Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS -- The first time UND and Western Michigan played this season, Adam Scheel had a 41-save shutout. It marked the highest number of saves in a shutout by a UND goalie since 1984. For that entire weekend, he stopped 68 of 70 shots and helped UND to a sweep. So, if there was a time to get Scheel back in net for the Fighting Hawks, why not Friday night?
GRAND FORKS -- Last season, the University of North Dakota experienced life on the road in the playoffs. It learned that it's not so glamorous. The Fighting Hawks had their flight to Denver diverted to Albuquerque, N.M., because of a blizzard and had to make a seven-hour drive over two days on a jam-packed small bus to get to the Mile High City.
DULUTH, Minn. -- Each season there are a few moments that stand out. They are often small moments where you can learn quite a bit about a team and what makes it different from others in years past. Saturday night in Amsoil Arena, the University of North Dakota had one of them. One night after giving up seven goals and suffering its most dejecting defeat of the season, UND allowed back-to-back goals to Minnesota Duluth in the third period to go down 2-1.
DULUTH, Minn. -- Everything came so easy to the University of North Dakota in the first half of the season. When it needed to lock down a lead, it almost always did. When it needed a clutch goal to complete a comeback, it so often got it. When it needed an overtime winner, someone came through. But things don't usually come that easy in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and UND is finding that out right now.
GRAND FORKS — Karl Goehring was hired this summer as the University of North Dakota's new assistant coach. One of his duties was to resurrect UND's power play, which finished dead last a year ago in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, converting just 14.2 percent of its attempts. Goehring opted to go with the 1-3-1 setup — one player in each circle and three players stacked up the middle — which is used by most NHL teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Goehring's employer for the last two seasons. Goehring also has been able to deploy a weapon that's becoming popular with the
GRAND FORKS — Former University of North Dakota All-American goaltender and two-time Patty Kazmaier Award finalist Shelby Amsley-Benzie has been hospitalized after being hit by a school bus in south Fargo on Friday morning, Jan. 17. Amsley-Benzie, now a goalie coach with Concordia Moorhead, was snow blowing in white-out conditions when the bus struck her, according to a news release by Valley Bus. The accident happened at about 8 a.m. Friday. There were no updates available on Amsley-Benzie's condition Monday afternoon.
GRAND FORKS -- The wake-up call to the University of North Dakota men's hockey team wasn't just sent Friday night with a home loss to Omaha. It was sent again Saturday during UND's 4-1 win in the series finale against the Mavericks. The message: Virtually nobody's spot in the lineup is secure. That's because the two guys who have played fewer games than any skaters on the team this season outside of rookie Carson Albrecht entered the lineup and delivered strong games to help the Fighting Hawks grab a split.
GRAND FORKS — When Jacob Bernard-Docker left for the World Juniors more than a month ago, his teammates had a little bit of fun. They chanted "U-S-A!" at the UND sophomore defenseman, who was headed to represent Canada in the prestigious under-20 hockey event in the Czech Republic. "They're all fun and games," Bernard-Docker said. "They're super supportive and they're having fun, so it's good." When he returned home late Monday night with a gold medal, the reception was full of excitement.
GRAND FORKS -- Alabama Huntsville goalie Mark Sinclair knows all about Jordan Kawaguchi's abilities. The two were junior hockey teammates in Chilliwack, B.C., where Kawaguchi once pulled off a between-the-legs assist. But if Sinclair was hoping for a little reprieve or charity from his old friend, he didn't get it. Kawaguchi scored a stunning goal during the University of North Dakota's 5-2 win over Huntsville on Saturday night, pulling the puck between his legs from behind the end line and shooting it past Sinclair for the go-ahead goal. It stood as the game-winner.
GRAND FORKS -- It had been 41 days since the University of North Dakota played a game in Ralph Engelstad Arena. The calendar flipped past Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day since the last home game. During that time, the Fighting Hawks ascended to No. 1 in the national rankings and extended their unbeaten run past the two-month mark. But things don't always come easy in college hockey, and Alabama Huntsville provided a good reminder of that to UND and its fans on Friday night.