until under three minutes in the frame when the Hawks got on the board after Gavin Hain picked up the puck out of a scrum and put a backhand shot past Hogg for his second of the season. Holy Cross challenged a high-stick, but the call stood. Minutes later, on the power play, Ethan Frisch unleashed a cannon of a one-timer to make the Hawks lead increased to two. Another Holy Cross challenge was denied on replay and they were assessed a delay of game call. 

In the second, it was more of a settled period, with both teams working in the neutral zone for most of the frame, UND limited Holy Cross to only four shots in the period. North Dakota were firing at net, but the Holy Cross defense was clogging up the shooting lanes in front of Hogg and helping him out with blocks. NoDak got on the board late in the frame with Hain tallying his second of the night, against on the backhand off a rebound in front to make it 3-0. A minute and thirty seconds later, Carson Albrecht made it 4-0 picking up a puck in front of a mass of humanity and putting it home for his first of the season. 

The Crusaders had a big counterpunch in the third, trying to not get shutout on consecutive nights, while also holding North Dakota at bay. Despite two power plays in the frame, North Dakota only mustered four shots on goal in the final frame, with Holy Cross’ defense getting in front of a lot of shots. Holy Cross would break though with a little help from UND, as Charlie Spence was credited with a goal after the puck bounced off of Frisch’s leg and into the net to make it 4-1 with under three minutes remaining. Nothing would change in those minutes and UND held on for the 4-1 win and a sweep of the weekend. 

VIDEO POST GAME

(Video Desync at End)

Quick Start Guide North Dakota to Season Opener Win Over Holy Cross

Jackson Blake scores first goal of game and his college career (Photo: Eric Burton/Inside Hockey/@goon48)

GRAND FORKS, ND– Friday night was the opening of the regular season for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. With a full roster after a brief illness, you could see the synergy in the first period for the Hawks with all their lines rolling throughout the first period. It took only four minutes and twenty seconds in the middle portion of the game for NoDak to get out to a 4-0 lead. 

Jackson Blake and Mark Senden scored 17 seconds apart on two wonderful cross-ice passes from Chris Jandric and Louis Jamernik V respectively. Jamernik V also created the turnover that led Gavin Hain to his first goal back since his injury back in January, as Cooper Moore capped off the scoring spree with a rip from the top of the circles and behind Holy Cross’s Jason Grande. 

Though the second period was another story. After a heavy start and despite a Riese Gaber goal in the middle of the frame, you could see UND getting a bit too relaxed. Not much hard skating through the zones, letting up on possible scoring attempts, and letting Holy Cross start to outshoot them with three straight penalties back-to-back-to-back. It was something known within.

“We had to be better in our D-zone,” Blake mentioned post game. “Bear down, getting the puck out and stuff like that. I think that’s what we did in the third.’

The third period was a little bit better in getting their strut back that they had in the first period, though Thomas Gale stepped in for Holy Cross and made some solid saves and got the benefit of some interference calls to stymie the North Dakota scoring chances. A late Jake Schmaltz goal sealed the 6-0 win for NoDak. It gave new transfer goalie Drew DeRidder his first shutout since the 2020-21 season when he was at Michigan State. 

“It’s nice to have that kind of cushion,” said DeRidder. “I’m able to relax a little bit and know I’m able to make a mistake or two and it doesn’t affect the outcome of the game.” 

North Dakota looks for the sweep on Saturday over Holy Cross.

POST GAME VIDEOS

Depth Rules the Day for UND in Exhibition Win

GRAND FORKS, ND– This past week, the University of North Dakota had to deal with an illness going through the program, so much so that they had to go into the exhibition game with the University of Manitoba with 13 forwards, five defensemen, and two goalies, a far cry from the abundance of players who suit up for usual exhibition games. Despite the lack of usual skaters and needing to drop captain Mark Senden back on defense in the third period, the Fighting Hawks were able to get the victory in their tune-up for the 2022-23 season. 

It wasn’t the start that the Hawks were looking for, as on the first shot from Manitoba; Mitch Dyck ripped one through a big screen in front of Drew DeRidder to put the Bison up 1-0. North Dakota didn’t have the puck luck early on, as pucks were hopping off of sticks, too many passes being made, or holding the puck just a bit too long when lining up for a shot. The Hawks got onto the board with 7:01 to go in the first with Griffin Ness taking a rebound and putting it behind Brett Murphy to tie the game up at one. North Dakota kept the offense going until the end of the frame, but could only muster one goal through the first 20. 

