Power play could be key

UND’s success this weekend may all hinge on the power play.

Take a look at the 12 forwards — UND’s only healthy ones — that will be in the lineup tonight.

Eight of them have not scored a goal this season. Yes, only four forwards in tonight’s line chart will have goals this season. Seven of UND’s 12 forwards will have combined for one assist.

UND didn’t get a ton of scoring out of the third and fourth lines during the first month of the season, and there’s not much proven scoring on those units this weekend.

That’s one reason why UND will need to take advantage of its scoring chances and its opportunities with the extra man.

Another reason is that Omaha has been very good defensively five-on-five. The Mavs have allowed just six even-strength goals in eight games this season.

However, the Mavs have struggled big-time to kill penalties. They have allowed more power-play opportunities (56) and more power-play goals (18) than any other team in the country.

UND has to make the power plays count because it’s hard to envision a lot of even-strength goals.

From the Mavs’ perspective, this is the beginning of a very difficult homestand. After UND, they host Michigan and Miami. The Mavs also are bitter about getting swept by UND at home last season.

A few other notes from the hockey world Friday:

  • Denver won the first-ever NCHC shootout over Colorado College. The Pioneers tied the game late in the third on an extra-attacker goal by Joey LaLeggia (a defenseman, of course). Thirteen of DU’s 20 goals have come from defenseman this year. So, who did the Pioneers use in the shootout? Defensemen. LaLeggia and David Makowski both scored. CC’s Charlie Taft and Alexander Krushelnyski both were stopped.
  • Finland stunned the U.S. 3-1 in the Four Nations tournament in Lake Placid, N.Y., sending the Americans to the third-place game in the event. Susanna Tapani had a goal and an assist and Michelle Karvinen set up Tapani’s goal. Former Gopher Noora Raty (who should have won Patty Kaz last year) stopped 58 of 59 shots.
  • UND recruit Trevor Olson continued his great play in the USHL, tallying three assists to help Sioux City to its ninth straight win. Olson, the team captain, will play his final game of the season tonight against Sioux Falls. Then, he will have season-ending surgery. Olson has 12 points in nine games.

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