One of the stats that jumped out at me in the game notes this week is that UND has not had a five-game winless streak in 10 years. That’s a remarkable amount of time not to go on a skid as relatively short as five games.
During that span, every other WCHA team has had at least three five-game winless streaks (Denver 3, Minnesota 3 and Colorado College 4 the next fewest). Wisconsin has had four such streaks in the last two years alone.
Regardless, UND could reached that five-game mark if it does not win tonight against the hottest team in the WCHA in town.
How do they do that avoid another one-point weekend?
The players harped on consistency this week, saying that the typical second-half run doesn’t just automatically happen because they have a North Dakota jersey on. And they are certainly going to need to find that consistency if they want to be the first WCHA team to beat Wisconsin since November.
Last year, the Badgers left the Ralph with 1 win in 10 road games. This year, they come here with just 1 loss in 10 road games, a complete turnaround from last year. Wisconsin’s road record is second best in the nation.
What will this weekend’s results mean in the Pairwise, where UND is ranked 10th? Read all about it in Jim Dahl’s breakdown.
One guy UND hopes to get going offensively this weekend is Michael Parks, who has two points in the last six games. He’s been playing with his linemates of last year, Carter Rowney and Mark MacMillan. Read a short Q&A with Parks, who talks about coming back from the injury.
The topic of Thursday’s story was diving in college hockey. WCHA director of officials says it has become a problem and UND coach Dave Hakstol agrees. No one can deny that it is making the game very difficult to officiate, and Shepherd says he hopes this trend will leave the game. Read the comments here.
The lead of this week’s On The Ice column is Matt Frattin, who has now scored game-winning goals for the Leafs in back-to-back games. Despite starting the year in the minors, he’s the Leafs’ leading goal-scorer right now. Read more here.
On the women’s side, UND is in Mankato — a place that has not been great to the program over the years. In fact, UND has just 4 wins in 20 all-time games in All Seasons Arena and zero sweeps.
The seniors want to change that this weekend. Read that story here.
Check back this afternoon for the pregame video with Tom Miller and myself. We’ll give a rundown on all WCHA teams and our picks for the weekend. Until then, here’s a new Through These Doors.