Then the players left and returned home.
When they returned to the rink for the game, the old jerseys were gone. Johansson turned them off and, for the first time, hung up the new white alternative home jerseys that read “NoDak” diagonally across the front.
“I know our guys were eager to wear them,” said UND coach Brad Berry. “They wanted to wear them in the worst possible way. In the coaches room we are right next to the players room. You could hear pretty loud screams and screams when they saw the jerseys.
“We have the black jerseys on the road. Hopefully those white jerseys can do the same at home.”
UND played as hard as he looked on Saturday night, limiting Minnesota to just six shots in 40 minutes, opening a three-goal lead and hanging on for a 3-2 win in front of 11,617 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Captain Mark Senden scored two goals and had three points, while teammate Gavin Hain scored once and rookie Jake Schmaltz had two assists to help the Fighting Hawks separate from the series.
“I’m super happy with the way we reacted as a group and we fought and took ownership of our game yesterday,” Senden said. “We knew we had to be better tonight. I’m happy with the guys and the way they reacted.”
The No.6 UND improved to 10-5 overall and got an impressive response after losing the Series opener 5-1.
Despite the absence of top scorer Ashton Calder, injured Friday by an arm injury, the Fighting Hawks dominated Minnesota in the first period. They only scored 3 minutes and 27 seconds into the game, and in the first 18 minutes of the game UND held a 19-3 lead in attempted shots and an 8-2 difference in shoot to the net.
Minnesota recorded just six shots in the first two periods and 13 for the game, its lowest since the 2019-20 season, when Notre Dame held the Gophers to 12.
“It was a really big game for us after last night,” said UND defenseman Cooper Moore. “We didn’t think we did our best. Responding like we did, especially in this great rivalry, really meant a lot to us. It really showed a lot to our team.”
The Gophers (9-7) used a power-play goal from Ben Meyers and an extra goal from Chaz Lucius to make it a one-goal game. But after reducing the UND lead to one with 3:30 to go, Minnesota didn’t get any shots on goal the rest of the way as the Fighting Hawks sealed the victory.
“Really good effort from a lot of guys,” Berry said. “We were here last night talking to a man, I don’t think we played our best. Tonight I don’t think there were a lot of passengers, if any. we needed.
“Yesterday evening, the first two periods, we were slow and we didn’t move. We were motionless. Tonight we checked all over the ice. It started with our legs. A team like that, if you give them time and space, they generate a lot in the rush. Tonight we skated and checked a lot harder than last night.
UND had great contributions around programming:
- A day after defenseman Tyler Kleven received a major penalty and misconduct in the match for double check, Berry only used Kleven for a few shifts, preferring to cede his minutes to rookie Luke Bast. The rookie put in a strong performance against an explosive attack from Gopher.
- Defenseman Cooper Moore continued his ascent after flourishing last weekend in the absence of Jake Sanderson. Moore led UND with four shots on goal and posted a plus-1 rating.
- Senior center Connor Ford led the face-off circle, going 19-4, helping the Fighting Hawks take possession of the puck.
- Goalkeeper Zach Driscoll was solid, stopping 11 of 13 shots and achieving a perfect 11 for 11 evenly.
“We talked about what we need to do all day today, and I think we went out and executed it,” Hain said. “We played harder than yesterday, executed passes and executed our game plan. We made a major failure. We got washers in depth the way we wanted. We executed passes. The D-men, so they flipped the pucks. “
This resulted in a successful debut in NoDak jerseys.
“I think they’re awesome,” Hain said. “We obviously have the blacks for the road. We’ve had good success in those. Having a business suit at home is a big deal when we wear them.”
Remarks: Berry said Calder probably won’t play next weekend against St. Cloud State. . . UND also played without second row Matteo Costantini (ill) for a fourth straight game and fourth row winger Jackson Kunz (upper body injury) for a fourth straight game.