The day at Ralph Engelstad Arena started with the UND women taking care of business against MSU-Mankato in the first round of the WCHA playoffs with a 6-1 win.
It ended with the men taking care of business against Bemidji State, grabbing a 4-2 victory in a game that lacked flow and scoring chances.
Both teams have the opportunity to take a big step toward their ultimate goals today.
The women play the Mavs at 2:07 p.m. in what could be the final game at Ralph Engelstad Arena for the Lamoureux twins and their fellow seniors. It’s likely a must win if UND wants to get to the NCAA tournament.
The men take on the Beavs at 7:07 in what will be a celebration of the team’s seniors. UND could take a big step to solidifying an 11th straight NCAA tournament appearance and another first-round home series if they can finish off the sweep.
I can’t find my women’s game story online, so we’ll start with the men’s stories:
- UND stayed at No. 5 in the Pairwise with the win. It can clinch home ice tonight with a win AND a loss or a tie by either Wisconsin or Denver.
- Omaha’s Ryan Walters took a 1-point lead over Danny Kristo tonight in the chase for the WCHA scoring title. Kristo had one point on Friday, his first-ever against Bemidji state.
- UND really started to establish itself in the second period, outshooting the Beavers 10-2 in that frame. Bemidji State didn’t even attempt a shot below the dots in that frame.
- Mark MacMillan has 6 points in the last 2 games. In addition to his goals and points, he also may have saved a goal from going in during the third period after it rolled down the back of goalie Clarke Saunders and inches away from the line. Mark also went 8-3 on faceoffs.
- I thought the Beavers did a great job with UND’s top line. They got one goal late when Joe Gleason blasted a point shot off of a skate and in, but for the most part, they were bottled up a little bit.
- Bemidji State played the type of game it wants to play against UND — one where there’s not a lot of space out there and not a ton of scoring chances. The Beavers also only gave UND one power play on the evening, which made coach Tom Serratore happy.
- Derek Rodwell returned to the lineup for Brendan O’Donnell. I got a sense after the game that Rodwell has earned another start tonight.
- It will be interesting to see who gets the start in net in the series finale.
On the women’s side, UND got contributions from across the lineup again, which was key to the win over Minnesota State-Mankato. UND also was able to build a 4-0 lead in the first period and take away any hope for the Mavs. A couple of other quick notes:
- UND is on a program-best 11-game unbeaten streak (10-0-1) overall and a 22-game unbeaten streak against unranked teams (21-0-1).
- If UND makes the Final Faceoff, it will likely play the 4:07 p.m. game (likely against Wisconsin).
- If the current paths continue, the UND-Wisconsin game next weekend would likely determine the final spot in the NCAA tournament.
- Monique Lamoureux needs two points to match Hilary Knight for second all-time in WCHA scoring, only behind Jocelyne — a remarkable feat considering how much defense she’s played in her career.