The Fighting Hawks were at an emotional low several weeks ago after falling to Arizona State at the US Hockey Hall of Fame Game, 3-2. The loss dropped UND to a 3-3-1 record. North Dakota hockey insiders agreed, a change was needed. “We’ve taken on a new persona,” stated head coach Brad Berry following the painful defeat. “We are now calling this season our Special On-Ice Operation.
While the Fighting Hawks are used to getting jabs from many of their old rivals, even upstart ASU was chirping at the venerable UND hockey program.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) October 30, 2022
“That was the last straw. Now, two games later, our new mindset is paying off,” stated Berry after UND won and tied Omaha on the road this past weekend. The attitude reaches well beyond the ice as Fighting Hawks players and coaches refer to North Dakota as the homeland. The hockey media guide has been revised to refer to the team as the Fighting ‘Hawkz’ with a ‘Z’.
Even the Zamboni has gotten a recent makeover. A “Z” is painted boldly on the front of the vehicle and imitation bullet holes are a constant reminder to players and staff of incoming flak from programs that threaten their sovereignty.
“It’s all about a reset for our regime, getting what is rightfully ours and resuming our place in hockey history”, said Head Coach Brad Berry during a hastily called press conference. When told that the next game at the Ralph Englestedt Arena against Denver might not be a sellout, Berry replied, “We’ll empty County Correctional.”
The Pioneers travel to Grand Forks to play UND on Friday, November 11th and Saturday, November 12th.