Mushing Huskies


Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

Sophomore forward Shane Gersich (right) scored four goals during this weekend’s series against St. Cloud State University, including his first collegiate hat trick.

Jack Harvey, Staff Writer

After six consecutive winless results, the UND men’s hockey team can sleep a little easier at night after sweeping the St. Cloud State Huskies. Not only does this end the streak, but it also marks as the first time since 1998 when UND swept the Huskies in St. Cloud.

“That (sweep stat) was something we were talking about before the weekend and then after we took care of business Friday night it was something that we kind of touched on in our locker room amongst ourselves and with the staff,” said goalie Cam Johnson after Saturday’s win.

“Very proud of our guys,” said head coach Brad Berry. “They worked extremely hard, not just for 60 minutes, but for 120 minutes. It all started last Monday in practice when there was a workmanlike attitude. It was all business. It’s a great step for our team. We’ve got to keep building our team and remember how we played.”

Friday’s game looked like it was going to be another classic matchup between the long time conference rivals. Shane Gersich had other plans.

The sophomore was able to find the back of the net on a power play goal late in the first period to give UND a one-goal lead going into the second. Even though that was all Johnson needed, the goal scoring didn’t stop there.

Freshman Ludvig Hoff added on a goal to make it 2-0 mid way in the second period followed by two more goals for Gersich to give him the hat trick to give UND a comfortable position going into the third.

Johnson took care of the matter on the other end of the ice stopping every shot that came his way, resulting in a 26 save shutout.

“I needed that,” Johnson said. “My save percentage, my stats have been subpar but that’s something that I really haven’t tried to look at it because I think I’ve been playing well this year.”

Saturday night was no different for the Hawks. The goals came consistently with a goal scored in each period courtesy of Rhett Gardner, Gersich, and Tucker Poolman.

Again one goal was enough for Johnson as he was as sharp as a nail Saturday night as well stopping every single one of the 36 shots slung his way.

With Friday’s win, UND was able to pump the brakes on a six game winless streak. The last time the team had a winless streak like that was way back in the 2002-2003 season when they didn’t win for seven straight games. To put that into perspective, a freshman from St. Paul, Minn. named Zach Parise was on the squad.

With the four goals scored by Gersich, he jumped out to be the points leader for UND with 10 goals and eight assists to give him 18 points. With a total of 62 saves this weekend, Johnson saw a nice bump in his save percentage going from .895 to .915 while averaging a hair over two goals against a game.

With the sweep of the NCHC rival that is St. Cloud State, UND is now back in the thick of things in the standings.

Nebraska-Omaha was swept by Minnesota Duluth, Western Michigan split with Air Force, and Denver tied with Miami, Ohio both games to cause a bottle neck in the standings. The UMD Bulldogs continue to keep a stranglehold on the NCHC with a seven point lead over second place Denver. 3rd-5th is a different story. There is only a point separating the two teams as every point matters to keep up with the Bulldogs.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there’s plenty to be thankful for the UND faithful. They were able to stop the bleeding and get back to the Fighting Hawks’ way of hockey.

This upcoming Subway Classic features UND going up against the Big Ten’s Michigan State on Friday and Saturday.

Jack Harvey is a staff writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]