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NCHC suspends Matt Kiersted for series finale vs. Denver

Add one more guy to the list of players who won’t be in the lineup Saturday for UND.

Matt Kiersted was suspended for one game by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference for spearing Denver forward Jake Durflinger after the buzzer of Friday night’s game in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Kiersted, UND’s second-leading scorer, will have to sit out tonight’s series finale against the University of Denver at 7:07 p.m.

Kiersted scored a goal in UND’s 4-1 win Friday in the series opener and has four goals and 10 points in 16 games.

As the buzzer sounded, Durflinger slashed Kiersted across the hands and Kiersted responded with a spear below the belt and a shove into the glass. The officials called a roughing minor on Durflinger and a spearing major and a game misconduct on Kiersted.

UND is already playing without four players: forward Dixon Bowen is out with an upper-body injury, forward Collin Adams is out with a lower-body injury, forward Joel Janatuinen is out with an illness and defenseman Jonny Tychonick is out with an undisclosed injury.

With Kiersted’s suspension, UND will not be able to field a full lineup tonight.

Spearing has been a frequent call in the NCHC early this season.

Kiersted is the fifth player to be whistled for it already. UND’s Jordan Kawaguchi, Miami’s Josh Melnick, Miami’s Karch Bachman and Western Michigan’s Austin Rueschhoff also have been called for it.

Rueschhoff was suspended one game for his penalty.

UND has been called for six game misconducts this season.

Bowen has been called for two. If he gets one more any time this season, he will have to serve an automatic one-game suspension.

The others have been against Kawaguchi, Grant Mismash and Rhett Gardner.

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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