Grand Forks, ND — Fast starts are important in hockey, and for the third game in a row, the University of North Dakota hockey team scored on its first shot of the game. This time, sophomore forward Riese Gaber would score the Fighting Hawks first goal on the first shot of the game. Omaha goalie Isaiah Saville never had a chance. Gaber would finish the game with a goal and two assists.
The Mavericks defenseman Brandon Scanlin would score 14 minutes later on the power play to tie the game. That was the only goal the Mavericks would get past Zach Driscoll who stopped 26-of-27 shorts. From there on out, it was all UND.
“He’s (Gaber) one of our best players, and when he pushes that bar up, he pushes the bar for the rest of the team,” UND head coach Brad Berry said.
UND’s Penalty Kill Leads UND to Victory
They say that the best response to a successful penalty kill is to score a goal. On Friday night, that happened twice for the Fighting Hawks in the second period. I don’t know if you could’ve scripted it any better.
At the 7:44 mark of the second period, UND senior captain Mark Senden would take a two-minute minor penalty for roughing. UND would kill his minor penalty. As Senden’s penalty expired, he would exit the penalty box, and join the rush up the ice. When it was all said and done, Senden had scored his fifth goal of the season to give UND a 2-1 lead. That would also end up being the game-winning goal.
Senden wasn’t done yet. Roughly four minutes later, Senden would return to the penalty box after he was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for boarding. Normally, you don’t want one of your best penalty killers to take back-to-back penalties. However, tonight, it worked out for the Fighting Hawks. As Senden’s second minor penalty expired, he exited the penalty box again and headed up ice, he passed the puck to Judd Caulfield who would score his fifth goal of the season. You could see the play develop all the way up the ice prior to the goal.
When the ink had dried on the final box score, Senden would score a goal and an assist and lead his team to a 4-1 victory.
“I was pretty fortunate to have those bounces I had tonight,” Senden said. “They come around once in a lifetime. It’s not a usual thing that happens. I was pretty fortunate there.”
On Thursday, Driscoll found out he was getting the start in net. He made the most of his opportunity. In the last two games, he’s given his team a chance to win stopping 46-of-47 shots.
“Yeah, I like that, as a goalie, anytime you can have the puck touched a few times right away, Driscoll said. “It’s really nice to get in the game right away. I had an opportunity a couple of times to play the puck and just find a way to do it right away. I enjoyed that a lot.”
— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) February 5, 2022
UND and Omaha play game two of the series Saturday at 6:07 pm.
Stats of Interest
After having a losing record on Friday night, the University of North Dakota hockey team has won two straight games to raise their record to 7-6-0 on Friday nights.
According to UND hockey SID Alec Johnson, UND junior defenseman Ethan Frisch is the first defenseman to score in three straight games since Chay Genoway did it from Oct. 16-23, 2009 against Minnesota and UAA.
“Whatever you ask, he executes and performs at a high level,” Berry said. “His game has taken shape and growing. He’s always a good defensive player, but now he’s adding to the offense which is great to see. Again, it was dearly needed.”
In the last three games, Riese Gaber has scored 3 goals and 7 points.