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Jayden Perron gets new assignments in series finale at St. Cloud State

Jan. 21—ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Jayden Perron played an elevated role during UND's series finale Saturday at St. Cloud State.

The first big assignment came at five-on-five.

Top line left wing Hunter Johannes missed the game due to a lower-body injury.

Jackson Kunz started the game in that spot on a line with Cameron Berg and Riese Gaber. But that unit didn't click, so UND coach Brad Berry juggled the lines in the third period and moved Perron up to the top unit.

Perron, the freshman forward from Winnipeg, ended up helping UND rescue a 3-3 tie against the Huskies in the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

Perron had two assists in the third period to grab his first multi-point game at UND.

"I think he's doing a good job for us," Berry said. "But I think there are a lot of times in your first year when you get a feel for the league and how hard it is. I'm proud of him tonight, because tonight was a tough game, and I thought he took a step, especially in the second and third periods. (He was) being hard on pucks, possessing pucks and being effective in the offensive zone. He had a great look in the third period going to the net.

"Those are things that come with growing as a young player."

UND also used Perron in three-on-three overtime for the first time this season.

Although the Fighting Hawks didn't score in the overtime, they threatened throughout and Perron had a Grade-A chance from the slot.

"He's a guy who can make plays," Berry said. "He can make the other team miss coverage a little bit with his cut-backs and being deceptive. We've got really good players. I think he has to be part of it going forward, especially when there's a lot of ice out there."

Berry didn't have a timeline on Johannes immediately after Saturday's game, but if he misses any time, Perron might be asked again to slot into the prominent role alongside Berg and Gaber.

"I thought it was a good game overall," Perron said. "Obviously, they're a good team. But it would have been nice to get the win at the end."

Each Thursday, UND holds a team shootout competition and tracks the statistics.

That's a big part of how the coaching staff selects who gets the call when shootouts occur in games.

On Saturday night, UND's first two shooters were Jackson Blake and Jackson Kunz. Those guys have been the hot hands in shootouts this season. They've both won three of them. Kunz has won the last two weeks.

Blake's attempt was denied, but Kunz stayed hot and scored.

Perron was the third shooter and he hit the crossbar.

* St. Cloud State was not penalized in the game, so UND's red-hot power play (7-for-17 since Christmas break) didn't get an opportunity.

* Former UND forward Nick Portz suited up for the Huskies and played 8:33. It was his first game since Nov. 18.

* Berg has 10 goals in his last 12 games.

* Defenseman Garrett Pyke has points in 10 of the last 11 games.

* UND's top minute loggers Saturday: Bennett Zmolek 24:05, Pyke 23:52, Berg 21:49, Blake 20:41, Keaton Pehrson 20:23, Logan Britt 19:29 and Jake Livanavage 19:17.

* The Fighting Hawks have trailed after two periods five times this season. They've only lost one of those.