This past week, when the University of North Dakota lost two of their top players Drake Caggiula and Nick Schmaltz to injury; questions began to emerge. Who was going to score goals for the Fighting Hawks versus the Colorado College Tigers?

After this weekend’s two-game series against the Tigers, the question was who didn’t score for the Fighting Hawks. Even with a depleted lineup, UND still managed to score 10 goals on the weekend.  Shockingly, the final healthy CBS Line member, Boeser was held scoreless on Saturday night snapping 13-game point streak (10g-10a—20pts).

Tonight, it was all UND. The Fighting Hawks would race to a 4-0 lead before giving up a goal late in the third period. Rhett Gardner would score an empty net goal to ice the game for UND to make the final score 5-1.

Staying red hot, Gardner scored two more goals for UND giving him nine goals for the season. As of late, Gardner has been in the right place at the right time. Good things happen when he has the puck on his stick. The freshman from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, scored (4g-0a—4pts) on the weekend. Breaking it down further, Gardner has scored five goals in the last four games.

After the game, head coach Brad Berry was pleased with his team’s effort.

“Like I said before, we have good players in out locker room,” Berry said.  I think the mentality takes over. We’re playing against a good team, but there some urgency from some guys. It’s great to see like guys like Mike Gornall score his first collegiate goal. Again, that’s kind of our mentality when guys have to have their back.”

A night after blowing a four-goal lead, tonight, UND got the lead and didn’t let it slip away. The Fighting Hawks made some adjustments to their game plan. They kept things simple. The Fighting Hawks also tidied up play in the defensive zone by limiting  turnovers and odd man rushes.

Senior forward Bryn Chyzyk paced the Fighting Hawks with (1g-2a—3pts). That was the first three-point game of Chyzyk’s collegiate career.

“I thought we simplified things a lot,” senior forward Bryn Chyzyk said. “When they had success against us yesterday, they chipped a lot of pucks and kept it simple and chased up. We kind of brought that to them tonight. We made life hard on their D.”

When injuries happen, it creates an opportunity for other players to step in and fill that spot roster. Tonight, freshman forward Mike Gornall scored his first collegiate goal in his second game.

“Right away I didn’t realize what exactly had happened,” Gornall said. “The first one you kind of black out. It was a great feeling to get the first one out of the way.”

With the win, UND improves to (20-3-3, 11-2-1NCHC). The Tigers fall to (5-18-1, 3-10-1 NCHC).

Next weekend, UND travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to take on the Western Michigan Broncos in a two-game conference series.

About The Author

College Hockey Writer, Contributing Editor

Eric Burton is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers college hockey and the University of North Dakota for Inside Hockey. Eric is the editor of the SIN BIN. Lastly, Eric was the college hockey writer for The Hockey Writers.

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