(Credit all photos to Kelsey Lee of Violent Turtle Photography)
Coming into this postseason opener, UND needed a few things. The Fighting Hawks needed to stay out of the penalty box, play sound defense, and use their depth to their advantage. They did all of these things throughout the postseason opener against Nebraska Omaha.
to defeat the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks 4-0. The Fighting Hawks used an opening tally from Shane Gersich, combined with a superb three goal second period to put away the Mavericks.
The Fighting Hawks made one key change before the game. They, lead by senior goaltender Cam Johnson, and Director of Hockey Operations Patrick Swanson, completely changed their Friday warmup song list. This seemed to help the Fighting Hawks change their mindset heading into the postseason.
In front of 10,125 fans at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, UND changed up the beat both during warmups and during the game.
Shane Gersich opened the scoring with a superb shot on net past a screen from Colton Poolman. He took a drop pass from Austin Poganski and wired his twelth goal of the season past Evan Weninger, UNO goalie, 13:52 into the first period. This goal would end up being the game winner, but the Fighting Hawks were no where near done scoring.
In the second period, Christian Wolanin opened up the scoring with a superb juke move to open some space and then he picked his spot to make it a 2-0 game one minute into the second on the power play.
Nick Jones added to the scoring with a superb cross ice move and scored falling down. This photo from Kelsey Lee showcases how unique this goal was.
Finally, Joel Janatuinen would round out the scoring with a superb turnover and wrist shot on Weninger to provide the end margin of victory. UND goaltender Cam Johnson would add a scoreless third frame to collect another shutout on the season.