UND Hockey Building Chemistry As Season Approaches
14 new player have come as eight left for the NHL
GRAND FORKS, N.D — North Dakota hockey’s season is just around the corner with their first exhibition getting it started October 2nd against Bemidji State. Before then, there are still some kinks to work out.
UND had eight players leave for the NHL after last season ended in the NCAA Tournament’s Fargo regional final. 14 new players have since joined the fun in Grand Forks including 10 freshman and four transfers.
The first time everyone was together came in July for summer workouts. In the lead up to that first face-off, senior captain Mark Senden and junior assistant Ethan Frisch say its been all about building those on ice relationships.
“Building chemistry with these guys. The offseason becomes increasingly important,” Frisch said. “Getting on the ice with them and knowing their different tendencies your line mates and d partners because huge for us this season. Their excited to be part of our culture so that made it easy for them to know them off the ice which makes it even easier on it knowing that you’re dealing with a lot of great ones.”
“They played in juniors so they’re not your typical freshman,” Senden said. “We do have some 18 year old’s. A lot of them they’re very strong skilled and fast. When you seem them out there they’re not truly going to look like freshman.”
“Everyone has done a good job of getting acclimated into what we are here at North Dakota and our culture,” senior forward Gavin Hain said. “We’re going to have a little bit different identity then last year’s team. Were a hard working group. We have everyone on the right page.”
“We have several captains that are juniors and sophomores so I think we can bring that leadership,” sophomore defenseman Tyler Kleven said. “Our experience too. We all played 30-60 games over our freshmen and sophomore years so far.”
UND was picked to finish third in the NCHC’s preseason poll. It’s only the third time that’s happened as a program.