Winter Wonderful

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Winter Wonderful

UND coach Brad Berry gives directions to men's hockey players during the Frozen Four tournament at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on April 9, 2016. (Russ Hons/Russell Hons Photography)

UND coach Brad Berry gives directions to men's hockey players during the Frozen Four tournament at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on April 9, 2016. (Russ Hons/Russell Hons Photography)

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

UND coach Brad Berry gives directions to men's hockey players during the Frozen Four tournament at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on April 9, 2016. (Russ Hons/Russell Hons Photography)

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

UND coach Brad Berry gives directions to men's hockey players during the Frozen Four tournament at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on April 9, 2016. (Russ Hons/Russell Hons Photography)

Jack Harvey, Staff Writer

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While many of us went home for semester break, the University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey team made great strides as the quest for a repeat continued with several games played since the three weeks we’ve had classes.

The Fighting Hawks have struggled early on this season, going winless in six straight dropping as low as 9th ranked team in the country marking the lowest they’ve been ranked since 2013-14 season when they were ranked 15th. However following a 7-5-3 record after the Subway Holiday Classic, the Hawks has soared for the past month.

UND have won five of its’ last six games including most recently a sweep against NCHC opponent Universtiy of Nebraska Omaha this past weekend.

Friday night UND went against the saying that you can’t win a game in the first period by scoring five unanswered goals including two from Brock Boeser, after a six game absence due to injury, and one from Tyson Jost who arrived several hours before game time from Montreal after helping Canada to a silver medal in the World Junior Championship.

The scoring didn’t stop there. The Hawks tallied two more goals to make it 7-0 before UNO got on the board to make it 7-1. Following the UNO goal, UND added two more to make it a very comfortable win at 9-1.

“We came into the game and we wanted to have an attack mentality and make sure we had the puck going north,” said UND head coach Brad Berry. “We forced a couple turnovers and were fortunate enough to get a couple goals.”

Saturday night was a different story at the start. UNO struck first around two minutes into the game to take an early 1-0. UND answered three minutes later to tie it and went on to score two more goals to make it 3-1 with Omaha scoring once more to make it a 3-2 game after the 1st period.

Then less than minute into the second period, Tyson Jost added another goal to make it 4-1 followed by another goal late in the 2nd to make it 5-1 and put the game on ice, no pun intended.

UND would add on two more as UNO would add only one more to make the final score 7-3.

“I thought our guys responded the right way,” said Berry about the response to the early UNO goal. “Through experience in the first half of the season we’ve been behind or we’ve had to chase games, and we’ve learned a little bit from the first half. Our group is maturing a little bit as far as how to handle games.”

Special teams wins ballgames. In hockey, the same can be said. This weekend alone, the Hawks tacked on six power play goals, including four in Saturday night alone.

The Hawks and the “best fans in hockey” return to the Ralph to play host to Miami Ohio.

This will be the first time the two play each other since November of last season when UND was able to sweep the Red Hawks in Grand Forks.

For Miami, the Red Hawks will look to extend to their four game win streak while UND will look improve its three game win streak.

Puck drop will be at 7:37 p.m. at the Ralph.

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

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