I put together this list of my thoughts on each UND player at the halfway point of the season:
#2 Stecher- Was arguable the best dman on both ends of the ice before his lower body injury. The team will be loaded on the back end once again when he’s healthy in a few weeks.
#3 Poolman- This kid can do it all. He’s big, he scores huge goals (See:LSSU Friday night game), and he’s the trainer’s son.
#4 Thompson- Has made some nice plays this year, most recently, the pass to Brendan O’Donnell against UMD to tie Saturday’s game at 1. Look for him to get some points in the goal column in the 2nd half.
#5 Mattson- Jekkyl and Hyde, he would most likely be in the lineup every night for every team besides this year’s UND team. He’s shown flashes of his playmaking in the Denver game but has also had lapses on the D end to cost him playing time. I hope this senior shows what he can really do down the stretch.
#6 Ladue- Automatically one of my favorite Dmen because he’s a fellow Grand Forks native but this kid can play too. He has 10 points on the year which is good enough for 2nd on the team for dmen.
#7 Murphy- Seems a bit snake-bitten, would like to see him finally bury one and watch the floodgates open. Seemed more comfortable in the UMD series and Saturday may have been his best game in a UND sweater.
#8 Schmaltz- Buccigross would type something about sauce and being a mayor of some Dangleburbia but this kid has vision. I could score goals with this kid on my line.
#9 Caggiula- Direction-changing, jock strap hanging, goalie maming bad ass… that is all
#10 Simonson- Again a GF native so got my local glasses on but love the grit, now let’s get a bar down instead of a bar out and we’re talking.
#11 Olson- A force anytime he steps on the ice. He doesn’t back down to anyone and he can score goals in the dirty areas… in other words, a Sioux hockey player.
#13 Gaarder- Hero who punched our ticket to Philly last year, no quit in him and scores big goals. Once OT started against Ferris State he was the only player to score for our team the rest of the tourney.
#14 Poganski- Big forward who has a bright future at UND. Hard to believe he’s only scored once so far, more will come.
#15 Parks- Try and take the puck from him, I dare you. One of the best players with the puck along the wall and in the dirty areas. Oh and his wraparound is the best in the biz.
#16 MacMillan- Consistently beats defenders to the outside and scores big goals on highlight reel moves.
#17 St. Clair- Gritty, something our team has desperately missed on Friday nights lately. Colten can’t get healthy soon enough.
#20 Ausmus- Tough player to play against, won’t let anyone past him and will add some offense when needed.
#21 O’Donnell- Most recent Hat Trick Club inductee, also when he can get it off he has a wicked wrister
#22 Panzarella- Coaches consistently go to him to add grit to our lineup when we’re playing soft, can also play Forward without skipping a beat which is rare
#24 Schmaltz- Has great games and average games, I’d like to see more of the great every night because it’s obvious he has it in him. Huge producer on the offensive side, just need to work on his own zone and he’ll be unstoppable.
#26 Sanderson- Ultimate team-player, hasn’t seen a ton of ice time but every time he does he’s gotten better. Exhibition game against U18 was his best yet. He also rocks the fish bowl, which is neat.
#27 Johnson- Another good GF kid. Sniper, give him time and space and he’ll beat the goalie from damn near anywhere. A little more work on him creating that time and space and less stick penalties and possibly a top line player next year.
#28 Pattyn- The General, sticks up for teammates, scores big goals and lays opponents out. When he feels like it will also take a trip to Danglesburbia (See: UNO Saturday night game)
#29 Chyzyk- Competes hard for every puck, has made it impossible not to put him on the ice. 3 goals thus far but wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish with 10.
#30 Hrynkiw- Undersized backup goalie, ask his goalie coach how that worked out for him.
#31 McIntyre- One of the top 5 goalies in UND history, probably top 3 but I’m going to wait until he wins a national championship or two so I can put him at #1
#33 Johnson- Struggled out of the gates but looked 100x better against U18 team. Now that his feet are wet he should be solid from here on out.