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UND expecting to get one player back, but will still be short for series at Duluth

The Fighting Hawks and Bulldogs are awaiting word on when their Olympians will return home from Beijing.

UND 1.jpg
UND captain Mark Senden (19) celebrates his goal with teammates Cooper Moore (4), Louis Jamernik (27) and Chris Jandric (7) earlier this season.
Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — UND coach Brad Berry had to run practice a little different this week.

After playing with 17 skaters and five defensemen during last weekend's sweep of Colorado College, Berry gave some players maintenance days early in the week and shortened practices to conserve energy.

"The last few days, we've had really good practices, but they were short," Berry said. "We got right to what we needed to do — obviously, specialty teams being a part of that. But it's just working on some system and structure stuff on a short amount of time.

"Knowing that you have lower numbers (of people) in practices, it's higher reps for guys and you have to be mindful of that. Energy is a big thing. You can see in the second half of the season, you need to have energy to try to win games and that's going to be a big key this weekend, for sure."

UND still won't have everyone back, but they're expecting at least one return to the lineup for this weekend's two-game series at Minnesota Duluth (8 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday) in AmsOil Arena.

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Berry said forward Louis Jamernik, who sustained an upper-body injury during the series finale against Omaha and missed last weekend's series against Colorado College, will return to the lineup.

Jamernik has seven goals and 15 points in 27 games this season. He's tied for fourth on the team in goals.

Berry also said it's possible captain Mark Senden will be back in the lineup, too.

"There's a good chance he's going to play," Berry said.

Senden sustained an injury the same shift as Jamernik on Feb. 5 against Omaha. He also missed last weekend's games against the Tigers.

Forward Gavin Hain, who suffered a lower-body injury on Jan. 7 against Cornell, will remain out of the lineup.

On the back end, UND will still be thin.

Defenseman Jake Sanderson is traveling back from the Olympic Games in Beijing. Even if he's back by the weekend, he won't be ready to play. Sanderson suffered an upper-body injury last Friday against Canada. He's expected to be re-evaluated when he returns.

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USA Hockey listed Sanderson as day-to-day and the sophomore skated at USA's practice Monday without contact.

Defenseman Brady Ferner, who skated this week, is not expected to make the trip to Duluth.

That leaves UND with six defensemen: Ethan Frisch, Tyler Kleven, Chris Jandric, Cooper Moore, Luke Bast and Brent Johnson.

Sanderson and Ferner also missed last weekend's series. UND went down to five defensemen after Moore was ejected and suspended for a contact to the head major penalty.

"I guess that's as clear as I can be," Berry said about the lineup. "Two days from now, things could possibly change."

Bulldog defenseman out

Minnesota Duluth will be without at least one key piece.

Minnesota Duluth defenseman Wyatt Kaiser, who sustained a lower-body injury last Friday at Denver, will not play, head coach Scott Sandelin said.

Kaiser sat out last Saturday's Bulldog victory over Denver.

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As of noon Wednesday, Sandelin said he hadn't heard from U.S. Olympian and Bulldog senior Noah Cates or USA Hockey on when Cates might return after the Americans were knocked out in the quarterfinals Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs will get one key piece back in the lineup — center Dominic James, who sat out last weekend's series against the Pioneers with an injury.

James, a member of the U.S. World Junior Championship team in December, scored against UND in Ralph Engelstad Arena earlier this season.

Minnesota Duluth players also have been dealing with a non-COVID illness going through the team since last weekend. But all of the players who became ill were back on the ice for Wednesday's practice.

"Still some guys feeling it," Sandelin said. "We should be ready by Friday. It hit some guys hard. It was not a lot of fun. We've monitored some practices here. Today, we had everybody on the rink. Not 100 percent (healthy), but we'll get there."

No. 9 UND at No. 7 Minnesota Duluth

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
Where: AmsOil Arena, Duluth, Minn.
TV: CBS Sports Network (GF Ch. 314/635 HD) on Friday; Midco Sports Network (GF Ch. 27/622 HD) on Saturday.
Stream: NCHC.tv on Saturday only.
Radio: The Fox (96.1 FM).

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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