Preview: UND looking to keep momentum going at Miami

Feb. 2—OXFORD, Ohio — UND has played in one of the country's marquee series each of the last two weekends.

First, it was a road series at St. Cloud State in a battle for first place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Then, it was a home series against rival Denver in a matchup between two top-five ranked teams in the nation.

This weekend, the Fighting Hawks will take on the last place team in the NCHC, Miami University, but they say it won't change their approach.

"Good teams win at home," UND defenseman Jake Livanavage said. "Great teams win on the road. It doesn't matter who you're playing any weekend, we have to be ready for it. Every team in this conference is a great team. There's no slouch. You've got to be ready for every Friday and Saturday night. We're excited. We want to get this weekend going."

UND and Miami play at 6:05 p.m. Central on Friday and Saturday in Goggin Ice Center.

It's the start of a month away from home for the Fighting Hawks. Next weekend, they're off. The weekend after that, they're in Colorado Springs, taking on Colorado College.

"I think we all like to go on the road, to be honest," UND goalie Ludvig Persson said. "No one really talks about it as a bad thing. It's fun to come together as a group and see new places."

Persson knows a bit about this place.

He was Miami's starting goaltender for the last three seasons before transferring to UND this summer.

Persson's new team was at its best defensively last weekend, holding the country's No. 1-ranked offense, Denver, to two goals a night.

They also limited the Pioneers to 41 shots on goal, their lowest in a two-game series in five years.

"That's what we're going to have to do the remainder of the year here," said UND coach Brad Berry, who is two wins shy of 200 for his head coaching career. "That was a mindset for us coming into the season, knowing that last year was a bit loose in that regard. We needed to tighten that up and continue to do that, whether it's Denver, Miami or whoever."

Miami coach Chris Bergeron said he wants to see his team be present and engaged.

"We know our opponent is really good," Bergeron said. "We know our opponent is fighting for a league championship. We know our opponent is really competitive. I think, outside of their skill, North Dakota's competitiveness is their strength."

Bergeron also said his team needs to stay out of the penalty box.

UND is 11-for-23 on the power play since Christmas and 6-for-9 the last two series.

"When you're dealing with a power play that's at 45, 50 percent since Christmas," Bergeron said, "you have to stay out of the penalty box."

The Fighting Hawks want to continue their run.

They've gone 19 games without losing in regulation, two shy of the school record.

"It was pretty easy to get up for those games last weekend with Denver as far as the opponent we're dealing with," Berry said. "And we're going to deal with another tough opponent this weekend in their home environment. We have to make sure we bring it on the road."

UND Miami

3.85 (6th) Off 2.38 (55th)

2.42 (10th) Def 3.33 (49th)

27.0 (6th) PP 12.5 (60th)

82.6 (23rd) PK 80.7 (33rd)

52.7 (16th) FO 46.0 (55th)

.903 (26th) SP .891 (52nd)

National rank in parenthesis. Categories are offense (goals per game), defense (goals against per game), power play percentage, penalty kill percentage, faceoff percentage and team save percentage.

UND — F Hunter Johannes out (lower body), F Carson Albrecht out (upper body)

Miami — F Matthew Barbolini out (lower body), F Raimonds Vitolins questionable (undisclosed), F William Hallen out (undisclosed), F Frankie Carogioeillo doubtful (undisclosed), D Michael Feenstra out (upper body), G Logan Neaton out (lower body)

Miami forward P.J. Fletcher is having his best college season to date. The senior has a career-high 11 goals and 21 points in 24 games this season for the RedHawks. He's been incredibly consistent, too. Fletcher hasn't gone more than one game without a point, and he's scored a goal in six of seven NCHC series. Fletcher scored a goal each night against UND in Ralph Engelstad Arena in November.

Fletcher spent one year at Quinnipiac before transferring to Miami. In 2019, he was part of the same Quinnipiac freshman class as UND defenseman Logan Britt.

"This year, he's around the net," Bergeron said. "He has really good skills. We're trying to get him to continue to work on layers to his game, making sure he's competing and using his size and body, but his puck skills and hands are really good. He plays in all three situations. Being a senior, he's someone who has been around a long time."

The last time UND made a trip to Oxford, Ohio, the Fighting Hawks were leading 7-0 late in the third period when they went on the power play. UND sent out its checking-line players instead of its usual power-play unit. But some of the Fighting Hawks players implored the coaching staff to still put Riese Gaber on the ice. Gaber had two goals and was looking to break UND's lengthy five-year drought without a hat trick. The coaches obliged and Gaber did it. He rifled one into the corner of the net and looked to the sky in relief.

