Dakota Student

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UND trying to gain ground against the Beavers

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As the winter months continue, the Fighting Hawks are heading into the weekend with more on the line than ever before.

North Dakota will take a home-and-home series starting on the road in Bemidji, Minn., and wrapping up Sunday afternoon at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Recalling the last series against the Beavers in mid-October, the Fighting Hawks were able to capture a comeback win in game one, while game two was taken by Bemidji in overtime.

The first half of the season is coming to a close and the Fighting Hawks have only been able to sweep two teams this year, both coming back-to-back at the beginning of the season against RPI and MSU, respectively. 

North Dakota will need to start taking both games in a series if they hope to see the finals this year.

A prime example would be last weekend’s series with Syracuse where the Hawks took the first game 3-0, but then failed to complete the sweep in the second game.

The Fighting Hawks now remain in the ninth spot in the latest USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll and Bemidji moves up one to the sixth spot after a bye week.

UND is looking to make the necessary adjustments and gain back the lost ground by winning the crucial conference games.

Primarily looking to capitalize in game two, the Fighting Hawks have fallen to their opponents in the second game in four series this season. In the first series against Bemidji, the squad was able to hold off the Beavers until the final minutes of regulation when BSU tied the game and would later go to win in overtime with seven seconds left on the clock.

The Beavers have been the greatest threat to the Fighting Hawks success this season, as the teams have interchanged in the polls and put on a nail biting show on the ice.

BSU is coming into the series off a bye week with fresh feet, while UND made their return from Syracuse last weekend and looked to the drawing board to develop a winning game plan.

With UND’s first-line producing a majority of the points for the team, a change in pace is needed from the rest of the team to contribute as well. Junior forward Amy Menke is the team’s leading scorer and totals up 23 points with 12 goals and 11 assists, while her offensive partners Meghan Dufault and Becca Kohler come in right behind with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

The Fighting Hawks have been unable to hold a win streak since  a four-game win streak in the beginning of the season. Looking to continue their own streak, Bemidji has won two in a row after sweeping Minnesota State.

With both squads ready to win, the weekend will show if the Fighting Hawks finally have a winning formula, or if further adjustments need to be made before facing the last series of 2015 against the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers.

UND and Bemidji State begin the home-and-home series this weekend.

The first game will be played in Bemidji on Friday when the puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Game two will be played at 2:07 p.m. Sunday in the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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UND trying to gain ground against the Beavers