Shane Gersich, drafted by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, is having a fine season in his sophomore year for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. In 27 games played, he is leading the team in goals with 18, is tied for the team lead in assists, with 14, and is first in points with 32. He is currently leading the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) in goals with 18 and second in points overall. Among all men playing Division I hockey in the NCAA during the 2016-2017 season, he is third in goals and thirteenth in overall points.
His most recent games were series against the Miami Red Hawks on the weekend of January 13-14, the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on the weekend of January 20-21, and Colorado College the weekend of January 27-28.
Miami Red Hawks Series – January 13-14
He scored the team’s third goal in North Dakota’s loss to the Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks on Friday, January 13. The Fighting Hawks held a 3-1 lead after two periods, but the Red Hawks scored five unanswered goals to beat them 6-3. This snapped a three-game win streak for North Dakota, which included a sweep at Omaha the previous weekend. This win was Miami’s fifth straight win. The game was truly a Friday the Thirteenth horror story for North Dakota.
The following day, North Dakota played Miami again, and once again, held a 3-1 lead going into the third period. This time North Dakota prevailed, with no goals scored by either team during third period. In this game, Gersich had no goals but had an assist on the team’s second goal which was scored by Austin Poganski. He had earned points in eight consecutive games, beginning with the game on December 3, which was against Boston College. During this point streak, he has scored five goals and contributed four assists.
Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs – January 20-21
On Friday, January 20, Gersich scored the team’s second goal early in the third period against the University of Minnesota-Duluth. However, the team lost 5-3. North Dakota was down 4-1 when Gersich scored his goal. He was assisted by Gage Ausmus. It was the second consecutive Friday night loss for the team at home.
Saturday, January 21, was even worse for the Fighting Hawks as Minnesota-Duluth shut them out 4-0. It was the first time that North Dakota had been swept at home for a weekend series since 2013.
Colorado College – January 27-28
On Friday, January 27, the Fighting Hawks found themselves down 2-0 to last place Colorado College about more than halfway into the first period.They were still down 2-0 at the end of the period and switched goalies to start the next period, from starter Matej Tomek to Matt Hrynkiw. North Dakota struck back with one goal during the second period to bring the score to 2-1. During the third period, they struck for four goals, including three within the last three minutes of regulation, and won the game 5-2. Gersich struck for the team’s fourth goal at 17:35 of the third.
The results on Saturday, January 28, were not as good. This time they lost to Colorado College 3-0 despite outshooting the other team 45-20, and having a 91-37 advantage in shot attempts. It hit four goal-posts, and the decisive goal banked off a UND player’s shinpad. The Fighting Hawks were unable to solve Colorado’s freshman goaltender, Alex Leclerc.
By Diane Doyle
Game Report January 14