Gaber's success against Miami should be no surprise, though. Gaber's first college game came against the RedHawks in the NCHC Pod and he scored a goal. He's piled up 12 goals in 11 career games against Miami, including two earlier this season.

This is a classic trap series for UND. After playing back-to-back marquee sets against St. Cloud State and Denver, the Fighting Hawks are headed to play last-place Miami in Oxford, Ohio, where there's potential for a letdown. But this UND team has been as immune to letdowns as any in recent memory. You have to be incredibly consistent to go 19 games in a row without losing in regulation. The RedHawks have put a scare into every opponent they've faced since UND for at least one night. That should be the expectation again.

Friday: UND 3, Miami 2

Saturday: UND 5, Miami 1


Once known as a menace, UND now is one of the NCAA's most disciplined teams


UND, Miami will be without regulars


Ludvig Persson returning to Oxford


Jake Livanavage is joining impressive company with his rookie production


As UND piles up wins, statistics are following


Discussing UND's sweep of Denver


9 Jackson Blake (CAR), so, f, 16-18—34

22 Owen McLaughlin (PHI), so, f, 9-19—28

14 Cameron Berg (NYI), jr, f, 14-12—26

17 Riese Gaber, sr, f, 13-10—23

7 Garrett Pyke, 5th, d, 3-19—22

4 Jake Livanavage, fr, d, 2-15—17

28 Hunter Johannes, 5th, f, 9-6—15

27 Louis Jamernik V, sr, f, 6-8—14

18 Jayden Perron (CAR), fr, f, 8-4—12

26 Dylan James (DET), so, f, 5-7—12

21 Ben Strinden (NSH), so, f, 5-4—9

29 Jackson Kunz (VAN), jr, f, 3-4—7

6 Logan Britt, 5th, d, 2-5—7

8 Jake Schmaltz (BOS), jr, f, 0-7—7

11 Griffin Ness, sr, f, 3-3—6

20 Keaton Pehrson, 5th, d, 0-5—5

2 Bennett Zmolek, so, d, 0-4—4

13 Carson Albrecht, sr, f, 1-1—2

5 Dane Montgomery, so, f, 1-1—2

25 Abram Wiebe (VGK), fr, d, 0-2—2

15 Nate Benoit (MIN), fr, d, 0-1—1

32 Ludvig Persson, sr, g, 0-1—1

10 Tanner Komzak, fr, d, 0-0—0

30 Hobie Hedquist, fr, g, 0-0—0

1 Kaleb Johnson, so, g, dnp


32 Ludvig Persson, sr, 15-6-2, 2.37, .905

30 Hobie Hedquist, fr, 3-0, 2.34, .899

1 Kaleb Johnson, so, dnp


8 P.J. Fletcher, sr, f, 11-10—21

29 Matthew Barbolini, sr, f, 9-12—21

17 John Waldron, so, f, 6-9—15

6 Raimonds Vitolins, jr, f, 4-8—12

11 William Hallen, so, f, 3-7—10

5 Jack Clement, 5th, d, 1-7—8

16 Hampus Rydqvist, sr, d, 1-7—8

25 Artur Turansky, so, f, 2-5—7

3 Axel Kumlin, so, d, 1-6—7

13 Max Dukovac, so, f, 2-4—6

27 Dylan Moulton, sr, d, 4-1—5

22 Ryan Sullivan, sr, f, 3-2—5

2 Spencer Cox, jr, d, 1-4—5

10 Zane Demsey, so, d, 1-3—4

9 Albin Nilsson, 5th, f, 1-3—4

4 Michael Feenstra, so, d, 0-4—4

26 Blake Mesenburg, so, f, 2-1—3

18 Frankie Carogioiello, so, f, 2-0—2

14 Thomas Daskas, sr, f, 1-1—2

34 Teddy Lagerback, so, f, 1-1—2

19 Rihards Simanovics, fr, d, 0-2—2

7 Robby Drazner, sr, d, 1-0—1

23 Brayden Morrison, jr, f, 0-1—1

28 Tanyon Bajzer, fr, f, 0-0—0

31 Logan Neaton (WPG), 5th, g, 0-0—0

30 Bruno Bruveris, fr, g, 0-0—0

33 Carter McPhail, 5th, g, 0-0—0


31 Logan Neaton (WPG), 5th, 6-10-2, 3.06, .901

30 Bruno Bruveris, fr, 1-5, 3.48, .877

33 Carter McPhail, 5th, 0-0, 0.00, 1.000