“It was a good play by Jandric,” said Ness, “when you get to the heavy area in front of the net, sometimes you get rewarded. I just happened to be there. Feels good, but I look forward to next weekend. 

The second period showed what the UND squad was capable of, with Jake Schmaltz scoring 21 seconds into the frame after Matteo Costantini had his shot blocked by a Manitoba defender in front. North Dakota kept the pressure up through the second, but it wasn’t until after halfway where they got their paydirt. It started with Red Wings’ pick Dylan James rifling a shot home after Ben Strinden won the offensive zone face off to make it 3-1 Hawks. Less than a minute later, Tyler Kleven showed off his offensive upside, coming down from the point and putting it over the shoulder of Murphy, near side, to make it 4-1 Hawks. Finally, after the Hawks killed off a penalty, Chris Jandric poked the puck ahead to Gavin Hain, who found Jandric to finish off a four-goal period and take North Dakota to the 5-1 lead. 

While there was no scoring in the third, local product Kaleb Johnson was able to get into net for the first time in his college career, taking the third period and stopping all five shots he faced. Giving credit to the team in front of him, Johnson basked in the moment he was afforded on Saturday. 

“All the memories from my childhood kind of came over me,” Johnson said after the game. “It’s always been my dream. To get that win, it’s so special. I’m glad I got to share it with this group of guys. They’re great people, hard workers, and they made it even more special for me.” 

VIDEO POST-GAME

UND HOCKEY: Deja Vu All Over Again, as UND Wins 2-1 and Advance

GRAND FORKS, ND– In what was almost a replay of Friday night’s affair, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks and Colorado College Tigers battled, had all their scoring in the second period, and UND came away with a 2-1 win to advance in the NCHC Playoffs.

Welcoming back Connor Ford to the line-up, North Dakota started better than the previous night, getting shots in and around Matt Vernon, but couldn’t one to go passed. The Tigers thought that they had broken the ice early in the first period after a rebound went off of Ray Christy’s glove and behind Zach Driscoll. Thanks to video review, which the NCHC does after every goal, it showed that as Christy was trying to bunt the puck in with his stick; it was pushed in by his glove, thus no-goal. UND started the press harder thanks to the reprieve, but Vernon was dialed in during the first to keep it a scoreless period.

The second period went about the same as the previous night, as UND got up early in the frame. Thanks to a turnover by Vernon at the side of the net, Carson Albrecht found Matteo Costantini streaking down the left side with Costantini putting it through the five-hole of a flailing Vernon to make it 1-0 UND 1:28 into the period. The Tigers struck back at 3:10 into the period on the power play when Stanley Cooley tipped home a Nicklas Andrews point attempt to knot the game at 1. Keeping the play in the CC zone, UND drew a penalty late into the period, allowing their power play to get to work. With only 12 seconds remaining with the extra man, Riese Gaber ripped one over the shoulder of Vernon that he didn’t see thanks to the screen work by Ford, and UND went up 2-1.

Just as they were in the same predicament last night, the Tigers started to press, while UND took their chances, but looked to keep their area clean to secure the lead. Late in the game, Tyler Kleven was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit from behind. Kleven, due to his previous majors, will miss the next UND game. The call occured with 2:18 left in the game and while the Tigers got seven shots on net in that time, Driscoll and the defense staved off the attack to win 2-1 and advance to the Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul. They will face Western Michigan in the semifinal.

THEY SAID IT

 “I was biting my nails on the bench for sure. You’ve got to give our guys credit, blocking shots. Just warriors out there. That’s why they’re going to be successful in their careers and that’s why we’re successful as a team.” — Gaber on the work in the last 2:18.

“We shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation. We already addressed that in the locker room. I love Tyler Kleven. I was standing at this podium yesterday and saying his game has matured, and it really has. Late in the game, you’ve got to make sure you’re in control. Tyler Kleven is a big part of our team, but this a teaching moment for our group going forward in the Frozen Faceoff and the national tournament. Discipline is going to be a big thing.” — Coach Brad Berry on the Kleven situation

“When I see those guys selling out and blocking shots, it just makes me want to compete on pucks that much harder. It goes hand-in-hand like that.” — Driscoll on the work in front of him

Photo: Jen Conway/@NHLHistorygirl

GRAND FORKS , ND– The first round of hte NCHC Playoffs kicked off in Grand Forks on Friday for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks against the #7 seed Colorado College Tigers. Thanks to some returns and stingy play, the Fighting Hawks were able to find enough time and space during the game to eek out a 2-1 victory to take Game 1 of the quarterfinal.

