Late Saturday night, we learned that UND clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs for the 11th straight season.
We also know that UND’s first round opponent will be Anchorage, Michigan Tech, Bemidji State, Colorado College, Denver, Omaha or Wisconsin. In other words, we don’t know a whole lot yet.
If UND gets one win against the Mavs, it will guarantee a top-three seed.
Also of note, if multiple teams tie for the MacNaughton Cup, they will be declared co-champions. They will be seeded for the conference tournament and St. Cloud State has the tiebreaker over everyone.
UND grabbed a 2-2 tie with Bemidji State in a game that UND had to play from behind a couple of times. Game stories:
- UND dropped to No. 7 in the Pairwise Rankings after the weekend.
- There’s still lots of time for things to change, but right now, there’s potential for a huge mess for the committee to sort out. WCHA teams are current ranked 7, 8, 9 and 10 (typically, 7 plays 10, 8 plays 9). But they don’t want conference matchups in the first round. As I said, there’s enough time for things to change, but that would be a mess.
- Jordan Schmaltz scored the game-tying goal on a blast from the point. Schmaltz’s development has been apparent the last few weeks. He’s really gaining confidence and I can see why he was one of the USHL’s best the last two years.
- Corban Knight became the first player at UND to have two 30-assist seasons since Zach Parise.
- Mitch MacMillan led all players with five shots on goal.
- One of the big keys for Bemidji State was to play with the lead much of the weekend. They are a team that doesn’t score a ton and would probably struggle to play from behind, so scoring first was huge for the Beavers.
- Grand Forks Central’s Matt Carlson got the call for the Beavs in the series finale and he made a huge play by blocking a Rocco Grimaldi shot with the shaft of his stick early in the first period. If not for the shot deflection, Grimaldi would have easily scored. BSU came down and scored right after that.
- Zane Gothberg maybe came up with the play of the day stoning Ben Kinne on a breakaway in the final seconds of the game. Kinne is one of BSU’s top offensive players.
- The Beavers did a terrific job on UND’s top line. Knight, Grimaldi and Danny Kristo were held without a goal on the weekend, though they all did get assists.