Five highlights from around the country:
1. Denver’s winless streak is at eight games after a 5-1 loss to Bemidji State on Saturday night. The Pioneers have scored just one goal in five of the last eight games. Since rumors broke that he was thinking about going to the WHL, Quentin Shore has zero points in four games and is a minus-7.
2. The last time Michigan started a third-string goalie, he ended up leading Michigan to the national championship game. The same move — starting a third-string goalie — paid off for Red Berenson again Saturday night as Adam Janecyk posted a 25-save shutout to lead the Wolverines to a 2-0 win over Western Michigan.
3. St. Cloud State moved into first place alone with a 3-1 win over slumping Colorado College. The Tigers have just 1 win in the last 10 games (and they were outshot by 21 in that win).
4. Dean Blais decided to play 10 forwards and 8 defensemen in the series finale and it paid off. Omaha beat Mankato 5-1 to earn a series split. Mankato’s seven-game winning streak is now over.
5. Notre Dame continues to stay hot with a 4-1 win over Bowling Green. The Irish held the Falcons to 19 shots on goal. It marked the ninth straight game that Notre Dame has held its opponent to two or fewer goals.
WCHA top performers
3 points — Danny Kristo, UND, 1 goal, 2 assists
3 points — Brance Orban, Bemidji State, 1 goal, 2 assists
3 points — David Boehm, Bemidji State, 1 goal, 2 assists
2 points — Jeff Jubinville, Bemidji State, 2 goals
UND 4, Michigan Tech 1
UND made its last trip to Houghton as a member of the WCHA and Michigan Tech may not be eager to have UND back any time soon. With Saturday night’s 4-1 win, UND has now outscored Tech 27-5 in the last four games in John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Game stories:
Mining Gazette (no link yet)
- St. Cloud State will enter Christmas break in first place, one point ahead of UND, but the Huskies have played two more league games. UND has the top winning percentage in WCHA games.
- UND seemed to have three of its four lines rolling after Friday’s game. The lone exception was the third line. The coaching staff swapped Connor Gaarder and Colten St. Clair from their spots at center and right wing on that line and they scored on their first shift. Overall, they were more involved Saturday than the previous few games.
- One key point in the game was Clarke Saunders’ save on a Dennis Rix penalty shot. That kept the score at 4-1. Had Rix scored, it would have been a two-goal game and the Huskies had a two-minute power play to follow (and had Rix scored, it would have been to make it a one-goal game).
- The third period was really sloppy. Both teams seemed to know the outcome.
- One night after not registering any shots, Derek Forbort had six shots from the blue line.
- Tech’s top defensive pairing of Riley Sweeney and Steven Seigo registered a minus-5, often working against UND’s top line.
- Corban Knight extended his point streak to 13 games and was absolutely dominant for large portions of the game. He could make a run at the WCHA scoring title, especially if his line keeps clicking.
- UND has now outshot its opponent by 10-plus shots in five of the last six games.
- Coach Dave Hakstol said he’s hopeful that Michael Parks will be back for the Holy Cross series on Jan. 4-5. It is highly likely that Rocco Grimaldi will be gone at the World Juniors for that one, so getting Parks back would be big.
- Mitch MacMillan is expected to be eligible for the Holy Cross series as well.
- The team will travel back to Grand Forks and have a couple of more work days. Then, it will have seven days off for Christmas. The players say they hope the break will recharge some batteries and get them ready for the stretch run.