UND hopes lessons from last season get them back to NCAA Tournament

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- The UND Men's Hockey team missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Head Coach Brad Berry said that weighed heavily on their minds all off-season.

"Our season ended on a bus coming back from (the Frozen Faceoff) St. Paul last year hoping that we'd be in the tournament. We don't want to hope. We want to make sure that we control our destiny."

Captain Colton Poolman entering his junior year said there are some positives to take away from an otherwise disappointing season.

"You know every year there's lessons into it and you have to take maybe a grain of salt with it to say, 'that year is in the past this is a new year.' You take the lessons you learn there but none of the bad stuff you forget all that just what you need to learn for this year."

UND tied ten times last year, the most in program history during a single season, and the hope is that this year everybody will understand the importance of each game and how it relates to their postseason chances.

"It's one of those things where we want to close out games on the right end of it early in the season and not go into the ties and then you're dependent upon other teams getting into the tournament.," Berry added. "We want to control our destiny early in the season."

North Dakota opens the 2018-19 season with an exhibition game against the University of Manitoba. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Saturday, October 6.