Mark Senden is UND's shutdown centerman.
For the past two seasons, he has been handed the assignment of going against opponents' top lines game in and game out. He's a straight-forward player, tough to play against, rarely makes costly mistakes and is fantastic with puck possession, which keeps it out of the other team's hands.
It is likely that Senden, who was recently voted alternate captain, will get the same assignments this season as a junior.
But during Monday's informal four-on-four summer scrimmage in Ralph Engelstad Arena, Senden showed he has a lot more than defense in his toolbox.
Senden scored a goal and made two brilliant setups for goals, including the game-winner, as his squad won 7-6.
The former Wayzata (Minn.) High and Fargo Force captain scored his goal on a clean breakaway, going top shelf. But that wasn't his biggest highlight.
Midway through the game, Senden snuck behind the defense for a potential breakaway. The pass trickled out of his reach and just behind the goal line. With a defender right on his back, Senden reached the loose puck first and, in one motion, picked up the puck, turned his wrists and made a nifty no-look pass, through the defender to Collin Adams, who was all alone in the slot. Adams finished it for a goal.
That's the type of play you expect to see out of Hobey Baker Award finalist Jordan Kawaguchi, but not out of Senden.
Then, with the game tied 6-6, Senden did it again. He made a beautiful cross-ice feed -- from the left circle to the right -- to defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker, who hammered a one-timer for the final goal.
After Bernard-Docker's goal, his team piled onto the ice to celebrate.
UND has potential to be extremely deep up the middle this year: Adams, Shane Pinto, Jasper Weatherby and Senden could be the opening-day centers for the Fighting Hawks. If that's the case, UND should have a big advantage with its fourth line.
Kleven keeps showing offense
UND freshman defenseman Tyler Kleven, a former Fargo Davies player, will get a lot of publicity ahead of the draft for his punishing style.
But during these summer skates, he keeps showing there's more to his game.
One sequence Monday, in particular, stood out.
Kleven first made a terrific saucer pass to Carson Albrecht for a chance. Then, moments later, he scored a highlight-reel goal.
Kleven skated up the right side and attempted to cut toward the middle. A defender tried to cut off Kleven, but he put the puck through the defender, picked it up on the other side and rifled a shot to the corner of the net.
It has been well documented that Kleven has a heavy point shot. But what's been overlooked is that he has pretty good skating and hands, too, which will allow him to get open for shots.
Matt Kiersted, Bernard-Docker and Jake Sanderson are clearly the top three offensive players from the back end, so it's doubtful that Kleven will see a lot of power play time as a freshman, but there's no doubt he will later in his career.
Three players had multi-goal games.
Adams scored twice. He buried the feed from Senden for the first one. He got down on a knee for a Brett Hull-style one-timer for his second goal, finishing a pass from Weatherby.
Adams has been terrific all summer. He also showed great effort defensively on another play. A puck hopped to the neutral zone and it appeared that Mitchell Miller was going to have a breakaway. But Adams made a diving play to knock the puck away from Miller at the last second.
Grand Forks native Judd Caulfield also scored twice. Caulfield finished off a great passing play from Griffin Ness to Shane Pinto to Caulfield for a tap-in. On his second goal, he got the puck with room in the slot and ripped one off the bar and in.
Caulfield also nearly had a nice assist, making a spinning, cross-ice pass to Sanderson, who rocketed a one-timer off the post.
Ness, the freshman from Wayzata, also had two goals. He scored the first goal of the day on a rebound and he caught a bit of luck for his second one, throwing one off of a defenseman's skate and five-hole.
- Junior goalie Adam Scheel had a nice day in net. He allowed Green Team to build a 4-1 lead (goalies were switching after every two goals allowed).
- Kawaguchi may be pass-first most of the time, but he showed his accurate shot, sniping one on Scheel from the left circle.
- The other three goals were from defensemen -- Sanderson (set up by Kleven), Kiersted (point shot through a Jackson Keane screen) and Gabe Bast (rebound of a Josh Rieger shot).
- Ethan Frisch didn't factor in the scoring, but looked very good Monday. He created quite a bit of offense.
- Players were much more engaged defensively than they were Thursday.