North Dakota appeared poised for another NCAA title run last season after tying for first place in the NCHC with 53 points thanks to a late seven-game winning streak.
UND swept Colorado College in the first round of the conference tournament, but the Fighting Hawks fell to Western Michigan in the Frozen Faceoff semifinal and a week later were knocked out of the Division I championship in the first round by Notre Dame on a power play goal two minutes into overtime, prematurely ending their season.
North Dakota was ranked No. 4 in the USA Today preseason poll and should once again contend for a league championship.
View From the Glass takes a look at North Dakota in Part IV of its NCHC Snapshot series:
NCAA TITLES: 8 (1959, 1963, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1997, 2000, 2016).
COACH: Brad Berry (eighth season, 162-77-25, .661).
2021-22 RECORD: 24-14-1, 18-6 NCHC (second place), NCAA berth.
RINK: Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D. (11,634).
MIAMI VS. NORTH DAKOTA IN 2021-22: 0-2.
ALL-TIME SERIES: North Dakota leads, 21-7-4.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: At North Dakota – Nov. 18-19; At Miami – Jan. 27-28.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: F Riese Gaber, F Jake Schmaltz, F Judd Caulfield, F Matteo Costantini, D Tyler Kleven, D Chris Jandric.
KEY NEW FACES: G Drew DeRidder, F Ben Strinden, F Jackson Blake, F Dylan James.
KEY LOSSES: D Jake Sanderson, F Connor Ford, G Zach Driscoll, F Ashton Calder.
NOTES: Nine of North Dakota’s forwards are NHL draft picks, but the skater who led the team in points by nine was not: Riese Gaber.
Gaber, a 5-8 junior, missed five games but still racked up a team-high 15 goals and added 22 assists. Despite his size he’s already NHL ready and should be a significant points producer in hockey’s top league perhaps as early as next fall.
North Dakota also saw Jake Schmaltz and Matteo Constantini hit the 20-point mark as freshmen last season, and they are second and third in returning points producers with 24 and 21, respectively.
Pittsburgh draftee Judd Caulfield also reached 20 points, scoring 11 times including five power play goals.
On defense, Ethan Frisch scored nine goals – six on the man-advantage – and added six assists for an undefensemen-like path to 15 points. Alaska transfer Chris Jandric also finished with 15 points in his first season with the Fighting Hawks, including 14 helpers.
Tyler Kleven also had a bizarre D-man line of 7-3-10 partly because he was second on the team in shots on goals (80). Kleven, an Ottawa selection, led UND in plus-minus (16).
With Zach Driscoll turning pro, North Dakota has brought in Michigan State transfer Drew DeRidder to compete for the starting job in net.
DeRidder has logged nearly 4,000 Division I minutes and possesses a career save percentage of .916 despite playing on four sub.-.500 Spartans teams.
Miami has lost six straight games to North Dakota and is winless in its last nine (0-8-1), with its last victory over the Fighting Sioux coming on Nov. 10, 2018.