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Hunter Johannes to miss this weekend's series against Denver

Jan. 24—GRAND FORKS — UND will be without one of its first-line forwards for this weekend's top-five matchup against the University of Denver.

Left wing Hunter Johannes, who missed Saturday's game at St. Cloud State, will remain out for the Fighting Hawks.

Johannes is dealing with a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated before next weekend's series at Miami University.

Johannes has nine goals and 15 points in 23 games. His plus-11 rating is the best on the team.

The 6-foot-3, 217-pound forward had a goal and an assist in the first meeting between UND and Denver in early December in Magness Arena. The Fighting Hawks won the series opener 7-5 and lost the series finale 3-2 in overtime.

UND enters this weekend's matchup in Ralph Engelstad Arena (7:36 p.m. Friday, 6:07 p.m. Saturday) as the No. 5-ranked team in the nation and tied with St. Cloud State atop the National Collegiate Hockey Conference standings. Denver is ranked No. 4 nationally and is three points back of the Fighting Hawks and Huskies in the NCHC.

Johannes played during last weekend's series opener against St. Cloud State, but his injury worsened as the game progressed. He didn't play the final 6:45 of Friday's game and sat out Saturday.

Grand Forks native Jackson Kunz started Saturday's game on the top line alongside Cameron Berg and Riese Gaber. But in the third period, the Fighting Hawks juggled the lines and moved rookie Jayden Perron with Berg and Gaber. Perron responded with two assists in a 3-3 tie.

"There were a couple of shifts out there where it was really fun to watch him dance around with the puck," Gaber said. "I think that's obviously his biggest asset — his skating. Watching him move his feet out there, I think that's one thing I always try to remind him (to do). I think I'm very similar. I've learned, obviously, being here four years. The big thing is just moving your feet. When he does that, it's very fun to watch him."

UND coach Brad Berry said his team's depth will have to continue to show.

"I think it's everybody stepping up a little bit more," Berry said. "I think the beauty of this year is the depth of our team. We've talked about that a lot. The other part is our culture as far as the next-man up mentality. I know a lot of other programs are going through the same thing, whether it's illnesses or injuries as well. It's that time of year.

"Are we going to miss Hunter Johannes? Absolutely. But I feel we have a lot of really good players in our lineup here who are going to step up."

Denver has only known injury.

Freshman defenseman Garrett Brown is out for the season after having an operation to repair a lower-body injury.

When: 7:36 p.m. Friday, 6:07 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Ralph Engelstad Arena.

TV: CBS Sports (314/635 HD) on Friday; Midco Sports (GF Ch. 27/622 HD) on Saturday.

Radio: The Fox (96.1 FM).

Stream: NCHChockey.com on Saturday only.