GRAND FORKS, ND– Friday night was the opening of the regular season for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. With a full roster after a brief illness, you could see the synergy in the first period for the Hawks with all their lines rolling throughout the first period. It took only four minutes and twenty seconds in the middle portion of the game for NoDak to get out to a 4-0 lead.
Jackson Blake and Mark Senden scored 17 seconds apart on two wonderful cross-ice passes from Chris Jandric and Louis Jamernik V respectively. Jamernik V also created the turnover that led Gavin Hain to his first goal back since his injury back in January, as Cooper Moore capped off the scoring spree with a rip from the top of the circles and behind Holy Cross’s Jason Grande.
Though the second period was another story. After a heavy start and despite a Riese Gaber goal in the middle of the frame, you could see UND getting a bit too relaxed. Not much hard skating through the zones, letting up on possible scoring attempts, and letting Holy Cross start to outshoot them with three straight penalties back-to-back-to-back. It was something known within.
“We had to be better in our D-zone,” Blake mentioned post game. “Bear down, getting the puck out and stuff like that. I think that’s what we did in the third.’
The third period was a little bit better in getting their strut back that they had in the first period, though Thomas Gale stepped in for Holy Cross and made some solid saves and got the benefit of some interference calls to stymie the North Dakota scoring chances. A late Jake Schmaltz goal sealed the 6-0 win for NoDak. It gave new transfer goalie Drew DeRidder his first shutout since the 2020-21 season when he was at Michigan State.
“It’s nice to have that kind of cushion,” said DeRidder. “I’m able to relax a little bit and know I’m able to make a mistake or two and it doesn’t affect the outcome of the game.”
North Dakota looks for the sweep on Saturday over Holy Cross.
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