TAMPA, Fla. — Forward Luke Johnson did not practice with the North Dakota team Friday. Instead, the junior watched his teammates from the stands, with his left leg braced and crutches nearby.
There’s no official word on Johnson’s injury or status, but he left Thursday’s 4-2 win over Denver in the second period after a mid-ice collision.
Johnson (11-10–21) played every game for the Fighting Hawks this season, centering a trio that coach Brad Berry calls “The Heavy Line,” flanked by freshman Rhett Gardner on his left and sophomore Austin Poganski to his right. It’s a combo that Berry likes to match against opponents’ top-scoring lines.
“Well, he’s meant a lot,” Berry said after Thursday’s game. “And again he plays consistent every single game that he plays, but it seems like this time of year he really plays well. He’s a gamer.”
Johnson’s departure “threw a wrench” into the lineup, according to Berry. Johnson had the game-winning goal against Northeastern in the Midwest Regional and another goal against Michigan in Cincinnati.