Grand Forks, ND — In their two-game, non-conference game against Bemidji State, the University of North Dakota hockey got off to a slow start in both contests. On Saturday night, UND found itself down two goals 88 seconds into the game. UND head coach Brad Berry didn’t like what he saw and called a timeout.
“You’ve got to reset, Berry said. “That was the critical time to reset your team and get them back into sorts again. I think when you give up two goals you get kind of shaken a little bit. I wanted to make sure that our guys got back on the horse. You can’t control what’s in the past, but you can control what’s in the future and we wanted to make sure that the future of our game was good.”
Slow Starts in Both Game for UND
The start of the last two games wasn’t ideal and moving forward the Fighting Hawks are going to want to get off to a better start. They want to be in the lead instead of chasing the game.
“It’s kind of a mindset today, Berry said. “One of the main points was having a better start. Having a more solid start. I thought a couple of plays led to their goals. They scored (two) nice goals, but it led to us making a couple of mistakes not handling the puck in the neutral zone to advance it. The other one, we just made a couple of errant passes to ourselves and gave them a free opportunity for the second one. You can’t put yourself down two nothing in the first couple minutes against a good team like that. So it’s a point of emphasis here for us, young season, young team here to make sure that we start on time.”
“Not the start we wanted,” UND senior captain Mark Senden said. “Got to have a good start, and that’s not what happened tonight. We came out slow, and that came to bite us there at the end. I’m proud of how our guys battled back the entire game. Unfortunate there in the three-on-three but proud of the way we battled back.”
I thought at times, UND played more as individuals than they did as a team. Especially in the first period. You can bet the coaching staff will focus on this moving forward. There are 14 new players in the lineup and it’s going to take time for them to gel as a team.
“We like your team,” Berry said. “We love our team and the fact that they battle and they work, but we have got to play more as a team early on in the beginning of a game. I loved their pushback in the second and third period. We had great pushback. I don’t think we spent a whole lot of time in the second and third in our end of the rink. We’ve got to make sure that start is like the we did in the second or third have that consorted spirited effort to make sure we play in tthie end of the rink.”
Newcomer junior forward Ashton Calder (two goals on Saturday night) stressed the importance of getting off to a better start.
“We’re a good team, but give them credit,” Calder said. Bemidji State’s a good team. They come out hard. They start hard every game. We showed that we could play well, especially in those last two periods. We just got to start better. We give up two (goals) right away in the first minute and a half. You can’t spot teams like that two goals right away in the first period. So, if we clear that up, I think we’ll be good.”
Calder Making an Impact
One of new players that’s making an early impact with UND is junior forward Ashton Calder. In four games with the Hawks, Calder has scored four goals and six points. He’s also a plus-three. The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan native is tied for the team lead in points with Riese Gaber and leads the team in goals scored. He’s scored four goals on 10 shots for a 40 percent shooting percentage. At the Ralph, Calder is averaging 2.0 points per game. For his career, Calder is approaching 100 points, in 111 career games he’s scored (37g-48a–85pts), he’s also a plus-36. The biggest thing that sticks out with me is that he’s only scored four power play goals during his first three seasons.
After UND got behind in the first period, Calder’s goal cut the Beavers lead to one with a goal at the 3:17 mark of the first period. Calder would also score the game-tying goal at the 19:12 mark of the third period to push the game to three-on-three overtime.
Louis Jamernik Making a Contribution
Sophomore forward Riese Gaber scored UND’s other goal his second of the season. Picking the primary assist was Louis Jamernik. This season, Jamernik is playing a bigger role for the Fighting Hawks. Against the Beavers this past weekend, Jamernik scored a goal and two assists for the weekend and was one of the reasons UND was able to get the win on the road at Bemidji on Friday night. In 23 games with North Dakota, Jamernik has scored two goals and five assists for 7 points. Jamernik (1g-2a–3pts), is already one point away from equaling his point total from last season.
This season, Jamernik has played on the penalty kill and embraces that role.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing penalty kill,” Jamernik said during the Wednesday press conference. “I feel like that gets my feet going and chase the puck and challenge them to screw up their breakouts. just playing my role of supporting the puck well, and just playing some solid hockey.”
Stats of Interest
Home Sweet Home: counting the last two homes games of the 2018-19 season, UND has a 31-3-0 (.911) record in the last 34 games they’ve played at the Ralph. home games. Breaking it down further, UND has a 29-3-0 (.906) record at home since the start of the 2019-20 season.
Sophomore forward Riese Gaber extended his point streak to four games (2g-4a–6pts).