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Judd Caulfield wins UND's Iron Man competition

The Grand Forks native finished with the best score during UND's annual off-ice fitness, strength and agility testing.

North Dakota vs Western Michigan
North Dakota forward Judd Caulfield (28) scores on Western Michigan goaltender Brandon Bussi (30) during the first period Friday, March 18, 2022, in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live
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GRAND FORKS — At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Judd Caulfield has a combination of size and skill to be a high-end power forward in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The UND winger has displayed flashes of it, but is looking to be more consistently dominant as a senior.

He's off to a good start.

Caulfield, a Grand Forks native and former Central player, won the team's annual Iron Man competition, a series of 11 tests that measure each player's strength, endurance and agility.

Sophomore forward Matteo Costantini finished second, followed by fifth-year senior forward Mark Senden, sophomore center Jake Schmaltz and freshman forward Dylan James.

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Senior defenseman Ethan Frisch was held out of a couple tests for precautionary reasons, but otherwise was on track for a top-three finish. Fifth-year senior forward Gavin Hain, who is coming off of knee surgery, also did not participate in every event.

Both Frisch and Hain have been full participants in UND's fall practices, though, and are expected to be in the lineup for the Oct. 1 exhibition game against Manitoba.

"You can tell which guys have been here awhile — guys like Judd, Sendo, Frischy, Klevy (Tyler Kleven)," UND coach Brad Berry said. "They've done a really good job building their bodies and adding to what they already had. There was improvement from everyone. Overall strength and conditioning went up for sure."

Berry said he was pleased with the progression of some younger players, too.

He singled out sophomore defenseman Brent Johnson, who had offseason shoulder surgery a year ago and was unable to lift weights before coming to campus as a freshman. Strength was an issue during his rookie season.

"He had an injury last year, where he couldn't train before coming in here," Berry said. "To see where he was then to where he is now — now he's in the top third of our group — that tells you about the work he's put in."

The Iron Man competition features 11 events — broad jump, single leg lateral jump, pull-ups, Watt Bike 3-minute test, isometric belt squat, counter movement jump, plyometric push up, dead lift bar speed, 4x4 on-ice skating test, on-ice acceleration (6.1 meters and 35 meters) and cornering 'S' test.

The events changed considerably from recent years so testing can better be re-evaluated throughout the season instead of using Iron Man as simply a one-time test.

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Caulfield is the third from Greater Grand Forks to win it since 1995. Colton and Tucker Poolman of East Grand Forks each won it once.

It was a strange offseason for UND, which renovated the weight room in Ralph Engelstad Arena. All of the equipment was moved to the floor of the main rink, and players worked out there.

"I think it was a situation where it was something new and exciting, working out on the floor of The Ralph," Berry said.

The new weight room — located in the same spot adjacent to the locker room — is nearing completion.

UND opens with an exhibition game against the Bisons on Oct. 1 before hosting Holy Cross in the regular-season opener Oct. 7-8. The Fighting Hawks are in search of a fourth-straight Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions.

UND's Iron Man winners since 1989

2022 - Judd Caulfield, senior
2021 - Jake Sanderson, sophomore
2020 - None due to COVID-19 pandemic
2019 - Cole Smith, senior
2018 - Cole Smith, junior
2017 - Colton Poolman, sophomore
2016 - Cole Smith, freshman
2015 - Tucker Poolman, sophomore
2014 - Bryn Chyzyk, junior
2013 - Derek Rodwell, senior
2012 - Corban Knight, senior
2011 - Derek Rodwell, sophomore
2010 - Matt Frattin, senior
2009 - Chris VandeVelde, senior
2008 - Chay Genoway, junior
2007 - Chay Genoway, sophomore
2006 - Chris Porter, senior
2005 - Chris Porter, junior
2004 - Chris Porter, sophomore
2003 - Matt Jones, junior
2002 - Ryan Sofie, senior
2001 - Ryan Sofie, junior
2000 - Ryan Sofie, sophomore
1999 - Jason Ulmer, senior
1998 - Tom Philion, senior
1997 - Tom Philion, junior
1996 - Tom Philion, sophomore
1995 - Tom Philion, freshman
1994 - Sean Beswick, junior
1993 - Sean Beswick, sophomore
1992 - Page Klostreich, senior
1991 - Greg Johnson, junior
1990 - Dane Jackson, junior
1989 - Garry Valk, junior

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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