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UND’s road win over a top-four team is a first in college hockey this season

Defenseman Gabe Bast (2) of the North Dakota Fighting Hawks controls the puck near forward Noah Cates (21) of the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs during Saturday's game at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Clint Austin / Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — This University of North Dakota hockey season has been filled with highs and lows.

The Fighting Hawks have gone from beating Minnesota in Las Vegas and sweeping Wisconsin in Ralph Engelstad Arena to getting swept by Western Michigan at home.

While there’s been plenty of frustration during the inconsistent first half, Saturday night, Dec. 1, showed why this team has a lot of promise.

UND beat defending national champion Minnesota Duluth 2-1 in Amsoil Arena, despite playing the game without four forwards (and the final two periods without five forwards).

It was the second time the Fighting Hawks have beaten a top team this season -- something no other team in the country can say right now.

UND is the only team with multiple wins over teams ranked in the top four of this week’s USCHO poll.

And Saturday night marked the first time this season that one of the top four teams -- UMass, St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth and MSU-Mankato -- have lost at home.

It ended a nine-game home unbeaten streak for the Bulldogs that dated back to last season.

The only other teams with wins over top-four opponents are Northeastern (beat St. Cloud State at home), Denver (beat Minnesota Duluth at home), Minnesota (beat Minnesota Duluth at home), Ohio State (beat UMass at home) and Bemidji State (beat MSU-Mankato at home).

“We weren’t as sharp as we’d like to be,” UND captain Colton Poolman said Saturday night. “It was still a really good effort all the way through. I’m happy with the way we played, but we didn’t have our great ‘A’ game. But I think we brought the A-plus effort and we showed we can win like that if need be.”

JBD makes WJC camp

UND defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker has earned a spot on Canada’s World Junior Championship selection camp, which will be held Dec. 11-14 in Victoria, B.C.

Bernard-Docker is one of 12 defensemen on the roster and will try to make the team that will participate in the event from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Vancouver and Victoria.

It hasn’t been common for UND players to make the Canadian World Junior roster. The only players to do it since 1992 have been Jonathan Toews (two gold medals) and Tyson Jost (silver).

Other college players on the Canadian World Junior selection camp roster are Denver defenseman Ian Mitchell, Boston University defenseman Cam Crotty and Boston University forward Shane Bowers.

If Bernard-Docker makes the team, he would miss UND’s series on Jan. 4-5 at Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y.

The U.S. is expected to name its World Junior roster this week, too. Sophomore winger Grant Mismash and freshman goalie Adam Scheel are candidates for the U.S.

Rick Wilson to join Hakstol

Former UND defenseman and longtime NHL assistant coach Rick Wilson will join Dave Hakstol’s staff as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Herald has learned from multiple sources.

Wilson announced his retirement at the end of last season after 30 seasons in the NHL and one Stanley Cup. He primarily worked with defensemen throughout his career that included stints with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild.

Hakstol was looking for an assistant after the Flyers fired defenseman coach Gord Murphy.

Wilson spends his summers in Bemidji.

Former UND great Johannson dies

Former UND great Ken Johannson, a rare two-year captain, died last week at the age of 88.

Johannson was UND’s leading scorer in his first season of 1950-51, racking up 59 points in 26 games. He served as captain of the team the next two seasons.

Johannson played pro hockey in England and Switzerland and won a bronze in the Men’s World Championship in 1962.

Johannson’s son, Jim, led USA Hockey’s operations for years. Jim died suddenly at the age of 53 in January.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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