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Jackson Blake named NCHC rookie of the month

The UND forward tied teammate Riese Gaber as the league's scoring leader for January.

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Fighting Hawks forward Jackson Blake (9) carries the puck around the back of the Broncos goal as Western Michigan netminder Cameron Rowe (31) tracks him in the first period of an NCHC men's hockey game at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks on Saturday, January 14, 2023.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — UND freshman Jackson Blake started the month playing for the U.S. World Junior Team.

He ended it tied for the most points of any player in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in January.

Blake was named NCHC rookie of the month for January on Wednesday after tallying three goals and nine points in eight games. He tied linemate Riese Gaber for the NCHC lead in points during the month.

"It's pretty cool," Blake said. "It's a cool honor, but I think we're just really focused on winning these games and hopefully getting a sweep in Denver in two weeks."

The busy month started in Halifax, N.S., where Blake won a bronze medal at the World Junior Championship on Jan. 5.


He flew back to Grand Forks the next day, getting to Ralph Engelstad Arena less than two hours before puck drop against Lindenwood. Blake tallied an assist that night in a UND victory. It was his eighth game in 12 days.

The freshman winger had a two-assist night against Western Michigan, a goal and an assist in a win over Minnesota Duluth and a four-point weekend — two goals, two assists — at Miami.

Blake is now the leading scorer for the Fighting Hawks with 30 points.

The only UND rookies to reach the 30-point mark in the last decade are Tyson Jost (2016-17) and Brock Boeser (2015-16).

"I've learned that if you work as hard as you can in the D-zone, you'll get more offensive opportunity," Blake said. "That's really what I've learned the last couple of months and the whole entire year."

UND has this weekend off before playing a two-game series at Denver on Feb. 10-11.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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