Jake S.² and Gaber Lead UND to 4-0 Win over Niagara

Claire Weltz, Arts and Community Editor


UND offense roars out of the gates and scores after only one minute of play. Freshman Jake Schmaltz bags his second career goal off an assist from Judd Caulfield, making him the first freshman to score in his first two opening games since Drew Stafford in 2003.  

The Purple Eagles responded with a flurry of shots on goal to which Zach Driscoll was up to the task. To start the season with lots of young newcomers to the team, the rest of the period was a learning curve for many. Unfamiliarity with speed of play led to several scoring opportunities for Niagara, but UND made it out of the first period up 1-0 with Driscoll coming up with 8 saves.  

The second period hosted a variety of oddities. A Niagara player got his stick stuck in Riese Gaber’s helmet, but the referees didn’t call for high sticking. The confusion was palpable as the crowd watched Gaber disentangle.  

 Minutes later, play stopped again as referees consulted video review for a 2-minute minor on Jack Zielinski of the Purple Eagles. On the powerplay, UND rained down a torrent of shots from Schmaltz, Kleven, and Jandric before Schmaltz buried the puck in the back of the net to go up 2-0. It was a stunning one-time shot, but what drew attention to the goal was Niagara’s freshman goaltender, Jake Sibell, losing his glove. One of his teammates tried to slide his glove back to Sibell when he lost it at the top of the crease, but Schmaltz had already capitalized on the opportunity to extend the Fighting Hawks’ lead.  

With 8:52 remaining in the second period, Cooper Moore and Jason Pineo scrapped and drew roughing penalties to make it 4v4. The ice opened up, and with some crisp passing from Connor Ford and Ashton Calder, Jake Sanderson extended the lead to 3-0. Watching live, it appeared that Sanderson knocked Sibell’s stick out while making his move before the shot, but replays show that a fellow Purple Eagle nicked the stick from his goalie’s hands.

 With a birthday of October 10th, Riese Gaber blew out his candles early with a third period goal to close out the game 4-0. He added his name as the sixth UND player to score this season. Gaber’s speed was a menace to the Niagara defense all night, despite tallying a single point.