He grew up attending games at the house his grandfather, Earl, then the president of the UND Alumni Association, was so instrumental in getting built.
He came to admire the way T.J. Oshie used his body in the corner to win puck battles, the unconventional creativity of Evan Trupp and the goal-scoring ability of Matt Frattin. While watching it all as a kid from Fargo, Strinden set one lofty goal for himself: to someday play hockey at UND.
On Monday, Strinden took a big step toward that goal.
Strinden, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound center, received an offer from the UND coaching staff during a Zoom call and gave a verbal commitment on the spot.
“This has been my dream and my goal literally ever since I started playing hockey,” said Strinden, whose parents, Tom and Michelle, both graduated from UND. “I’d come to every home game every Friday night, go to Suite 234 and watch with my grandparents and family. I’ve had a fire to get to this spot my whole life. It’s pretty surreal right now to be able to commit.”
According to Herald and UND archives, it appears Strinden will become the first former Fargo South/Shanley hockey player to suit up at UND.
UND’s other Fargo players attended other schools.
Freshman Tyler Kleven played at Fargo Davies. Aaron Walski (2005-09), Pat O’Leary (2000-01), Gary Kaiser (1986-87) and Brian Williams (1982-86) all played at Fargo North. The only other Fargoans listed in the UND media guide are Walter Running (1953-56) and James South (1946-47). They both pre-dated Fargo South High School, which opened in 1967.
Strinden led Fargo South/Shanley in both goals (11) and points (27) as a freshman. He played his sophomore and junior seasons with NorthStar Christian Academy in Alexandria, Minn. He’ll play this year, his senior season, with Muskegon (Mich.) in the United States Hockey League.
Strinden, who will spend two or three years in junior hockey before arriving at UND, also received interest from St. Cloud State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Bemidji State and Michigan Tech.
“This summer, after the USHL draft, these schools started contacting me,” Strinden said. “That’s when things with UND really started picking up and they offered me. It was my first offer and I took it.”
The scouting report on Strinden is that he’s a relentless player, who has a knack for scoring goals around the net. Strinden tallied 29 goals as a sophomore and 26 as a junior. He has primarily played center, but has the ability to play wing, too.
“I’m just super pumped and ready to get to work,” said Strinden, who shoots right-handed.
For now, Strinden has one other urgent task to complete: notifying grandpa of his commitment.
“I think he’s going to be even more excited than I am,” Strinden said.