Dixon Bowen emerges offensively for UND
Dixon Bowen had a strong fall camp for UND. He scored a few highlight-reel goals and appeared like he could have a breakout junior season. But the East Grand Forks Senior High graduate's first half of the season didn't work out that way. He had n...
Dixon Bowen had a strong fall camp for UND. He scored a few highlight-reel goals and appeared like he could have a breakout junior season.
But the East Grand Forks Senior High graduate's first half of the season didn't work out that way. He had no goals, one assist and missed the final three games due to an injury he sustained at Minnesota Duluth.
The second half has been a completely different story, though.
Bowen has emerged in an important way for UND's offense. He has tallied five points in the last five games.
Bowen scored twice in Saturday night's 5-1 win over No. 1-ranked St. Cloud State. He had a two-point game against Omaha the week before. And he had a key shorthanded a goal a week earlier in an overtime win over Colorado College.
During the last five games, the only two players on the team with more points are first-line forwards Nick Jones and Jordan Kawaguchi, who both have six.
"He's just playing hockey and having fun with it," UND coach Brad Berry said. "The strength of his game is probably his skating ability. When you have that much speed, it kind of pushes D-men back a little bit. I think in the case (Saturday), his first goal that he put between the goaltender's pads, he pushed the D-man back with his speed. His speed is probably his best attribute. It's something he wasn't using earlier."
On Bowen's first goal Saturday night, he took a pass from defenseman Hayden Shaw, flew up the right wing and fired a shot five-hole on St. Cloud State goalie David Hrenak from the right circle to make it 3-0. Hrenak was pulled after the goal.
DID I HEAR A NINER IN THERE? #UNDproud @UNDmhockey @TheNCHC pic.twitter.com/BdI90SxBJA - UND Insider (@undinsider) January 27, 2019
On his second goal, Bowen stole the puck from St. Cloud State's Patrick Newell, skated in alone and fired a shot on Husky goalie Jeff Smith. The netminder dropped the rebound and Bowen knocked it in to make it 5-1.
"I'm just working hard and getting some good bounces," Bowen said. "My linemates are playing well and we're gelling together. Hopefully, we can keep that going."
The newfound production of UND's depth players has made a major difference in the team's attack.
The Fighting Hawks returned home from two losses to Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., in early January with a 9-9-1 mark, averaging 2.42 goals per game.
In the last six games, UND is 4-2, averaging 3.33 goals per game.
Two players have already exceeded their first-half production in the second half. Bowen and Jackson Keane combined for two points in the first half and have nine points in the second half.
Two more players have already matched their first-half production in the second half: rookies Jasper Weatherby and Gavin Hain.
And two players are on the verge of surpassing their first-half production: Mark Senden and Ludvig Hoff.
"You need everybody contributing if you want to have a chance to win against good teams," Berry said.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
• UND goalie Adam Scheel is the rookie of the week in the NCHC after stopping 55 of 58 shots against top-ranked St. Cloud State for a .948 save percentage and a 1.53 goals-against average. It's the second weekly honor this season for Scheel.
• Western Michigan swept Denver in Kalamazoo, Mich., over the weekend. The Broncos have two telling stats. They are 10-2-1 at home and 3-6 on the road. They also have yet to lose a game this season with Wade Allison in the lineup (9-0-1 with him, 6-8 without him). Allison is a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers.
• Miami continued reeling with two losses to Colorado College. The RedHawks are on a 12-game winless streak. They've given up the first goal of the game in 10 straight. And it doesn't get any easier. The RedHawks play at St. Cloud State this weekend. The Huskies are 14-0 on Olympic-sized ice sheets this season.
• Denver dropped two games at Western Michigan this weekend, but the Pioneers get to return back home this weekend to face UND in Magness Arena. Denver hasn't lost at home in regulation this season. The Pioneers are 8-1-3 in Magness. The lone loss was 4-3 in overtime to Minnesota Duluth.