UND Hockey Encouraged By Veteran Leadership

The Fighting Hawks have 11 upperclassmen

Grand Forks N.D. — With six juniors and five seniors this year, North Dakota hockey is a team filled with veteran leadership. The 11 upperclassmen are establishing a good dynamic for a team that missed out on the postseason last year.

The seniors have seen the ups of winning a national championship and the downs of last year’s disappointment. Leadership is a strong point for the Fighting Hawks this season and together they have one message. The core is passing down an attitude of building relationships with one another to create growth between veterans and underclassmen.

“The leadership definitely brings that attitude, brings what we want to do but it comes from the whole team building relationships with one another,”  junior defenseman Colton Poolman said. “When were talking, hanging out, that’s how we grow with one another. When guys get comfortable with one another, everyone is more comfortable out on the ice. No one gets nervous. They’re not going to piss off a guy if they make the wrong pass because they have their back because later he can make the wrong pass.”

“Every season there’s going to be ups and downs,” senior forward Joel Janatuinen said. “There are going to be times when things don’t go your way. I think just having the older guys there, they’ve been through a lot of stuff. I think that’ll be a strength of our team this year.”

The Fighting Hawks welcome Manitoba to the Ralph Engelstad Arena Saturday Night.

Both squads have met up in each of the last 21 seasons to open the exhibition season. In last year’s matchup between the two teams, UND came out victorious winning 6-2.

The regular season begins on October 12th at Bemidji State.


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