Mixed feelings in Oxford
Miami coach Enrico Blasi came into this weekend’s home series against No. 19 Minnesota-Duluth feeling hopeful. His RedHawks may not have finished the two-game set feeling that way.
They did defeat UMD on a 3-on-3 overtime goal in Friday’s series opener in Oxford, Ohio, but Saturday’s rematch provided a different story. Duluth won that one 5-2, scoring four goals in the game’s first half-hour.
Those seven goals only came from a combined 37 shots on target. Miami’s 15 shots on net Saturday and UMD’s 22 were both teams’ lowest offensive outputs so far this season.
Duluth was most efficient offensively and picked up its seventh win in the Bulldogs’ past 10 games. Miami, on the other hand, now sits one point above the bottom spot in the NCHC standings. More on that later.
Omaha’s fortress penetrated
“The Denver Pioneers” became a trivia answer several times over this weekend.
On Friday, the question of which opposing team would be the first to defeat sixth-ranked Omaha in its new Baxter Arena was answered. The following night, the same response became applicable for the first team to sweep UNO inside Baxter.
The first of the No. 17 Pios’ wins this weekend came in shutout fashion. Two Will Butcher goals proved more than enough on Friday while Tanner Jaillet made 35 saves to help Denver to a 3-0 victory.
Denver picked up a series sweep Saturday after a hectic five-goal third period. Three UNO goals in that frame weren’t enough in the end to keep the Mavericks from falling 4-3 to DU.
Denver will be back at home next weekend to take on Western Michigan. Omaha will try to get back on track at top-ranked North Dakota.
CC inches toward escaping cellar
Colorado College couldn’t buy a win earlier in the season, losing each of its first 13 games of the regular season. Now, the Tigers are within touching distance of escaping the NCHC cellar.
They have a surprise split at fourth-ranked St. Cloud State to thank in part for that. After the Huskies eked past CC 2-1 on Friday, the Tigers ran out of St. Cloud 5-2 winners on Saturday night.
They did so by sharing the wealth. Five different CC players scored in the series finale, and Tigers goaltender Jacob Nehama was terrific in making 47 saves.
CC (5-17-0, 3-9) is off this next weekend before visiting North Dakota. After what the Tigers did against SCSU, CC should feel both rested and eager heading into Grand Forks.