UND MEN'S HOCKEY: Sioux are 'all in'
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants used the motto "all-in" during their playoff run this season. It might be an appropriate motto for the UND men's hockey team as well. UND's skaters will literally be all in for the rest of the season after ...
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants used the motto "all-in" during their playoff run this season.
It might be an appropriate motto for the UND men's hockey team as well.
UND's skaters will literally be all in for the rest of the season after the team confirmed Wednesday that Brendan O'Donnell will have surgery and be out for the remainder of the year. That leaves the Sioux with 18 available skaters, which is the number used to fill out a full lineup.
O'Donnell suffered a shoulder injury during a loss to the University of Minnesota on Jan. 14 and the team has been evaluating him for the last couple of weeks.
The Winnipeg native had a solid freshman season when he wasn't injured -- O'Donnell also missed a month earlier this season with an injury. O'Donnell had five goals and one assist in 17 games. He was not penalized once during the season.
"There's a lot of good," UND coach Dave Hakstol said of what he saw from O'Donnell this season. "I'm sure there's a lot of frustration for him, but that's part of the game. Injuries are part of the game. When he's been in the lineup, he's showed an awful lot of good things and he's been part of some good wins.
"Right now, his focus is going to be on surgery and a long and challenging recovery process, so he can be ready for the beginning of next season on Oct. 6th or 7th, whatever it is."
Forwards Derek Rodwell (shoulder) and Rocco Grimaldi (knee) have already had season-ending surgery. In addition, UND planned on having Colten St. Clair and J.T. Miller among the forward group this season, but St. Clair was not cleared by the NCAA and Miller bolted for Canadian major juniors.
The Sioux also have dealt with injuries to Corban Knight and Mario Lamoureux.
The last time UND had a healthy scratch was during a 1-0 victory on Dec. 10 against Nebraska-Omaha (Taylor Dickin). The Sioux have played nine games since then. In four of them, they weren't able to fill out a full lineup.
With the shortage of forwards, defensemen Joe Gleason and Dan Senkbeil will likely continue to play up front. Almost half of UND's forwards for the rest of the season will be defensemen, walk-ons or both.
Hakstol also acknowledged that several players in the lineup are battling injuries. Many of them sat out during UND's off week, which served as a benefit to them.
"It was a valuable week off," Hakstol said. "I'm not a guy who loves the weekends off. Very, very seldom do I look at a week off and say we need it. But hopefully we can use some of it to our advantage. We rested up some bodies. Everybody had a chance to get a mental break from the grind. Hopefully, it's been able to give us that little breather. Hopefully we didn't lose any momentum or the level of play we've had over the last month and a half."
Despite the lineup shortages, the Sioux are 11-3-1 in the last 15 games and is coming off of a sweep of Wisconsin at home. Next up is a road trip to No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth.
"We've felt energized all year long," Hakstol said. "We had a good week off. We had a lot of guys who stayed off the ice. The guys who were 100 percent healthy had good days on the ice. We've had excellent practices the first two days of this week. We've had great preparation so far. When the puck drops Friday night, the battle begins. We've got to be ready to pick up where we left off at against Wisconsin and probably more.
"Duluth is a team that went 17 games in a row without losing. They are a great hockey team. We're going to have to be at our best."
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to email@example.com .