Grand Forks, ND – The University of North Dakota has played in 17 games so far this season and throughout the first half of the season, the players have beaten a path to the training room. The busiest person on the UND staff has been the trainer Mark Poolman.
Looking at the statistics, UND players have missed roughly 17 games due to injury (Nick Schmaltz 4 games, Mark MacMillan 4 games, Paul LaDue 1 game, Brendan O’Donnell 2 games, Bryn Chyzyk 5 games, Colten St. Clair 1 game).
This weekend, three more players suffered injuries. Drake Caggiula and Colten St. Clair were knocked out of Friday’s game with injures. Caggiula returned to the lineup on Saturday, St. Clair did not. According to the UND, St. Clair is out indefinitely with an upper body injury.
McIntyre starts in goal. Caggiula remains in the lineup. Simonson back in the lineup. Chyzyk still out. St. Clair out indef. (upper body).
Tonight, UND sophomore defenseman Troy Stecher was added to that long list of injuries. During the third period, Stecher fell awkwardly behind the UND suffered what appears to be a leg/ankle injury.
After the game, head coach Dave Hakstol didn’t have a lot of details about Stecher’s injury.
“It’s been a common theme for us the last month” Hakstol said. “The guys have been resilient and we will try to get him healthy as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, other guys will step in and play a role and do a job.”
Injuries aside, through the first 17 games, UND has used its deep lineup to gut out wins. Most of the wins haven’t been pretty, but they still count the same in the standings.
Tonight’s game was more of the same. After watching the two teams score a combined 11 goals, the night before. Saturday’s game was more of a tight checking game as UND ground out a 3-1 win.
“It was a grind, right from the drop of the puck,” Hakstol said . “That’s probably the best way that I can describe It. I thought it was just a grind for 60 minutes. I thought we had a lot of guys that stepped up and did a good job in some of their roles. Guys that excel in those games.”
“It was a hard fought game, sophomore forward Luke Johnson said. “I thought tonight we were sloppy at times, but we found a way to work through it and score some goals and create some offense.”
Through two periods of play, UND held the Lakers to six shots, but only led 1-0 on a beautiful goal by Brendan O’Donnell.
In the third period, Luke Johnson and Jordan Schmaltz would score goals for UND and that was all UND would need.
Lakers forward Stephen Perfetto would break Zane McIntrye’s shutout bid at the 14:50 mark of the third period.
Next weekend, UND travels to Denver, Colorado, to play the University of Denver in a two-game conference matchup to close out the first half of the season.
With the win, UND improves to (12-3-2, 5-2-1 NCHC). With the loss, LSSU falls to 3-15-0, 3-9-0 WCHA).