Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Gameday: No Love Loss

It's Valentine's Day weekend for all the lovebirds around the world, but if he had to guess, DDC knows there won't be much love shown this weekend at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The No. 2 UND men's hockey team welcomes National Collegiate Hockey Conference and longtime foe, No. 9 Denver to Grand Forks with huge Penrose Cup points on the line.

North Dakota trails Omaha by just one point entering the weekend while the Pioneers are fighting for home ice. DU sits in 5th just one point back of Minnesota Duluth for that coveted fourth spot and home ice for the NCHC tournament.

DDC fancies himself a bit of an innovator and brings a new Friday format to his gameday preview this week.

Here's the Who, What and How of this heated rivalry renewed.


Players to watch


Fr. F, Danton Heinen, 10 goals, 19 assists – 29 points
So. F, Trevor Moore, 13g, 13a – 26 pts
Sr. D, Joey LaLeggia, 9g, 15a – 24 pts

Fr. G, Tanner Jaillet, started last 6-out-of-9 games including a 30-save 3-0 shutout win vs. Colorado College last Friday, 30 Saves; 9-4-0, 1.97 gaa, .927 sv pct
So. G, Evan Cowley, got win in split versus UND in November, 7-5-1, 2.05, .927


Jr. F, Drake Caggiula, 11 goals, 16 assists  – 27 points
Sr. F, Michael Parks, 9g, 18a – 27 pts
Sr. F, Mark MacMillan, 15g, 8a – 23 pts

Jr. G, Zane McInyre, 19-6-2, 1.96 goals against average (11th in NCAA), .931 save percentage (10th in NCAA). 19 wins T-2 in NCAA.


Standout stats


3.00 Goals per game, 2.15 goals allowed per game (T-9 in NCAA), 22.5% Power Play (6th in NCAA), 87.6% Penalty Kill (9th in NCAA)


3.44 GPG (9th in NCAA), 2.14 GAG (8 in NCAA), 20.9% PP, 84.8% PK
DU 4-5-1 on the road, 4-7-1 when giving up first goal.

Milestone Mac?

With three points this weekend, senior forward Mark MacMillan would top the 100 point total for his career.


How’d they get here?



No. 9 PWR, No. 9 USCHO, 16-9-1 overall, 9-7-0, 27 points, 5th in NCHC.
Beat CC 3-0 last Friday.


No. 2 PWR, No. 2 USCHO, 19-6-2 overall, 10-5-1, 31 pts, 2nd in NCHC.
Didn’t play last week.

Last meeting: Split, Denver 3-1, UND 4-1, December 12 and 13th in Denver

The Pick

It’s been almost exactly seven years since the Green and White swept the Pioneers. Way back on Feb. 15 and 16, 2008, UND rallied from a 4-1 deficit on Friday night on the heels of an Andrew Kozek hat trick for a 5-4 win and got the sweep with a 4-1 on Saturday. DDC remembers Kozek’s performance very vividly as the forward launched his patented laser wrister twice and buried a rebound to complete the comeback. Not many times has the REA rocked that loud. Here's Koz's second and third goals:

UND could need a performance like Kozek’s to pull off the sweep this weekend as both teams are playing well and points are huge with just eight games to go in the race for the league title.

In the What? section of this preview a big stat stands out to DDC. Denver is just 4-5-1 on the road this season. UND was off last week and DDC thinks the Green and White play at an elite this weekend and the road woes continue for the Pios. Expect to see a heck of a series this weekend. Shutting down the high-paced defensive corps and vaunted power play will be key for UND.

UND sweeps, 3-2, 4-2