(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee- Violent Turtle Photography)
Coming into this one, UND needed to build on a few things. First, the Fighting Hawks needed to find a way to have their consistent hard work of the first half show up more on the scoreboard. Tonight it did as they finished with six goals on shots against a strong USA National Development Team U18 side stacked with top talent primed to take the NHL by storm. Next, the Fighting Hawks needed to maintain their discipline as they have had games where they have put themselves at a large disadvantage with conceding power plays. They did well there as they conceded the same amount of power plays as they earned. of time. Finally, they needed to get consistency up and down their lineup as they look to build a solid side for the upcoming second half.
Tonight all of those goals were accomplished with a 6-2 exhibition win. Six different Fighting Hawks scored tonight as the team got the second half of their season rolling. The team had more than ten shots on net each period during the game. All three goalies played, and the only two goals conceded where on skill plays made by the Under-18 team.
Quality and Quantity
The Fighting Hawks were able to get multiple good looks throughout the game. Head Coach Brad Berry was happy about how his team played and their ability to generate a constant volume of shots throughout the evening. This consistency tonight against a team of multiple first and second round quality talents is the benchmark for sucess. How this team replicates it will go a long way to determining where their season ends.
Adam Scheel and Peter Thome are both capable netminders able to help this team. Scheel’s play against top opponents and consistency have earned him the starting role for now. It was great to see Thome make plenty of grade-a saves in a tough third period where the NTDP had multiple tough chances.
The Fighting Hawks travel on the road to Buffalo to face Atlantic Hockey foe Canisius next weekend. This is the regular-season opener of their second half. What UND needs to do is the same thing it did last night. The Fighting Hawks need consistent play from all 18 skaters and capable goaltending. If they produce high-quality shots, limit chances, and get decent goaltending, they can compete with most anyone with a lineup one player short of being completely healthy. This team does not have a Brock Boeser anymore that can take over games. What it has instead is a lot of quality players that, working in conjunction, can rely on each other to play well.