Cam Johnson to return this weekend for UND
GRAND FORKS — Cam Johnson will be back in the net for the University of North Dakota again this weekend.
UND coach Brad Berry said his starting goaltender will play against Western Michigan when the teams line up for a two-game series beginning at 7:37 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Johnson has missed the last eight games with a lower-body injury sustained during a morning skate in Madison, Wis. The injury occurred during the last rep of the last drill in morning skate on Nov. 3.
Freshman Peter Thome quickly was called to fill in as the starter and won that night against Wisconsin in the Kohl Center. Thome, who is from Minneapolis, has started all eight games in Johnson’s absence, going 3-2-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
Johnson was 5-2-1 with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage before his injury.
UND hasn’t revealed Johnson’s specific injury, but he missed the exact same number of weeks — four — as he did during his sophomore year because of a groin injury.
Johnson returned that season to lead UND to its eighth national championship.
Berry did not specify whether Johnson would be in the net for both games or just one against the No. 10 Broncos, but he has been practicing for two weeks now.
UND also will have junior forward Joel Janatuinen back in the lineup this weekend. Janatuinen missed last weekend’s series against Union College because of illness.
The No. 6 Fighting Hawks are still expected to be without sophomore forward Dixon Bowen and senior forward Trevor Olson.
Bowen has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury. Olson has missed eight games with an upper-body injury.
UND enters the series against Western Michigan on a three-game winless streak (0-2-1). It has one more series — next weekend at No. 2 St. Cloud State — before Christmas break.