After taking 6 of 8 points on the road at Omaha and Denver, UND is finally back home for the first time in a month.
This is a series UND needs to get wins in order to stay at its current spot in the Pairwise. As Jim Dahl points out, it’s even possible (probable) that UND drops a spot with a sweep over the Beavers.
UND has only played one team since Christmas with a losing record. That was Colorado College in January. UND split that series. Bemidji State will be the second.
The last time the Beavers were in action, they took three points from Minnesota Duluth to end a 12-game winless streak. Right now, they are working on peaking for the playoffs.
Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore said the Beavs’ special teams have been OK, but they need to start scoring more 5-on-5 goals. In the last seven games, Bemidji State has only scored 11 goals and six were at even-strength.
The theme of the weekend is that it’s Senior Weekend for UND. Seniors should be a common theme on both sides, though.
Five of Bemidji State’s top six scorers are seniors, while three of UND’s top four scorers are seniors.
One of those seniors is Danny Kristo, who is currently tied in the chase for the WCHA scoring title. Amazingly, he hasn’t tallied a single point against Bemidji State in his career. But the way things are going with the top line, don’t expect that to continue. Kristo participated in a Q&A this week but it’s not online right now. It’s in the hard copy.
Speaking of Q&As and Kristo, did you know that two of UND’s top NHL draft picks cruise campus in a minivan?
I think everyone will be keeping their eyes on the goaltending situation this weekend. In the Dave Hakstol Era, I don’t ever remember UND getting this deep in the season without knowing who its No. 1 goalie is. Read what Hakstol is saying about that here.
Today’s series preview notes that UND and Bemidji State will continue playing in the future and that Hakstol and Serratore started discussing future games even before the NCHC was formally announced.
Lastly, the USCHO weekly column talks about UND’s huge fan following during the last two road series. Read that here.
Around the league…
Ten teams are playing in conference action. Two are in nonconference. Duluth hosts Huntsville and should be able to snap its nine-game winless streak. Anchorage plays a home-and-home with Fairbanks.
Wisconsin at Omaha: The Badgers are battling for home ice, while the Mavericks are tied for third with UND. Omaha started the season 9-3-1, but is 9-9-1 since. Wisconsin is probably eager to get back on the ice after Monday’s OT loss against Penn State.
Denver at Minnesota: The Gophers are trying to catch St. Cloud State in the chase for the MacNaughton Cup. Their only WCHA sweep this year was against Anchorage at home, but they’ve five three-point weekends. Denver has allowed 16 goals in the last three games and now has to play against the nation’s top offense.
Michigan Tech at St. Cloud State: Michigan Tech will try to play spoiler in the battle of the Huskies. Tech will finish either 10th or 11th. St. Cloud State is trying to win its first-ever MacNaughton Cup.
MSU-Mankato at Colorado College: The Mavericks are in fifth, just one point back of Omaha and North Dakota for third. They’ll be taking on a mysterious Colorado College team that is 3-1-3 in its last seven games.
Because of the busy day — I’ll be going from the Alerus luncheon to the women’s game to the men’s game — there won’t be a pregame video. So for all your video needs, check out this week’s Through These Doors. It’s a tribute to the seniors.