UND Hockey: A Weekend to Forget
The 2018-19 college hockey season is finally here. This past weekend, the University of North Dakota hockey team played a home-and-home series with the Bemidji State Beavers. Entering the series, UND had gone 5-0-2 in their last seven games against the Beavers.
Make that 5-1-3 after this past weekend.
Entering the season, one of the question marks facing the Hawks was who’s going to be the go-to guy. Who’s going to score goals? Who’s going to be the finisher? After one weekend of play, those questions remain.
First, let’s not lose sight of the big picture, it’s early in the season. Second, I don’t think the Hawks played all that bad. That being said, silver linings and moral victories aren’t acceptable with a program like North Dakota.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. If you go back and watch the video, you see that the Beavers bought into their systems. All weekend long, UND was unable to get any flow going. The Beavers forecheck was tenacious and relentless. There was little room to roam all weekend long. For the most part, I thought both games were extremely boring. It’s God awful hockey to watch. When UND was able to get a shot on the Beavers net, their goaltenders stood tall. That’s hockey.
Unimpressive Start Statistically
Through two games, UND is 0-8 on the man advantage and has scored a total of two even-strength goals on 56 shots. For those that are interested in the math, that’s a .035 shooting percentage. You’re not going to win a lot of hockey games with that shooting percentage.
Moving forward, if the UND doesn’t get primary and secondary scoring, it’s going to be a long season. Compare and contrast. Last year, UND scored 2.9 goals a game. Present tense, after three games counting the exhibition game, UND has scored a grand total of four goals in three games. That equates to 1.33 goals per game.
Player Unhappy with Weekend Results
Saturday’s 1-1 tie felt like a loss. The end results didn’t sit well with the Hawks players.
Senior forward Nick Jones was extremely disappointed with the Hawks power play and he didn’t mince words.
“The last few times I’ve come in here I’ve been pretty optimistic about it,” Jones said. “Tonight, there was nothing to be optimistic about. Couldn’t get set up. It was dreadful, to be honest with you. We let our team down, as a power-play unit.”
Jones continued, “As a whole, taking in both games, unacceptable,” he said. “Disappointing. Can’t have that. Come out and get a loss and a tie. Embarrassing is the only word I got.”
“Not enough,” Mismash said. “We need more from the whole team in general, just bearing down on our chances.”
Not enough, unacceptable, disappointed. I think many in the UND fanbase will agree with that assessment.
UND head coach Brad Berry’s sentiments echoed his team’s post-game comments.
“We got one point out of the weekend here with one tie,” Berry said. “That’s not our expectations going into the weekend. Obviously, we found out more information tonight. I thought Adam Scheel had an outstanding game in goal. We have to work on different things.
“I thought we started very well, but then momentum took over on the other bench because of turnovers and a few different things,” Berry said. “I thought we got unnerved a little bit, our focus. It’s a tough thing to get back. It’s a tough game to play. There’s not a lot of ice out there.”
One of the bright spots in Saturday’s game was the goal by sophomore forward Grant Mismash. I asked him if the team was gripping the sticks too hard. Here’s his response.
“I don’t know if it’s that,” Mismash said. “I don’t really think there’s an explanation for it. It’s just how it’s going right now. Every team will go through that. It’s not going to be perfect all year.”
Just 2:31 into the first period, @UNDmhockey gets the first goal of the game thanks to Grant Mishmash!#UNDproud @TheNCHC pic.twitter.com/fqkowSX1iV
— UND Insider (@undinsider) October 14, 2018