Jacks defeat USD, take on Dordt next

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

The rivalry may be old, but the passion it inspires is not. Due to the club status of the men’s hockey, they are the only SDSU team that continues to play the University of South Dakota.

The Jacks defeated the Coyotes in two previous games in Vermillion earlier this season, so the team’s confidence was high heading into the weekend series.

Senior winger Jake Gustafson said it feels good going into a weekend when you know you have played well against that team before and expect to do well again.

“We still consider them a pretty big rival,” said Gustafson. “We just wanted to pound them again, shove it in their face.”

The Jacks did pound the Coyotes again, winning 9-3 on Feb. 2 and 7-2 on Feb. 3, improving their record to 15-5-1.

In the first game, two different SDSU players had hat tricks. Brian Hermanson and Roy Sando each netted three goals in the Jacks’ victory. Hermanson added another goal in the second contest, while Sando almost scored another hat trick, getting two goals in Saturday night’s game.

Sando and Hermanson led the offense, but the Jacks’ defense also played well, limiting USD’s shot total.

“We played better defense,” said Gustafson.

He also said the goalies, Brad VanSanten and Dan Ingemansen, played well, even though they did not face many shots.

“They came up big when they needed to,” said Gustafson.

The weekend series was very physical. The two teams combined for more than 20 penalties in each game.

Penalties did not kill the Jacks though. USD only managed one power play goal all weekend, while the Jacks scored two short-handed goals.

“It (committing penalties) didn’t nip us in the butt,” said Gustafson.

The fans loved the USD matchup as much as the players do. More than 1,000 fans showed up at Larson Ice Center to cheer on the Jacks. Gustafson said when SDSU traveled to Vermillion, the Coyote fans were really into the game and threw garbage onto the ice after the Jackrabbit victories.

No garbage was thrown onto the ice this past weekend though.

“Our fans are great,” said Gustafson.

The Jacks next travel to Dordt College on Feb. 9 and 10. The two teams split their earlier series this year in Brookings. Dordt enters the game with a 16-9-1-1 record.

“It’ll be a big series,” said Gustafson. “They’ve been playing pretty good too this semester.”

Gustafson said the team needs to focus on shutting down Dordt’s big guy, Nathaniel Woodstra, who leads the team with 48 points (29 goals and 19 assists).

He also said the Jacks have been scoring a lot of goals this semester, something they will need to continue to do.

“Hopefully, all of our guys will produce,” he said.

#1.883789:1587208204.jpg:hermanson, brian.jpg:South Dakota State’s Brian Hermanson skates with the puck against the University of South Dakota in the Jackrabbits’ victory on Feb. 2. Hermanson scored three goals in Friday night’s contest.: