One of the things that I noticed from last weekend was that a fair number of fans in Gopher Nation spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on the number of players that UND had taken from the NCAA transfer portal. I am not sure why they focus on that. Honestly, does it really matter if a team loads up on portal transfers or not? However, it got me thinking. Did it have an outcome on the games in question? Who knows. It would be really hard to quantify that. The series ended up being a draw, as many had predicted. The Gophers won on Friday night, and UND won on Saturday night. Under coach Brad Berry, he has a 7-5-1 (.576) record against the Gophers.
We do know that Gophers’ goalie Justen Close held his team in the game and kept the score close. In fact, he was amazing last weekend. He ended up being the Big 10 Goalie of the Week, an honor that was well deserved.
UND split the important non-conference series with the Gophers (L 0-4, 2-1 W), and currently holds a 2-1-0 record against the Big Ten. For those wondering, here are the schools that dipped into the NCAA Transfer Portal; you can see that UND wasn’t alone. Here’s the breakdown. Canisius College had eight transfers, Sacred Heart had seven transfers, The Ohio State University had seven transfers. Stick tap to Brad Schlossman. I didn’t add Augustana and Robert Morris because they’re just starting and restarting their programs.
The New Players
Let’s look at how the new players have done after four games. Yes, I know it’s early. However, the transfer portal players are making an impact.
Hunter Johannes, four games (3g-0a—3pts), plus-two. Two of his three goals are shorthanded. He scored UND’s first goal of the season shorthanded. He’s UND’s current leading goal scorer.
Cameron Berg, four games (1g-2a—3pts), plus-three. Berg has been seen playing the bumper on the power play. Berg has a hard booming shot and has been good so far.
Garrett Pyke, who has played four games (0g-2a—2pts), plus-four, plays on the number one power play and has been one of UND’s best defensive players.
Bennett Zmolek, four games (0g-1a—1pts), plus-one – he’s currently injured and listed as questionable for this weekend.
Keaton Pehrson, three games (0g-1a—1pts), plus-two – he’s currently injured and listed as week-to-week.
Ludvig Persson, four games (3-1-0, 1.51 GAA, and .937 save percentage) has one shutout. He’s been solid in the net since his arrival. Persson was named the NCHC goaltender of the week for the past two weeks.
The Players that Left.
Luke Bast, UMD, five games (2g—0a—2pts) plus-one
Nick Potz, SCSU, six games (1g-1a—2pts)
Brent Johnson, OSU, five games (1g-1a—2pts) minus-two
Cooper Moore, QU five games (0g-1a—1pts) even
Matteo Costantini, WMU, four games (1g-2a—3pts) plus-five
Jakob Hellsten, UNH, one game, (1-0-0, GAA 1.00, and a .938 save percentage)