When head coach Dave Hakstol left North Dakota to lead the Philadelphia Flyers, a cleaner version of hockey was introduced by his replacement, Brad Berry. But, in some ways, the Fighting Hawks have returned to their old tricks under Berry with a slash here, a boarding there, an extra shove, and a trip to lead the NCHC in penalties with 248 total minutes spent in the sin bin. Denver sits in sixth place with 156 minutes in the box. In comparison, UND’s top five offenders have spent 131 minutes in the box, double Denver’s total of 66.
This new version of ‘Fighting Hawk hockey’ looks eerily similar to good old North Dakota hockey. Yet, despite clear evidence to the contrary, UND fans continue to see the Fighting Hawks through Kelly green-colored glasses.
By now, many NCHC hockey fans may have seen the UND’s captain Grant Mismash take a run at Denver goalie Magnus Chrona several weeks ago. Chrona then didn’t even travel with the Pioneers for their next series at Omaha (a split). Following their natural reflexes, Fighting Hawks fans saw the play as a ‘dive’ as Chrona’s stick flew into the air, he fell to the ice and was, eventually, taken to the bench. The referees issued Mismash a 5-minute major penalty and game misconduct before the NCHC issued a supplemental 1-game suspension (as an aside, Mismash was whistled again, this time a minor penalty, for running into Omaha goalie Isaiah Saville a couple of weeks later so you’d be forgiven if you were noticing a pattern).
Mismash hit on Chrona, presented without comment: pic.twitter.com/umiN0dSwig
— LetsGoDU (@LetsGoDU) January 20, 2021
How could a referee call and supplemental penalty be seen so differently, especially by the North Dakota faithful? In order to bridge the great perception divide, we went to SiouxSports.com and provide our responses to the Mismash-Chrona incident:
(North Dakota fans in GREEN and LetsGoDU in RED)
TNT – If Chrona wasn’t bracing for it, I would agree with you, but I find it hard to believe that Mismash at 6’1, 195 could send a goalie 6’6, 216 without pads spinning that out of control even though he was standing still.
LGDU – It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
AlphaMikeFoxtrot – If they’d announced the additional game misconduct the next day … it would be better received by UND fans.
LGDU – It took a few days for DU’s check to clear the NCHC bank.
BusinessSiouxT – The team (UND) obviously was rubbing it in at this point and Grant made no attempt to avoid the hit and appeared, maybe just to me, to stiffen that shoulder and arm to maximize the impact of the hit. Chroma (spelling) was in a poor position to take the hit and I think folks are stretching to say he embellished it.
LGDU – Once you’re banned from the SiouxSports, you are welcome to visit/comment on LetsGoDU anytime.
TNT (Again) – Once again, I ask the league to be transparent and explain why that egregious hit by …(another team against North Dakota)… doesn’t get disciplined, yet Mismash gets supplemental punishment after getting pushed.
LGDU – Relax man, you know just as well as we all do that the NCHC has it out for North Dakota.
KSSioux – It was a two-minute goaltender interference penalty. Period. Once again, because he got hurt due to an uncoordinated flop, the NCHC took action that was not fitting the crime.
LGDU – A flop? Buddy, go watch the NBA and leave the rest of us alone.
Wilbur – Funny thing is that when I saw that LetsGoDU started hitting on the issue I wondered if Bruce Ciskie (UMD PxP) would chime in and make an idiot of himself (again). Sure enough.
LGDU – Thanks for following us on Twitter!
DU travels to Grand Forks to play the Fighting Hawks on Friday, February 12th, and Saturday, February 13th.