COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Brad Berry sat in World Arena on Monday night and began mapping out the UND hockey team's schedule for the next week in his head.
He paused for a second.
"I've got to try to keep my days straight," he said.
It has been that kind of year.
In the college hockey world, weeks are usually structured around games on Friday and Saturday nights. In fact, in the four years after UND won the 2016 NCAA national championship, the Fighting Hawks played a total of 159 games including exhibitions -- 158 of them were played on Fridays or Saturdays. The lone exception was the Thanksgiving Day contest at Minnesota last season.
At the midway point of this season, UND has already played on every day of the week.
After not playing a Wednesday game since 1995, it has played more on Wednesdays (twice) than Fridays (once). It has played on more Sundays (four times) than Saturdays (twice).
That trend will continue.
UND's upcoming series at Denver has been pushed back two days and will be played at 8:07 p.m. Sunday and Monday in Magness Arena. Sunday's game will be on Midco Sports Network. Monday's game will be on CBS Sports Network. The Pioneers are on track to be able to play after having last weekend's series postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.
UND's following series against Colorado College -- expected to be its first home games of the season -- also has been pushed back to Saturday-Sunday (23rd and 24th). Both games will be played at 6:07 p.m.
"Going into this season, our guys knew there would have to be some flexibility and openness and making sure that whatever is in front of us, we have an open-mind approach to it and deal with it," Berry said. "We have another situation this week where we're thankful we're playing games. I know in Duluth they've had some cases go on there where they're not playing. We're just trying to do things on a daily basis on and off the ice to give us a chance to play. I know everybody's trying to do that. We're just trying to take care of our business here."
After playing all 10 games as scheduled in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Pod, UND has not yet played a game as scheduled in the second half of the season.
Its first weekend series, scheduled at Omaha, was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within Omaha's program. Last weekend's series, scheduled for home against Omaha, was switched to a road series at Colorado College.
Now, the NCHC released date changes to the series at Denver and at home against Colorado College.
UND is expected to travel to Denver on Saturday.
"The biggest thing is knowing definitively today, we got news the series is on, 100 percent," Berry said. "Our guys are excited about it. We're going through times now where, whoever the opponent is, it's just crossing your fingers and hoping to play that weekend. Now, we have certainty to it. We're focused and dialed in to get after it."
The Fighting Hawks have handled the changing of dates well.
They're 9-2-1 and ranked No. 2 in the country. They'll enter the Denver series on a six-game winning streak.
"It's definitely been different having the game days we've had," freshman Riese Gaber said. "You've just got to be in the mindset that you've got to be ready to go."
Prior to this season, the last time UND played on each day of the week was:
- Sunday -- Nov. 29, 2015 at Michigan State (4-1 W)
- Monday -- Dec. 27, 1999 vs. Miami in Milwaukee (5-2 W)
- Tuesday -- Oct. 22, 2002 vs. Manitoba (6-1 W); last regular season was Dec. 28, 1999 vs. Wisconsin in Milwaukee (3-2 OT W)
- Wednesday -- Dec. 20, 1995 vs. Dartmouth (6-3 W)
- Thursday -- Nov. 28, 2019 at Minnesota (9-3 W)
- Friday -- March 6, 2020 at Omaha (4-1 L)
- Saturday -- March 7, 2020 at Omaha (5-0 W)
Games played by days of the week in 2020-21:
- Sunday -- 4
- Monday -- 1
- Tuesday -- 1
- Wednesday -- 2
- Thursday -- 1
- Friday -- 1
- Saturday -- 2