Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Gameday: "We Don't Wanna Share That Thing"

With a 4-2, 4-1 sweep last weekend in Omaha and a subsequent sweep by UMD over St. Cloud State, the UND men's hockey team clinched a share of the Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular season champions.

For the Green and White, simply put, that isn't enough.

Senior Bryn Chyzyk made that point very clear in this interview for "Through These Doors" after the Saturday win over the Mavericks.

As Chyzyk said, "We don't wanna share that thing."

Chyzyk and his three senior classmates, Drake Caggiula, Colten St. Clair and Coltyn Sanderson, will play their last regular season series in the Ralph Engelstad Arena this weekend as Western Michigan comes to town.

With 1 point this weekend, UND will win the Penrose outright, but with the playoffs just one week away, the Green and White cannot let off the gas.

Here's what to watch for as North Dakota and WMU set to faceoff in DDC's weekly "Who? What? How?" series preview.


Players to watch

Western Michigan

WMU Fr. F, Griffen Molino

Fr. F, Griffen Molino, 10 goals, 11 assists -- 21 points; Jr. F, Sheldon Dries, 10g, 7a -- 17 pts; Sr. F, Nolan LaPorte, 7g, 7a -- 14 pts; So. F, Frederik Tiffels, 6g, 7a -- 13 pts; Fr. F, Colt Conrad, 5g, 8a -- 13 pts; Sr. G., Lukas Hafner, 5-16-3, 3.59 goals against average, .897 save percentage.


Fr. F, Brock Boeser, 22g (2nd in NCAA in rookie goals, T-4 overall in NCAA), 15a -- 37 pts (5th in NCAA in rookie scoring); Sr. F, Drake Caggiula, 17g, 19a -- 36 pts; So. F, Nick Schmaltz, 4g, 26a (5th in NCAA in assists per game with .93) -- 30 pts; Jr. D, Troy Stecher, 6g, 16a -- 22 pts; So. F, Austin Poganski, 8g, 13a -- 21 pts; So. G, Cam Johnson, 17-3-1 (2nd in NCAA in win percentage), 1.54 GAA (2nd in NCAA), .940 SV PCT (2nd in NCAA), 5 shutouts (T-5 in NCAA).


Standout Stats

UND Fr. F, Brock Boeser
leads the NCHC in goals
(17) and points (29) in
conference games.

UND is allowing just 1.82 goals per game which slates them second in the NCAA.

The Green and White are 10th in the NCAA in goals per game with a 3.35 average. Western Michigan is 51st in the country at 2.19.

UND freshman Brock Boeser leads the NCHC in both goals (17) and points (29) in conference games. No North Dakota freshman has ever finished the season a top the conference scoring charts in either category.

North Dakota has the country's 6th-best penalty kill at 87.6% and since December 1st, the Green and White leads the NCAA with a 95.5% mark including 12 straight kills in their last four games.

The Green and White are 20-0-2 when leading after 2 periods this season and has not lost when leading after two in more than two years.


How'd they get here?

No. 2 UND (No. 2 in PWR, 26-5-3, 17-4-1-1 -- 53 points, clinched at least a share of NCHC regular season title) swept Nebraska Omaha in Omaha 4-2, 4-1.

Western Michigan (8-21-3, 5-16-1-1 -- 17 pts, 7th in NCHC) was swept at home against Denver, 5-1, 4-1.

North Dakota swept the Broncos 2-0, 2-1 in Kalamazoo on January 29-30.

The Pick

DDC had to think hard last weekend, for a variety of reasons, to pick a sweep against Nebraska Omaha.

While the thought of a letdown after a convincing sweep that clinched UND's 17th conference title, the most in college hockey history, has crossed DDC's mind, this blogger just doesn't see it happening.

It's senior weekend at the Ralph and the four men leaving this program at season's end won't let the Green and White take a step back.

UND clinched at least a share of the Penrose Cup with a sweep last weekend
in Omaha. Will the Green and White skate away from their series
against the Western Michigan Broncos as outright champions?

WMU plays an aggressive and physical style of play, evidenced by two tight-checking games in Kalamazoo. UND grinded out a sweep 2-0, 2-1 in January and the Broncos will look to bring the same type of game to the Ralph

One point separates UND from outright possession of the Penrose Cup and DDC expects the Green and White to come out firing on Friday night to earn that. 

The Green and White are more talented in every facet than this WMU squad and with the conference tournament one week away, it's time for UND to flex its muscles.


Thanks for reading. Check back early next week to see if UND didn't have to share the Penrose.

No comments:

Post a Comment