Rink Report: UND Hockey Focusing on Special Teams Improvements

The Fighting Hawks gave up six power play goals in the pair of losses to UMD last weekend

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — UND hockey will be seeing a whole lot of more green in the stands this weekend with a scheduled green out for its home series against Denver.

And maybe that’ll bring the Fighting Hawks some luck after losing two straight to Minnesota-Duluth last weekend. UND gave up six power play goals in those pair of losses, so the team says the focus this week is on special teams before facing the pioneers.

“We were here all day Sunday digging into it before the players got here Monday morning and as soon as they got here we got into the meetings as far as special teams being a big part of our success going down the road here,” UND head coach Brad Berry said. “Five-on-five, everybody’s good. It’s tough to score goals. You have to find a way to squeeze one out of the power play and you have to find a way to extinguish them on the penalty kill, so it’s been talked about and it’s been worked on here everyday.”

“Obviously all those power play goals contributed to the losses,” UND forward Johnny Simonson added. “I think a lot of it is just structure and walking through what our structure is and refreshing on pretty much all situations on those and making sure that everybody, defense or forward, on the penalty kill knows exactly what is expected out of them and what their job is.”

“Duluth was having a good power play and they were sharp and we weren’t,” UND defenseman Colton Poolman said. “That’ll happen. We just got to dig deep and everyone pull the rope. I’m sure we’re still going to do some stuff on it this week, so I mean it’s been a pretty big factor in this week’s lesson, if you want to say that.”

Denver enters the series having shut out Omaha in both of its games last weekend.

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