On Friday, the University of North Dakota was looking to end a three-game losing streak. Standing in their way, the University of Alaska Anchorage. The prospects of ending the three-game losing streak looked pretty good. UAA entered Friday’s game with a 1-8-1 record.
History hasn’t been kind to the Fighting Hawks on Black Fridays. Entering Friday’s game, UND was 0-3-1 in the last four Black Friday games at home.
“Yeah, we haven’t had the best record on Black Friday, but I think there was kind of a mindset more than that and was trying to get back on the winning way,” head coach Brad Berry said.
This time, UND left no doubt, they never trailed in the game and the Fighting Hawks took control of the game early. They held the Seawolves to three shots in the first period. Eight shots in the second period and 11 shots in the third. When it was all said and done, the Fighting Hawks had played a complete 60-minute game.
“I thought we played a full 60,” senior forward Rhett Gardner said. “It was a good bounce back from last weekend. It was pretty easy to get up for this one after what happened last weekend. I thought we answered though. We had to get a win and come back tomorrow.”
Again, it was goal scoring by committee. Five different players scored goals for the Hawks. Little used forward, Jackson Keane scored the first goal of his collegiate career and it was a beautiful goal.
“It was pretty cool,” Keane said. “I don’t know if I have words to describe it. It’s something you dream about for a long time. I was just happy to get into the lineup tonight.”
Last weekend, UND was swept by the Western Michigan Broncos (2-0, 6-2). That didn’t sit well with the UND coaching staff. Monday, the Fighting Hawks went back to work and had some good, hard practices.
“I thought we came out strong you know after a hard week of practice,” Berry said. “Our guys had a good energy level. I thought we did a lot of the details that we needed to do. You know, again, the goaltender at the other end was making some saves but I thought we had some good looks to start the game and carried over through the 60.”
“Yeah, it was a work week,” Gardner said. “I won’t say it was a punishment. It was more just fixing what we had to and getting back to work. Back to details and what made us successful in that five-game streak.”