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UND has a goalie battle on its hands

Colorado College's Westin Michaud and UND goalie Peter Thome eye the puck in the first period Saturday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The UND men's hockey team entered the weekend looking ready to ride senior goalie Cam Johnson, a proven national-title winning netminder, through the rest of the season as he made his seventh-straight start in the series opener against Colorado College.

The Fighting Hawks exited the weekend with a goalie battle on their hands.

UND freshman backup goalie Peter Thome made 20 of 21 saves in the Hawks' 5-1 win Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

It was the second home series after Christmas that Thome steadied the ship on a Saturday night after a troubling loss on Friday night.

Thome last started the series finale against Nebraska Omaha with UND coming away with a 7-0 win against the Mavericks.

So in Thome's last two starts, he's allowed just one goal—and received the benefit of 12 goals from the offense.

UND coach Brad Berry credited Thome's body of work during the season and at practice for the reasons to give him a shot against the Tigers.

After Thome's performance against Colorado College, Berry was quick to point out Johnson's maturity in handling the situation. Johnson was pulled during UND's 4-2 loss to the Tigers on Friday night.

"We acknowledged Cam for being a good teammate," Berry said. "He was the first guy to congratulate (Thome). He supported Peter all the way through.

"It was nothing personal. It's a way to make sure there's accountability."

Berry, however, didn't shy away from the possibility of seeing Thome down the stretch during the Hawks' final three regular-season series of the season.

"I'm not going to discount Cam as far as the game yesterday," Berry said. "But going forward, you have to give Peter an opportunity maybe. When Cam gets an opportunity, he's going to have to play like a championship goaltender coming back.

"(Cam) is an outstanding person and a winner. He'll get his opportunity and make the most of it."

Thome said he doesn't have any expectations about playing time down the stretch.

"Your guess is as good as mine," he said. "It doesn't matter to me whether I'm playing or not; I'll be ready."

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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