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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service, Published September 23 2013

Fargo Force player Cakebread gives verbal to UND

GRAND FORKS – After watching Christian Cakebread tally a hat trick at the United States Hockey League’s Fall Classic, recruiters flocked to the 16-year-old from Gilbert, Ariz.

“Just go ahead and name a school and they were after him,” Fargo Force coach John Marks said.

On Monday, the University of North Dakota won the race.

Cakebread, a 1997-born forward and USHL rookie, made a verbal commitment to UND after visiting the campus over the weekend. He’s projected to come in 2015.

Marks, a former UND great, said his old school got a gem.

“He’s got all the tools,” Marks said. “He can skate, he can handle the puck, shoot the puck, he has an eye for the net, he has hockey sense and he’s got a terrific work ethic. He’s got all of those intangibles that make him a good hockey player. Eventually, they are going to make him an outstanding hockey player.”

The Force pegged Cakebread as a future star and used a tender to sign him. He played last season with the Arizona Bobcats U-16 team and will play for Fargo this season.

After a strong Fall Classic, Cakebread opened the regular season Friday with two goals in a 3-2 Fargo win. Then, he visited Grand Forks and committed.

“There were a lot of disappointed schools when they found out he committed to UND,” Marks said. “As unbiased as I’m supposed to be, I’m very pleased with his decision. Being an ex-Sioux, I know the quality of school, the quality of education and the quality of hockey program up there. It’s a pretty simple decision for a guy like him.”

The Cakebread commitment continues momentum for UND, with a class of 1996-born players that features potential NHL draft picks Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Gropp, Shane Gersich, Chris Wilkie, Ryan Mantha, Austin Poganski and Rhett Gardner.

Cakebread is UND’s second 1997 committed player. He joins U.S. Under-17 team defenseman Christian Evers.

“(Cakebread) has a tremendous future in hockey,” Marks said. “And UND is one of the most outstanding college program in the country. It has been for years and will continue to be.”

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald