OMAHA, Neb. — At first glance, Shane Pinto's weekend was nothing out of the ordinary.
He had no goals and one assist during UND's split with Omaha in Baxter Arena.
But if you flip to Page 2 of college hockey's game day stat sheet, you'll see he had one of the most dominant weekends in the faceoff circle in recent memory.
Pinto won 35 faceoffs. He lost six.
He went 15-2 on Friday and 20-4 on Saturday.
Fellow rookie, Omaha center Joey Abate, was on the losing end of most of those draws. Abate went 6-25 on the weekend in the faceoff circle.
This dominance helped UND go a perfect 8-0 on penalty kills over the weekend. It also inched Pinto closer to the school record faceoff percentage that Rhett Gardner set a year ago.
Gardner won 62.3% of his draws last season to break Tyson Jost's old record of 60.1. Pinto is now at 61.1 as the playoffs begin. Jasper Weatherby isn't too far behind at 58.9.
UND now ranks sixth in the nation in faceoff percentage at 54.1%, only behind Quinnipiac (56.5), MSU-Mankato (55.6), Western Michigan (55.4), Alaska (54.5) and Harvard (54.3).
That faceoff success has helped the Fighting Hawks become one of the country's best possession teams.
UND ranks fifth in Corsi (57.7% possession), only behind MSU-Mankato (59.4), UMass (59.1), Denver (58.8) and Bowling Green (58.5).
Players banged up
UND coach Brad Berry indicated a number of players were banged up entering Saturday night's game outside of Jordan Kawaguchi and Ethan Frisch, who were held out.
Berry gave a positive update on Kawaguchi after the game.
He didn't name the other injured players, except for Zach Yon, who suited up as the 13th forward but didn't play.
"It was one of those things on the bench, where he could have probably gone in if he had to, but his injury sustained last night prevented him from playing tonight," Berry said. "Then, there were some other guys in the lineup who we sat in the last three-and-a-half or four minutes that were nicked up a bit, too. We're going to have a good week here, get rested up and now it's playoff hockey. It's the next season and our guys are excited about it."
Thome delivers again
UND junior goalie Peter Thome once again made his case to be the go-to goalie for the playoffs for UND.
Thome posted a 17-save shutout against Omaha on Saturday, improving his numbers to 7-1-2 with a .935 save percentage and a 1.37 goals-against average.
He made several stops on Grade-A chances during the game to grab his second shutout of the season.
UND top single-season faceoff percentages
62.3 — Rhett Gardner (2018-19)
61.1 — Shane Pinto (2019-20)***
60.1 — Tyson Jost (2016-17)
59.9 — Corban Knight (2010-11)
59.3 — Nick Jones (2017-18)
59.1 — Zach Parise (2003-04)
NCHC top faceoff percentages
64.5 — Paul Washe, Western Michigan
61.1 — Shane Pinto, North Dakota
60.1 — Nolan Sullivan, Omaha
59.0 — Justin Richards, Minnesota Duluth
58.9 — Jasper Weatherby, North Dakota