Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS—At the beginning of the season, Fargo South boys tennis coach Vic Youngs asked his players to fill out a survey with random questions on it. Davis Lawley wrote on his survey a goal that seemed hilariously far-fetched: He wanted to get through the season without losing a game in singles. Not a match. Not a set. A game. "That didn't happen," Lawley said. No, but he came amazingly close.
GRAND FORKS — It was 12:37 a.m. back in Grand Forks when Casey Johnson wired a wrist shot into the upper corner of the net for his first-career goal, giving the Fighting Hawks a 3-2 overtime victory at Alaska Anchorage. His family didn't miss it. Johnson's parents, aunts, uncles and even his grandmother stayed up past midnight Saturday, Oct. 7, to watch the conclusion of the University of North Dakota's game. When Johnson called his parents after the dramatic goal, they answered the phone by cheering.
GRAND FORKS — Tucker Poolman texted his father, Mark, late Monday afternoon, Oct. 9, to tell him the news: He was going to make his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets in a couple of hours. Mark responded: "Work hard, have fun." It was the only thing to say. "It's the same thing I said to him every day since peewees and squirts," Mark said. "Why would I change now?" Poolman became the first hockey player from East Grand Forks, Minn., to play in the NHL on Monday night when he suited up for the Jets in Edmonton against the Oilers.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The University of North Dakota hockey season official starts in this picturesque city, where downtown is nestled between the banks of Cook Inlet and the mountains. The hockey team left Wednesday, Oct. 4—allowing enough time to arrive, adjust for the three-hour time difference and practice once—making it the longest trip it will take all year.
GRAND FORKS — The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has dismissed a pair of complaints it received regarding the University of North Dakota's Title IX compliance after the school eliminated its women's hockey and men's and women's swimming and diving teams in March. In a letter to UND President Mark Kennedy, the OCR wrote that "there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the University discriminates against female students on the basis of sex," in regard to the selection of sports it offers and the number of male and female participants on campus.
GRAND FORKS — Jordan Kawaguchi and Nick Jones of the University of North Dakota looked at each other. They shook their heads. And Kawaguchi said the first thing that came to his mind when he found out that he was going to start his college career as linemates with Jones. "Here we go." Finally, they were on the same side.
GRAND FORKS — In six years, Tucker Poolman has gone from being cut by some North American Hockey League teams to making an NHL opening-day roster. The Winnipeg Jets made their final preseason cuts Tuesday, Oct. 3, and when they were done, the East Grand Forks (Minn.) Senior High and University of North Dakota graduate was still standing. Poolman's NHL debut may not be imminent—he has been skating on the fourth defensive pair in practice—but it is expected to happen sometime this season.
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota coaching staff had visions this year of a 1-2 punch at center with Tyson Jost and Rhett Gardner. But just five days into the offseason, that idea was dashed. Jost signed a three-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche, becoming UND's first freshman NHL signing since Ed Belfour in 1987, opening the door for a number of players to take over a top-two center role.
GRAND FORKS — Jayson Hajdu walked briskly through the hallway outside of the University of North Dakota men's hockey locker room Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 26, looking down at a clipboard in his hand. He poked his head in the visitors' locker room, where three TV stations were set up, and told Shane Gersich where to go for his next interview. Then, he was on the move, again, to find another player in the locker room.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota football coach Bubba Schweigert opened an orange Powerade at the podium of his postgame press conference, took a couple of big gulps, gave a slight sigh, then started to diagnose all that went wrong in UND's 49-21 loss to Montana State at the Alerus Center, Saturday, Sept. 23. There were a lot of issues to get through—that will happen when you lose by four touchdowns at home—but after a few minutes he got to the heart of it. Schweigert said things are uncomfortable for this team.