Preview: UND turns focus to Penrose Cup chase

Jan. 12—GRAND FORKS — UND did its job in nonconference play this season.

It went 9-2-1 facing a challenging schedule, which included games against No. 2 Boston University, No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 12 Minnesota.

"We always stress nonconference is so important to build your body of work for the Pairwise," UND coach Brad Berry said. "I'm proud of our guys, because we had a gauntlet of teams that are really, really good early in the year. We did a good job. Now, it's putting that behind us and working on the other part."

Now, it's onto the National Collegiate Hockey Conference stretch run and the Penrose Cup chase.

All eight NCHC teams are a third of the way through their 24-game conference schedule and have 16 league games remaining.

UND currently sits in second place in the NCHC standings, four points back of St. Cloud State.

It will begin its push for a fourth Penrose Cup in five years with a home series against Omaha at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 6:07 p.m. Saturday in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"It's a chase trying to get that Penrose trophy," Berry said. "We talk about the process. There are 16 games (left). You have to take business on each and every weekend. They're hard weekends."

UND and Omaha are quite familiar with each other.

The teams played five consecutive times last March.

UND ended Omaha's season with a Game 3 victory in a best-of-three NCHC quarterfinal series in Baxter Arena.

The decisive third game was tied 2-2 going into the third period. Griffin Ness scored the go-ahead goal with 4:14 to go. Tyler Kleven and Gavin Hain tacked on goals in the next two minutes for a 5-2 decision.

Interestingly enough, one of Omaha's two goals was scored by

Cameron Berg, who will be on the other side of the matchup

this weekend.

"He's super excited," defenseman Logan Britt said of Berg. "You can see it on his face. I think he'll be ready to play this weekend."


3.80 (9th) Off 2.83 (34th)

2.35 (11th) Def 2.78 (24th)

21.1 (23rd) PP 11.5 (59th)

84.2 (15th) PK 81.0 (29th)

52.6 (16th) FO 54.4 (3rd)

.904 (26th) SP .899 (36th)

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

UND: G Ludvig Persson probable (illness), D Bennett Zmolek questionable (illness).

Omaha: None known.

The Mavericks have a strong back end with a good mix of players. The most dynamic offensively is Joaquim Lemay. The sophomore Washington Capitals draft picks is a high-end skater, who jumps into plays at the right time and can walk the blue line in search of shooting lanes. He has four goals and 10 points in 15 games this season. He's accounted for a third of Omaha's power-play goals.

James scored eight goals as a freshman. Half of them came against Omaha. James scored three times on goaltender Simon Latkoczy and once into an empty net against the Mavericks. James has been playing his best in recent weeks. After tallying four points in the first 14 games of the season, James has six points in his last six games. He's been elevated to a line with Owen McLaughlin and Jackson Blake. James and McLaughlin beat Latkoczy for a Clark Cup in the USHL Finals in 2022 and James has had his number at the college level.

UND is playing well right now — it hasn't lost a regulation game since Nov. 3 — but it's hard to pick a sweep. The Mavericks have not been swept yet this season. The last time they were swept was actually in The Ralph last March.

Friday: UND 2, Omaha 2, tie

Saturday: UND 4, Omaha 2


Cameron Berg set to face old team


Analytics give Hobie Hedquist's first games a thumbs up


Ludvig Persson returns to practice


Freshman Michael Emerson leaves the team


Shane Pinto returns to Ottawa practice + UND in NHL update


Seven UND hockey commits land on NHL Central Scouting midterm draft rankings


Riese Gaber rings in new year in a big way + Omaha series preview


Test your UND hockey knowledge, Jan. 9, 2024


North Dakota is team of the week


9 Jackson Blake (CAR), so, f, 11-13—24

17 Riese Gaber, sr, f, 11-9—20

22 Owen McLaughlin (PHI), so, f, 7-13—20

14 Cameron Berg (NYI), jr, f, 9-10—19

7 Garrett Pyke, 5th, d, 2-15—17

28 Hunter Johannes, 5th, f, 9-6—15

4 Jake Livanavage, fr, d, 1-10—11

18 Jayden Perron (CAR), fr, f, 8-2—10

26 Dylan James (DET), so, f, 3-7—10

27 Louis Jamernik V, sr, f, 5-4—9

6 Logan Britt, 5th, d, 2-4—6

8 Jake Schmaltz (BOS), jr, f, 0-6—6

21 Ben Strinden (NSH), so, f, 3-2—5

29 Jackson Kunz (VAN), jr, f, 2-3—5

11 Griffin Ness, sr, f, 1-3—4

20 Keaton Pehrson, 5th, d, 0-3—3

2 Bennett Zmolek, so, d, 0-3—3

13 Carson Albrecht, sr, f, 1-1—2

5 Dane Montgomery, so, f, 1-1—2

25 Abram Wiebe (VGK), fr, d, 0-1—1

32 Ludvig Persson, sr, g, 0-1—1

15 Nate Benoit (MIN), fr, d, 0-0—0

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, 12-5-1, 2.21, .909

30 Hobie Hedquist, fr, 2-0-0, 3.01, .870

1 Kaleb Johnson, so, dnp


19 Ty Mueller (VAN), jr, f, 6-7—13

2 Joaquim Lemay (WSH), so, d, 4-6—10

7 Griffin Ludtke, so, d, 3-7—10

28 Jack Randl, 5th, f, 5-4—9

71 Tanner Ludtke (ARI), fr, f, 4-5—9

8 Ray Fust, so, f, 3-4—7

3 Kirby Proctor, 5th, d, 3-4—7

22 Jimmy Glynn, sr, f, 3-4—7

6 Zach Urdahl, jr, f, 3-4—7

23 Victor Mancini (NYR), jr, d, 3-3—6

26 Brock Bremer, sr, f, 2-4—6

21 Tyler Rollwagen, so, f, 2-4—6

10 Jacob Guevin, so, d, 1-5—6

14 Jesse Lansdell, 5th, f, 1-5—6

27 Matt Miller, sr, f, 2-3—5

11 Nolan Sullivan, 5th, f, 3-1—4

12 Nolan Krenzen, sr, d, 1-2—3

18 Michael Abgrall, so, f, 0-3—3

15 Noah Ellis (VGK), so, d, 0-3—3

13 Jacob Slipec, so, f, 1-1—2

9 Dominic Vidoli, sr, d, 1-1—2

24 Charlie Lurie, fr, f, 0-1—1

16 Cam Mitchell, so, f, 0-0—0

30 Simon Latkoczy, so, g, 0-0—0

32 Seth Eisele, 5th, g, 0-0—0

1 Will Craig, fr, g, dnp


30 Simon Latkoczy, so, 7-5-2, 2.44, .911

32 Seth Eisele, 5th, 3-1, 2.99, .881

1 Will Craig, fr, g, dnp