3 Things; Minnesota Versus North Dakota

by | Oct 23, 2023

3 Things; Minnesota Versus North Dakota

by | Oct 23, 2023

This past weekend, the University of North Dakota hockey team split their non-conference series with the University of Minnesota Gophers. Here are three things that I saw from this past weekend. Last year, Saturday’s game against the Gophers might have been a game UND would’ve lost. This season, there have been a couple of close games, and the Hawks have been able to hold onto the lead.

“In the last 10 minutes of the game, I thought we did a good job of winning a majority of the drawers,” head coach Brad Berry said. “That’s a huge deal, selling out and blocking shots. You see a guy like Carson Albrecht come from the side of the rink and do the two-pad stack and block a shot. To be willing to try to save an opportunity that might go in our net, Those are a big deal.”

Carson Albrecht Making the Most of His Opportunity

Speaking of Carson Albrecht. In hockey, every team has their role players who do things that don’t always get noticed in the highlight reels. These players are the ones killing penalties. They’re checking the top line and doing gritty things. During his first four seasons with UND, senior forward Carson Albrecht played in 68 games, scoring (5g-a7–12pts). This season, Albrecht seems destined for a bigger role. On Saturday night, against the Gophers, UND blocked 16 shots, and Albrecht led the Hawks with three blocked shots. Some of these shots could’ve ended up in the UND net.

“He (Albrecht) didn’t play a whole lot his first three or four years here, and now he’s getting an opportunity,” Berry said. Colton Sanderson did the same thing a few years back. You need those guys on your team to step up, especially when you have a lot of turnover, having experienced guys who have been through the good times and the bad times. I just love it in the fact that now, you know, he’s trusted to go out on six-on-five up situations where, you know, we want him on the ice when we want to try to defend our goal and block a shot or advance a puck.”

Early on, Albrecht is making an argument to stay in the lineup by doing all of the little things that don’t always get noticed in the box scores. On Saturday, he was hustling in both ends of the ice.

UND Struggles on the Power Play

Last season, the UND power play ended the season ranked second in the nation, ironically, behind this week’s opponent, Minnesota State. Last season, UND was a juggernaut on the power play; they scored 27.3 percent of their power plays. This season, it’s a different story. Early on, the UND hockey team has struggled on the power play. Through four games, UND’s power play is ranked 54th nationally. It has scored a single power-play goal and is currently sitting at 5.6 percent. While UND isn’t satisfied with their power play, the coaching staff isn’t going to panic. UND captain Riese Gaber isn’t worried about the power play.

“I don’t think it’s anything, just chemistry, Gaber said after Friday’s game against Minnesota. “Like I said, we’re all good players and capable of making plays. It’s not clicking right now, but I’m confident we’ll get clicking.”

From the interesting fact department, UND’s next opponent sits just below UND and is ranked 55th nationally on the power play. You have to think that both teams will eventually figure it out.

Three Stars of Saturday’s Game

During the third period of each game, the media votes on the game’s three stars. After the game, UND hockey public address announcer Derek Looker announces the game’s three stars. Saturday, the three stars of the game were freshman forward Jayden Perron, first star of the game, senior goalie Ludvig Persson, second star, and freshman d-man Jake Livanavage, third star. After Saturday’s game, the three stars were revealed. Virg Foss mentioned that none of the three stars were here last season. This is a good illustration of how much turnover there is from season to season. It’s something to think about when looking at the UND program. There’s going to be turnover on the rosters from year to year.

Saturday’s Goals

Finally, It was also a night of firsts. The highly touted Livanavage scored his first career goal. His goal ended up being the game-winning goal of the game.

“I didn’t really see much (of it),” Livanavage said. “I just decided to put it on the net. I skated behind the net and saw it behind the goalie.  I don’t really remember much after that.”

If you haven’t seen UND’s goals. Here they are. First, Perron with the tip drill.

The game-winning goal by the freshman.

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