If the NCAA used KRACH to select the eight-team field, UND would be safely in the national tournament heading into the WCHA Final Faceoff.
But, it does not.
The NCAA uses the Pairwise, which has not been kind to WCHA teams this season, and there’s a very good chance that today’s game between UND and Wisconsin will determine the final spot in the NCAA tournament.
I think the key to this matchup for UND is getting some production out of the third line — or finding some source of scoring that isn’t counted on every game. This would be a great time for Mary Loken to get No. 1 of the season or for someone like Megan Gilbert, Andrea Dalen or Becca Kohler to chip one in.
UND has been getting some decent secondary scoring in the second half of the season and I think it will be key for that to continue.
UND also will be keying on forward Brianna Decker, who has scored almost 30 percent of Wisconsin’s goals this season.
The Badgers, meanwhile, will key on UND’s top players — the Lamoureux twins. Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson says if the Badgers can shut them down, it’s advantage Wisconsin. Read that story here.
The Lamoureux twins, specifically Jocelyne, might be a little salty after the WCHA awards that were handed out Thursday.
There’s a story on WCHA.com that has a quote from coach Brian Idalski about how Minnesota’s dominance is killing the other league schools in the Pairwise. Read that here.
The Lamoureux twins have wanted to hang a banner in The Ralph. And the chance to do that starts with the game at 4:07 p.m. today.
If you want to listen to the game, it will be on The Fan 1440 AM with Darrin Looker doing the play by play. Tom Miller will be covering it for the Herald, so look for coverage in Saturday’s paper (and on the website Friday afternoon).