Grand Forks, ND – On Friday night, the University of North Dakota Hockey team returned to Ralph Engelstad Arena after a long absence and extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games.
Since losing 2-1 to Minnesota State on October 19, 2019, the Fighting Hawks have gone an impressive run (13-0-1). That’s tops in the nation. Moreover, with the 5-2 win over the University of Alabama Huntsville, UND improves to 15-1-2 and extends its home winning streak to 12 games. On Saturday, with a win, they will break a team record for the longest home winning streak.
The game didn’t start as planned, Chargers forward Christian Rajic scored on the first shift of the game at the 00:18 mark. Roughly 13 minutes later, Fighting Hawks junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi scored a goal via a deflection in the blue paint to tie the game at 1-1. There was no more scoring in the first period.
That Hawks would strike again in the second period. At the 03:42 mark, Junior forward Grant Mismash would give UND a brief 2-1 lead. At the 06:51 mark, Chargers would answer with a goal from freshman forward Josh Latta. Tie game.
In just under four minutes, Grant Mismash would score his second goal of the game to give UND a 3-2 lead. After that, the Hawks would never relinquish the lead again.
UND would blow the game open in the third period with goals from Kawaguchi and Cole Smith to make the final score 5-2. What’s even more impressive, after the first period, the Hawks defense held the Chargers to 8 shots on goal.
On Friday, the top line of Grant Mismash (2g-0a–2pts), Collin Adams (0g-3a–3pts) and Jordan Kawaguchi (2g-0a–2pts) remained red-hot. The final tally, four goals, and seven points. They were also a plus-six.
— UND Insider (@UNDinsider) January 4, 2020
They said what?
The players’ thoughts on the Chargers scoring the first goal of the game 18 seconds in.
“It’s (was) a wakeup call, for sure, but I thought we had a good bounce back,” Mismash said.
“You don’t want to get scored on the first shift of the game, but our team has good composure,” Adams said. “We’re very resilient. We stuck to the game plan and it ended up working for us.”
On the top line having a good night.
“They have the ability to do that,” Berry said. “They’re good players. They were making some plays to get the win for us. They can be better and the rest of our team can be better tomorrow.”
On being a little rusty.
“I thought it was good for parts of the game,” Berry said. “Not the whole game. I didn’t think we were sharp. For sure in the first period, we weren’t. Second period, I thought we were a lot sharper. In the third period, it was 50-50. It’s going to be one of those things tomorrow, we know we didn’t play our best. Our best players know we didn’t play our best. We’ll be better tomorrow.