While they were missing Connor Ford to non-COVID illness, the Hawks got back Jake Sanderson, Riese Gaber, and Ethan Frisch to the line-up. The first period was typical playoff hockey with plenty of neutral zone play and no team really getting a lot of time and space to create much offense. Only six shots total between both teams were registered in a scoreless tie after one.

The start of the second period made up for the lack of anything in the first. Only 2:35 into the frame, Jaek Sanderson announced his return, pump faking of a shot to draw CC’s Ray Christy down and out, toe dragging back, and whipping a wrister home to give UND the opening salvo. The Tigers came back 1:12 later with Jordan Biro getting behind the defense and ripping a shot past the blocker of Zach Driscoll to tie up the game. UND continued to buzz in the CC end, but it wasn’t until 7:06 remaining the second when they would break the tie with a Tyler Kleven cannon from the point blowing by Matt Vernon to put the Fighting Hawks up again. Trying to push for more offense, North Dakota couldn’t find the back of the net in the rest of the period, but came out up by a goal.

In the third, it was almost a replay of the first, with not a lot of time or space given to either side. Both sides clamped down their own zone plenty, while not giving up much space in the neutral zone. Despite the Tigers outshooting UND 5-4, they weren’t able to find the equalizer and the Hawks were able to score the Game One victory 2-1.

THEY SAID IT

“We didn’t have the start we wanted, we weren’t sharp in a few different areas. But we got better in the second and third period. There wasn’t a lot of time and space out there, but we created a cpuple plays when we had to. We’re going to have to be sharper tomorrow.” — Coach Brad Berry on his team’s play.

“They took a lot of time and space from us. Just moving pucks up quick in the neutral zone, I know (Berry) was harped on us. If we have time, skate through, use our feet, trust ourselves, get pucks deep and get on their defense and goalie.” — Sanderson on what is needed for better chances

“It was everything I expected. We knew it was going to be super hard, they’re playing for their season and we’re trying to move on. We’ve got to match their energy because tomorrow is a going to be a super hard game.” — Jake Schmaltz on his first playoff game.

UND HOCKEY: Three-Goal First Leads Hawks to Third-Straight Weekend Sweep

Photo: Jen Conway/@NHLHistorygirl

GRAND FORKS, ND– On Senior Night and missing yet another key player, this time in Ethan Frisch, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks put on their next-man-up mentality and used it in their quick start against Western Michigan, as they took the win and swept their third straight weekend. 

North Dakota was able to get out to a quick start while Western Michigan got into plenty of penalty trouble. It only took 2:34 for North Dakota to cash in, as Luke Bast took a rebound off a blocked shot in front and wired it past Brandon Bussi to give the Hawks an early lead. 

Then, North Dakota used deflections from Western to their advantage. First, the best of both worlds, as Louis Jamernik was able to weave through the defense for a prime chance, but he was hauled down in the process. As the delayed penalty was happening, Jamernik’s attempt was knocked into the net by Daniel Hilsendager to give UND the 2-0 lead and yet another power play. Just past midway, another power play for UND saw Judd Caulfield looking to find Connor Ford on the two-on-one break, though Caulfield’s pass went off of Cole Gallant’s skate and into the net to give UND a three-goal lead just 12:15 into the game. 

Western was able to get on the board late with a power play goal of their own with Jason Polin tallying his 14th of the year to cut the UND lead to two going into intermission. 

Though the second period saw Western give UND fits on Friday, UND was able to counterattack better in Saturday’s match-up, while also give more good bounces to UND. The first of which had Zach Driscoll make a save-of-the-year nominee, as a puck caromed off the back glass and landed onto his back. Making a quick decision, Driscoll put his glove hand behind his back, turned his body, making sure the puck never crossed the line and keeping it a two goal game. Another UND bounced came at the tail-end of a penalty kill, with Caulfield and Jamernik rushing on a 2-on-0 give-and-go with Caulfield passing over to Jamernik, but the puck was deflected by a back-checking Ronnie Attard of Western; but it wasn’t enough to break up the play with Jamernik corralling the puck and passing back to Caulfield for his second of the night and giving UND the 4-1 lead. 

