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How UND navigated injuries Saturday night against Bemidji State

Fighting Hawks blue liner Cooper Moore suited up despite not having practiced in two weeks.

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Fighting Hawks defenseman Cooper Moore (4) blocks a Bemidji State shot in the second period of a men's hockey game at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks on Saturday, November 26, 2022.
Nick Nelson / UND Athletics
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GRAND FORKS — When UND coach Brad Berry woke up Saturday morning, he wasn't quite sure what his lineup would look like at night.

His team finished Friday's series opener at Bemidji State with just four healthy defensemen.

Alternate Ethan Frisch left Friday's game due to a lower-body injury with 10 minutes left in the second period.

Junior Tyler Kleven was stung blocking a shot with 13 minutes to go in the third. He attempted to come back for a couple of shifts, but his movement wasn't there and Berry sat him for the rest of the game.

Already without injured Cooper Moore and ill Brent Johnson, the Fighting Hawks were left with just Chris Jandric, Ty Farmer, Ryan Sidorski and Luke Bast, who was making his season debut.

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After Friday's game, Berry learned Frisch would not be able to play Saturday, but Kleven would be available.

"Klevy played through some stuff tonight," Berry said after his team beat Bemidji State 4-2 in the series finale. "And I thought he played a heck of a game."

The big surprise Saturday was that Moore played in the series finale.

Moore had not gone through a full team practice in over two weeks.

"Cooper went on the ice (for morning skate), and we just said, 'Hey, how you feeling?'" Berry said. "He said, 'I feel good. I want to play.' That's really tough when you haven't practiced with the team, only skating on your own. Getting the minutes he did was commendable."

Moore played 15:16 in the game, allowing the Fighting Hawks to use a full six-man defenseman rotation.

Jandric played the most minutes, going 24:11. Sidorski eclipsed 20 minutes for the first time this season. After playing over 20 minutes on Friday, Bast played 15:50 on Saturday.

"Luke Bast coming in to do what he did this weekend was amazing," Berry said of his blue liner who hadn't played since March. "Having guys step up like that is a big deal."

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Schmaltz suits up

Another injury Berry had to manage Saturday night was to center Jake Schmaltz, who was checked from behind into the boards early in Friday's game.

"He wasn't feeling the greatest," Berry said.

Schmaltz suited up but clearly wasn't himself. He played just 11:37, his lowest total all year. He went 6-10 on faceoffs, his second-lowest percentage of the season.

As the coaching staff managed Schmaltz's minutes, Louis Jamernik V had an increased workload. He played a season-high 21:31 and scored the eventual game-winner.

"I know at this time exactly seven days ago, we were not very happy and didn't get the result we wanted," Jamernik V said, referring to last week's 4-3 loss to Miami. "Today, I thought we played pretty close to 60 minutes. I think we had a little bit of a lapse in the beginning, because they had a good push. But we weathered that and we shut it down the last five minutes."

Quick hits

  • Sidorski led UND in blocked shots (three) and tied Riese Gaber for a team-high in shots on goal (four).
  • Dylan James quietly has eight points in the last seven games and is now the fourth-leading scorer on the team, only behind Gaber, Jackson Blake and Jandric.
  • Judd Caulfield has five goals in the last seven games after not tallying a point in the first eight games.
  • Berry on starting Jakob Hellsten in both games this weekend: "He looks confident. He looks solid. That's all you're asking. When you're going through what we're going through right now and it's not coming easy, all you need is 'solid.' That's from our whole group."

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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