Hawks Fly Past the Huskies 5-2

GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA

In front of a crowd of 10,143 loud fans, the University of North Dakota vanquished the St Cloud State Huskies by a three goal margin. Rhett Gardner opened the scoring at 13:39 of the first period with a shot fired off a Husky stick to give the Fighting Hawks an early lead.

Less than a minute later, Shane Gersich got the puck at the blue line and raced in to score a breakaway goal. The Capitals prospect is the first UND sophomore to put up 20 goals in a season since Brock Nelson in the 2011-2012 season.

UND remained in control until 9:43 remaining in the second period. Jacob Benson buried a power play marker on a nice cross-ice feed from Mikey Eyssimont into a wide open net.

With 3:33 remaining in the second, Brock Boeser buried a power play tally to put the Hawks back up two.

On the Boeser goal in the second, defenseman Tucker Poolman notched point number 30. The Winnipeg Jets prospect is the first UND blue-liner to hit that mark since Chay Genoway back in the 2010-2011 season.

After the Huskies answered back with a Jimmy Schuldt goal 10:48 into the third UND was on their heels for a bit, until Austin Poganski scored another key goal on a superb breakaway  less than two minutes later to put the Hawks back ahead by two.

Joel Janatuinen would add an empty-net tally with 44.4 seconds left to secure the three goal victory.

Winnipeg Jets prospect Tucker Poolman was named the game’s first star for his two assists. Both of his assists helped set up UND goals that pushed momentum in their direction.

Tomorrow night UND looks to complete the sweep at Ralph Englestad Arena. The puck drops at 7:07 PM.

 

 

 

 

Quinton Hooker: Profile

_dsc5945-13-8Quinton Hooker, from the outside looks like another other college student but once you sit down and have a conversation with him you very quickly conclude that something is different about him. “Q”, as the Men’s basketball team calls him, is a senior guard who ,so far, this season with an average of 18.8 points per game. As a junior, Q had his break out season, playing 32 games and having an average of 20.1 points per game. In the pre-season, he was named Big Sky MVP along with 5 other guards. These are just numbers and stats, but this is not what makes him so special.

Quinton glows on the court and has strong leadership abilities per the coaching staff and other players. Growing up in Brooklyn Park Minnesota, he had a strong family background rooted in faith. This glow comes from his strong relationship with God, on Monday nights, you will find him with teammates attending the Fellowship of Christian Athletes lead by Ev and Terri Nelson. “Q” attributes his success on and off the court with his faith. With God behind his every move it seems to be given that Quinton has a very special platform to help him spread God’s word. He does not boost about his faith but instead lets it shine with his leadership on and off the court.

Off the court, “Q” likes going to movies, hanging out with friends and spending time watching sports. Not only does he have strong roots in faith, he also is very smart starting off his senior year at the University of North Dakota with a 3.33 GPA.

Hawks Fly to the Playoffs-What Now?

After UND’s Big Sky Championship, and a 9-2 record, what do they need to do to advance in the FCS playoffs? Here are some of my quick thoughts.

 

  1. Start Strong
    1. Many times this season UND has had to come back to finish out key victories. Often times UND has played a 30 or 45 minute game and stil come out on top. The Hawks have been better as of late but will nto be able to get away with any slow starts in the playoffs.
  2. Feed Thunder and Lightning
    1. Make sure that Brady Olivera and John Santiago get at least 15 touches each. Both  running backs have proven to be effective for UND this season and both bring different strengths to the game. Santiago will make you miss while Brady will run you over.
  3. Keep the Defense on the Sidelines
    1. If the UND offense can control the ball for at least 35 minutes I believe it has a chance to go far. The UND defense has been at its best when it has had a chance to rest and rotate players in and out. If Richmond has the ball for more than 35 minutes the path will become tougher.

UND Football- Three Thoughts

Another week , another key win for the Fighting Hawks in their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since joining the Big Sky Conference in 2012. Here are some thoughts about the tough win against Weber State and what needs to happen to win against Northern Colorado.

  1. If there was a defensive coordinator of the year award, Eric Schmidt deserves it. The Hawk defense consistently generates turnovers and high percentage scoring chances for the offense. Last week with four takeaways is another prime example of this. Schmidt and his staff have developed standouts at every level of the defense from Tank Harris on the defensive line to Cole Reyes in the secondary. Do not forget about Taj Rich as well. This UND defense will be the reason UND makes or does not make the playoffs.
  2. Kickoff coverage needs to improve and the placekicking needs to get better. Weber had multiple long returns on short kicks. If UND wants to keep doing sky kicks it should not tip its hand like the good folks at Sioux Football Insider noted they were doing during last week’s game. line up in an even formation and sky the ball. Do not stack one side because as noted, Weber routinely had extra blockers compared to UND’s actual coverage on the kickoff side.
  3. No matter who plays quarterback look for a west coast style of quick runs and short passes against Northern Colorado. If UND can run the ball and pass with some efficiency at a 60/40 clip then they will improve from the Weber State game. It will allow them to feature all three running backs and not allow UNC to stack the box then good things can happen. If UND can play strong defense and improve slightly on offense with a measure of unpredictability, then good things can happen this Saturday in Greeley.

 

 

Jones adds long time friend to coaching staff

Today marks a new season for the Fighting Hawks Men’s Basketball Team as they bring in a new assistant coach, Brad Davidson. Head Coach, Brian Jones, said today that he only likes to hire people he trusts. Davidson played almost 20 years ago in the Australia’s professional league with Jones. Since then Davidson ended a 13-year professional career in 2009 with an astounding 600 3-pointers and 40.1 percent clip from beyond the arc, giving him the honor of having one of the NBL’s all-time best percentages. For the last seven years he has spent time as a coach.

Davidson, arrived on Friday evening with his family and will start practice with the team on Friday. Jones is hoping that with Davidson’s experience with the international players that more will want to attend UND. The coach and his family are happy to be here. They  did note the need to get bigger coats to prepare for winter.