Despite only getting five shots in the third period, Western was able to get within two goals on a Josh Passolt breakaway goal, as he got behind the defense and walked in to score on Driscoll to make it 4-2. But, it was UND’s night with captain Mark Senden helping cap off the weekend on another odd-man-rush, using patiences coming down the wing before finding Carson Albrecht for his second goal of the season to help seal a 5-2 victory for North Dakota. 

With the NCHC commissioner in the building to maybe present the Penrose Trophy for best regular season team in the conference, North Dakota waited after the game to watch the end of the Denver/Omaha– with Denver needing to win to stay alive. Denver overcame a 2-0 hole to win 5-2, meaning that a North Dakota win or Denver loss next weekend would give the Fighting Hawks their third-straight Penrose. 

THEY SAID IT

“Guys are willing to do anything for each other. We had over 20-some blocks in the game tonight, giving your body up, sacrificing, whatever you have to do. Doing whatever you can in your role to help win a game, and I think our guys are maximizing their roles right now.” –Head coach Brad Berry on the sacrifice of his team

“We went into Western and battled hard, but didn’t come up with any wins, so we knew we wanted a couple games at the Ralph. We always play hard in our building and we weren’t going to make it easy on them.” – Caulfield on getting payback after the earlier series against the Broncos.

“It sucks because (Frisch) is a huge leader and plays a big role for us, but we know it’s nothing new. Obviously with this past month losing guys, we just got to step up. That’s been huge for us to get these looks from guys who haven’t been getting the opportunity and we’re starting to build that swagger. Now that we have that internal belief that we can get the job done, that’s huge.” –Jamernik on the confidence of the team.

UND HOCKEY: Hawks Survive Second Period, Win 2-1

Photo Jen Conway/@NHLHistorygirl

GRAND FORKS, ND– At the start of the last home regular season weekend, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks were riding high with two straight sweeps, while also getting back some keep elements to their roster. While they were without Riese Gaber and Jake Sanderson, the Hawks were about to withstand a 2nd period on-slaught from the Western Michigan Broncos to win Friday night 2-1. 

North Dakota’s start was quick, they were able to get some zone time against Brandon Bussi in net for Western; but some of North Dakota’s passes were just a bit off the mark to really create some solid scoring opportunities. One that wasn’t off the mark was the pass from Jake Schmaltz streaking down the right side and centering a pass to Ashton Calder, who one-hand deflected the pass into the back of the net for the icebreaking goal. Following that, the Broncos picked up a little steam, including a late power play– but didn’t have any goals to show for it. 

The second period however was mostly Western, They were able to get their jump back and really put plenty of pressure onto Zach Driscoll. However, riding a four-game win streak coming in, Driscoll was more than dialed-in for this affair. There was one hiccup in that second for Driscoll as Jacob Bauer notched his first NCAA goal on a centering pass that seemed to catch Bauer off guard as the pass almost handcuffed him, but he was able to get enough on it to put it over the shoulder of Driscoll. While they were outshot 17-5 in the middle frame, UND was able to get the go-ahead goal thanks to the work of Judd Caulfield and Matteo Costantini, with the latter finding open space off the pass from Caulfield, moving Bussi around enough to sneak it through is legs for the 2-1 goal. 

More of the Broncos’ pressure continued in the third period, doubling up on the Hawks in shots. Despite buzzing around, Driscoll and the defense stood strong with key blocks and stellar saves to keep the Broncos off the board. It wasn’t until the last face-off when Western had a late-second chance on Driscoll that UND was able to secure the victory and retain the lead in the NCHC standings. 

THEY SAID IT

“He’s tracking pucks, he’s finding pucks, he’s battling on loose pucks in front of the net. It’s experience. He’s got a lot of experience behind him and he’s hungry to compete. It’s his 25th birthday today. What a birthday present that was.” –Head Coach Brad Berry on Driscoll’s performance down the stretch. 

“The guys stepped up at the end there in the last two minutes, and we’re going to need that for the rest of the year. We just got to sharpen up a couple things that we’ll look over tomorrow morning and stick to the game plan. Probably won’t change up too much tomorrow.” –Costantini about the game and what needs to change from the second period. 

“I saw him play in the past, gave me glimpses of him from the past. I definitely saw some of what he could do at Lake State and definitely knew it was coming.” –Calder on the performance of Driscoll.