UND Hockey Looking For Better Start To First Games of Series

Have split last two with Duluth and Minnesota

GRAND FORKS, N.D — After four straight home games, North Dakota hockey closes out the first half of the regular season with two road series starting this weekend against St Cloud State. The main issue as of late is getting off to a better start in these two game sets.

In the first match-ups between Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota, UND let up defensively allowing a combined nine goals. The offense wasn’t able to stay consistent. Scoring early against the Bulldogs and then being held off the board until the third period against the Gophers.

Players know its good to bounce back and even series, however, the goal is for sweeps.

“We went 6-2 in the month of November and we had a couple Friday’s where we were not our best and got the best from the other teams,” head coach Brad Berry said. “We have to live and learn from what we’ve done and play more like Saturday on Friday.”

“Our execution and mindset in the last week for sure was not having the sharpest practices,” said freshman forward Nick Portz. “We had to stop a couple times but once Saturday comes, we know we need some wins, we all sharpened up.”

“It’s really just simplifying. I think guys spend the whole week getting ramped up for these big opponents and then we show up Friday night being a little flat maybe a little emotionally tried,” fifth year senior Connor Ford said. It takes a loss for us to bounce back on Saturday night. This week were focusing on ourselves and our game and less about St Cloud. Were ready to go out and do our job Friday night.”

Last time UND played in St Cloud was February of 2020 and were unsuccessful not winning either meeting. Adjusting to the Olympic size ice at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center is all about keeping it simple.

“It’s kind of refreshing to get on the road and simplify because when you’re here, it’s a lot whether you have family and your obligations during the day with school,” Ford said. “When you’re on the road, you just there to play hockey. Eat. Sleep. Play hockey.”

“Not trying to do too much. Everybody doing their job and just simplifying our game,” Berry said. “Knowing that when you go on the road, you want a similar attack mentality. At the same time. Everyone need to play with in thier role and game and structure and just keeping the flow of the game the way we want it.”

UND leads the all-time series with a 77-45-15 advantage. Puck drop for game one is Friday night at 7:30.


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