Energy heightens for NCHC battle


UND sophomore Keaton Thompson shoots the puck last Friday at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Nicholas Nelson/The Dakota Student.

The regular season race begins.

After a disappointing 5-1 non-conference loss against Bemidji in its home opener followed by a 2-1 redemption victory at the Beavers’ home rink, the UND men’s hockey team has its sights set on a new conference opponent.

North Dakota will travel to Colorado Springs for its first conference series of the season to face off against a hungry Tigers team that swept its opponent last weekend.

In order to recover from last Friday’s defeat, UND adopted a different mindset.

“What we had to do was mentally readjust ourselves,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “We had to get ourselves into regular season mode … It cost ourselves a hockey game in order to do that, but I think we made a great adjustment.”

The conference foes met five times last season — each meeting in Grand Forks. North Dakota claimed four wins in games that were decided by just a few goals.

This year, the matchup offers a chance to showcase new abilities.

“I think guys are just excited to be out there get going, find some chemistry with some different players,” UND sophomore Troy Stecher said. “We’ve mixed up the lines here and there (last) Friday and Saturday and it’s carried over to this week, so I think guys are just trying to get into a routine here and carry it over to game week.”

Elizabeth Erickson is the sports editor The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].