The University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey team has been a top program in the nation for almost its entire existence. The commitment to consistency and excellence sets the program apart from the rest of the teams.
While North Dakota has been consistent over the years, the team seems to have a stigma of being a Friday team more so than a Saturday team. Meaning, North Dakota has performed better on Fridays compared to Saturdays.
Many fans have thought that it has been an odd year this season, with North Dakota performing seemingly better on Saturdays compared to Fridays.
Looking back at the seasons since this year’s senior class were freshman, the 2014-2015 season, North Dakota has actually performed better on Saturdays than Fridays. Over the last four years, during the regular season, North Dakota is a combined 33-17-6 on Fridays and 44-11-5 on Saturdays.
In the 2014-2015 season, North Dakota performed significantly better on Saturdays than Fridays. North Dakota went 10-6-1 during Friday games and 15-1-2 during the Saturday games.
In the 2015-2016 season, the National Championship season, North Dakota dominated both nights consistently, but still ended up performing better on Saturdays than Fridays. North Dakota ended up going 13-3-2 during Friday contests, and 15-2-1 during Saturday games.
During the last season, the National Championship hangover season, North Dakota ended up being mediocre on both nights throughout the season. North Dakota went 8-6-2 on Fridays, and 10-8-1 on Saturdays.
So far this season North Dakota has dominated on both days, but can only find the back of the net more so on Saturdays. North Dakota is 2-2-1 on Fridays so far this season and 4-0-1 on Saturdays. In the recent schedule they went 1-0-1 against the Wisconsin Badgers, winning on Friday this time and tying on Saturday.
The stigma of North Dakota being a Friday team more so than a Saturday team has been going on at least since I have personally been at the University of North Dakota, the 2015-2016 season.
The domination North Dakota has shown on Saturdays this season has been shocking to some fans because of the myth of North Dakota being a Friday team. The sudden shift to winning on Saturdays has been different for the fans and team. But in actuality, nothing has changed for North Dakota. North Dakota has been a Saturday team in the last four seasons. The numbers are there to prove it.
After splitting the opening NCHC series with Colorado College, Head Coach Brad Berry had a say in the Friday’s performance versus Saturday performance argument.
“It’s driving us crazy,” Berry said. “It’s not like we don’t prepare for Friday nights. It’s one of those things where teams come out very hard on Friday night. We’ve got to make sure we do all the different things that give us a chance for success.”
North Dakota aims to be consistent on both nights this season, and find a way to win on both nights, not just on one or the other. North Dakota has played well both nights, but now has to find a way to bury the puck on Fridays instead of just Saturdays.
Kyle Kinnamon is a sports writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]