Grand Forks, ND — The University of North Dakota hockey team entered Friday’s series-opening game against the Colorado College shorthanded. When the UND coaching staff filled out Friday’s lineup sheet, the Fighting Hawks were minus two D-men Jake Sanderson and Brady Ferner. They were also missing the UND’s entire shutdown line of Gavin Hain, Louis Jamernik, and Mark Senden due to injuries. When the lineup card was posted, there would be no extra player on Friday night.
Eight minutes into the first period, sophomore defenseman Cooper Moore was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for contact-to-the-head. UND would play the final 52 minutes with five D-men. After Moore was sent to the locker room UND goalie Zach Driscoll told junior defenseman Ethan Frisch, “your night just got longer.”
Longer yes, post-major, Frisch would play a lot of minutes. UND’s penalty kill went to work. They would limit the Tigers power play opportunities on the five-minute major. A minute into the PK, junior forward Judd Caulfield broke out of the d-zone and scored a shorthanded goal to give UND a 1-0 lead. It was Caulfield’s third goal in the last three games. Roughly two minutes later, Caulfield almost scored another shorthanded goal but was denied. UND would kill the penalty and go on a push of their own. That penalty kill fired up the UND bench.
“That gets us right back up on the bench, a lot of juice, a lot of energy,” Frisch said. “So, that was absolutely massive for us. Then he almost got another one. He was an absolute PK warrior out there today.”
At the 15:46 mark of the first period, Frisch would score his fourth goal in the last five games. It was a rocket from the top of the right faceoff dot. UND wasn’t done. Sophomore forward Riese Gaber entered Friday’s game on fire. He would continue that hot streak. At the 17:11 mark of the first period, Gaber would score his 14th goal of this season to give UND a 3-0 lead.
In the second period, the Fighting Hawks would take a few undisciplined penalties. The Fighting Hawks would give up a pair of power play goals in the second period. CC’s Stanley Cooley and Nicklas Andrews would score to power play markers to cut into UND’s lead. The Tigers wasted little time scoring on both power play opportunities. Total time elapsed on both CC power play goals, 12 seconds.
The Fighting Hawks weren’t very happy with what had transpired in the second period.
“Our guys got back into the locker room after the second period, and we felt it wasn’t our best period to a man,” Berry said. “We needed to be better. I think that’s where leadership talked a little bit.”
Berry continued, the coaches talked between the second and third period and said, “Hey, we got to get this back going again, and I thought out guys did.”
“They don’t ask how at the end of the day when you walk out three points, but that’s not the second period we want,” UND goalie Zach Driscoll said.
Driscoll Puts One on Net
The Tigers would make a push in the third period, but they’d get nothing past Driscoll (who stopped 24-of-26 shots). Driscoll was very close to joining the elite ranks of college hockey goalies that scored a goal. With a minute, and a half remaining in the game, Driscoll saw an opportunity and took the shoot. Barley missing. It was the first time in his career that Driscoll has ever had a chance to score a goal.
“I haven’t even had a chance to have that much time,” Driscoll said. It doesn’t happen often.” He’s 0-1 on shots taken.
When he took shot the puck, he thought it was going in. It wasn’t that far off of the mark.
“When it left my stick, I thought it was 100 percent going in,” Driscoll said.
“Preferably, it would be a two-goal lead, but at the end of the day, and when you have the puck on your tape — if you get an opportunity, it solidifies the game,” Berry said.”
When asked about the injured players, head coach Brad Barry said, “Where do you want to start?”
“Senden is probably week-to-week,” Berry said. “Jamernik is day-to-day. I would hope to say that Jamernik will be available next week and hopefully Senden will too. But I would probably say Jamernik before that.”
Watch the game highlights as @UNDmhockey takes down Colorado College, 3-2, on Friday night from the Ralph.