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TOM MILLER: Poganski provides secondary scoring

The UND men's hockey team is rolling behind the top line of Drake Caggiula, Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz. The trio of skilled forwards, dubbed the CBS line, score the highlight-reel goals and deservedly receive a lot of attention from fans, opp...

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Tom Miller
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The UND men’s hockey team is rolling behind the top line of Drake Caggiula, Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz.

The trio of skilled forwards, dubbed the CBS line, score the highlight-reel goals and deservedly receive a lot of attention from fans, opponents and the media.

But there will come a time this season when the Fighting Hawks will need secondary scoring. They’ll need someone outside of that talented threesome to step up into a scoring role.

UND sophomore Austin Poganski filled that role this weekend, especially during a two-goal performance in UND’s 4-0 win over the University of Denver on Saturday at a sold-out Ralph Engelstad Arena.

“He played great both games,” UND defenseman Paul LaDue said. “He’s one of our best tippers, and he finally got credit for it. That’s a skilled play he made in front of the net, and we need that.”

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Poganski, who scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the Denver series finale, showcased his versatility during his two goals.

First, he flashed his skill. He scored short-handed with 0.6 seconds left in the first period when he used a back-hand flip on a clear breakaway to beat Denver goalie Tanner Jaillet.

“Time and time again he does that during our Thursday shootouts,” UND coach Brad Berry said. “Even though the goalies know it’s coming, it goes in. When he got some space on that play, I knew that was coming.”

Next, Poganski used his 6-foot-2, 204-pound frame. He camped out in front of Jaillet on the power play and tipped a Tucker Poolman shot from the point at 10:12 of the second period.

“I’m a bigger body, so I get in front of the net,” Poganski said. “I get there and good things will happen.”

On Friday, Poganski scored on a similar tip during the team’s 5-1 win. He also drew two penalties with his hard work in the offensive zone.

Poganski’s goal in the series opener broke a 13-game scoreless drought. Poganski hadn’t scored since Oct. 16 against Bemidji State.

“I thought he got better as the weekend went on,” Berry said. “It finally culminated in a couple of goals. I thought he was snake-bit for a little bit.

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“He’s a big body, and he’s tough to control. On the power play, he’s so good at net-front. He and Rhett Gardner are willing to do that.”

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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