The student section is rather small, the building doesn’t get real loud and the atmosphere is sometimes lacking in Magness Arena. But this place, more than any other in the WCHA, is where UND has struggled the most in the last eight seasons.
It’s the only WCHA building where UND has a losing record since Dave Hakstol has been named coach and the Sioux have a long stretch of scoring futility — in part because they haven’t played there in two of the last three years — in Magness Arena.
A note that didn’t make the story: UND has scored 10 even-strength goals in Magness since Thanksgiving 2003. Jonathan Toews and T.J. Oshie have seven of them.
UND has .500 marks in Kohl Center, Mariucci Arena and World Arena under Hakstol. Its best road records, not including the two newest WCHA members, are at Tech (10-1-1), Mankato (8-1-1) and Duluth (8-4-1).
The only player on the roster with a point at Magness is Danny Kristo. As most of you already know, Kristo has become a consistent, reliable player this year to go along with his gamebreaking offensive abilities. What you may not know? He actually grew up in Carmel, Ind.
This week’s Q&A is with Mario Lamoureux. He talks about his North Dakota state hockey tournament memories and answers the $1 million question: Who should win Patty Kaz? Read that here.
During UND’s last trip to Denver, the Pioneers ended UND’s streak of not getting swept that spanned about three years. This time, it’s the Pioneers who have a long streak of not getting swept by WCHA teams.
A quick look at standings and Pairwise Rankings and you will know that this is a critical series for both teams.
Where will UND end up in the Pairwise Rankings after this weekend? Jim Dahl has another fantastic breakdown on SiouxSports.com.
We all have an idea of who leads UND in goals, assists and points. But how about some lesser-publicized stats?
UND sports info director Jayson Hajdu posted a blog entry from practice Thursday.
This week’s episode of Through These Doors is available here.
There are a few other stories of note going around the country:
Big-time recruit Seth Jones is choosing between UND and the WHL. ESPN The Magazine wrote a story about the decision he is facing.
College Hockey News says that coaches around the country are furious over Paul Kelly’s ouster from College Hockey Inc. Kelly talked to Chris Peters from the United States of Hockey blog and Peters will post his comments in the morning.
USCHO has an update on the WCHA’s future. One question will be where commissioner Bruce McLeod will hold office. It currently is on the campus of Denver, which will no longer be part of the WCHA.
The UND-Denver series isn’t the only one that will be play a significant role in shaping the postseason standings.
St. Cloud State at Michigan Tech: These teams are one point apart in 7th and 8th place. Can one of them make a charge at home ice?
Colorado College at Minnesota-Duluth: Colorado College currently sits at No. 19 in the Pairwise Rankings, but its first trip to AmsOil Arena gives the Tigers a wonderful chance to get back in the NCAA tournament picture.
Minnesota at Nebraska-Omaha: The Gophers are battling for the MacNaughton Cup. The Mavericks want to secure home ice.
Wisconsin at Bemidji: The 9th and 10th-place teams battle for positioning in the WCHA standings.
Alaska Anchorage vs. Alaska: The Seawolves and Nanooks play a home-and-home in the Governor’s Cup series. Anchorage already has locked up last place.
On the women’s side, it’s already playoff time.
It will be the last weekend in The Ralph for UND’s senior class. This was coach Brian Idalski’s first full recruiting class. They bought in to what Idalski was selling, and things have turned out better than they thought it would. Read their comments here.
USCHO had a lengthy story on the Lamoureux twins and their pursuit of the Patty Kaz. Read it here.
Sioux goalie Steph Ney checks in with her weekly journal and says it’s going to be a difficult series.
One huge reason why it will be a difficult series? Bemidji State all-world goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova. The Slovakian Olympian will go down as one of the Beavers greatest players.
Another notable women’s hockey game will be going on in the afternoon — a Minnesota state semifinal game between Warroad and South St. Paul. The game features four Sioux recruits. South St. Paul senior defenseman Sam LaShomb, a UND recruit, talks about playing against future teammates in this Pioneer Press story.