Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service
OMAHA, Neb. -- Colton Poolman doesn’t closely track the Pairwise Rankings, but he knows what the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team needs to do. “We just have to win games at this point,” the sophomore defenseman said. “That’s the most important thing.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota's defensemen have been getting the puck to the net frequently this season. Through the first month, defensemen are averaging 11.75 shots on goal per game—the highest rate of any UND team in more than a decade. The second-highest rate in that span is 10.75 by the 2016 NCAA national championship team. Three defensemen on that squad have already played in the NHL. No other UND team in the last decade has had its defensemen average more than 10 shots on goal per game.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Tate Maris got in his car Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 25, to make the hour-long drive from his home in a south Denver suburb to Colorado Springs. It is a drive that he has been making all fall, but this time, it felt a little odd. Maris was headed to Colorado College practice, preparing the Tiger goaltenders to try to beat the University of North Dakota in this weekend's two-game series (8:37 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, and 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28) in World Arena.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Austin Poganski started the season with more career college hockey points than anyone on the University of North Dakota roster. Three weeks in, he hasn't been able to add to that total. Poganski, UND's senior captain, is oddly one of two skaters on the roster who has yet to tally a point this season, and the 6-foot-2, 210-pound right winger hopes to change that this weekend as UND takes on Colorado College at 8:37 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, and 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, in World Arena.
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.