The men’s team is off this weekend, but that doesn’t mean no hockey at the Ralph.
The women’s team plays Ohio State in a critical WCHA matchup (7:07 tonight, 7:07 p.m. Saturday), and it will be one of the final chances for fans to see the Lamoureux twins and the rest of the seniors play in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
This is senior weekend and the final regular season home weekend.
Each of the last two years, the UND women’s hockey team set program records for wins in a season, but UND coach Brian Idalski questioned whether they were fresh at the end of the season.
This year, the staff took a little bit of a different approach and the women’s team has taken a page out of the men’s team by going on a second-half run. UND is 16-5 in the last 21 games and is undefeated against teams not named Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What’s even more impressive about their recent run is that they’ve done it minus several key players. Josefine Jakobsen, who had a 9-point weekend against MSU-Mankato, was gone last weekend. So did Tanja Eisenschmid, who has arguably been UND’s most consistent defenseman this season outside of Monique Lamoureux. Andrea Dalen and Jorid Dagfinrud have missed the last two weekends, too.
The Europeans will be back again this weekend for a huge series against the Buckeyes, who took a game from UND in Columbus earlier this season.
Upon further review, Jocelyne Lamoureux set two records last weekend. Everyone knows about the all-time WCHA record that she broke, but in doing so, she also tied the WCHA record for most assists in a game with six.
As the records fall, Lamoureux is getting recognized as a Patty Kazmaier Award finalist once again. USA Hockey wrote a story on her here.
Monique, meanwhile, also is getting buzz as a Patty Kazmaier Award finalist for putting the team first and playing defense.
If you go to the game tonight, you will hear a loud yell after every UND goal. What’s behind that? Here’s the fan feature from WDAZ.
The women’s team enters this weekend’s series at No. 8 in the Pairwise, which is the lowest possible position in order to earn an NCAA tournament berth. It’s going to be extremely difficult to move up, but if they can hold their position, they’ll have a chance at the NCAAs.
That’s what makes this weekend so critical. Ohio State is the best team UND has played in about a month. In the meantime, Wisconsin (No. 9 in the Pairwise) has a difficult series against Duluth (No. 10 in the Pairwise). Duluth is UND’s opponent next weekend.
Come back tonight for a live chat and a live box score.