Three things: March 6

The third regular season of NCHC hockey is in the books. Here are a few of the bigger talking points from the final weekend before the playoffs begin next weekend:

North Dakota wins Penrose Cup outright

To claim sole ownership of the NCHC regular season title, all North Dakota needed this weekend was one point at home against Western Michigan. UND didn’t waste much time getting that and then some.

The Fighting Hawks already had one hand on the Penrose Cup, but the other latched on Friday night when UND tagged Western with an 8-1 defeat. UND scored each of the game’s first five goals, and freshman standout Brock Boeser finished the game with two of them plus an assist.

Saturday’s rematch in Grand Forks, N.D., saw UND experience a greater struggle in a 5-4 win over the Broncos. WMU jumped out to a 3-1 lead in Saturday’s first period before UND needed a Drake Caggiula’s eventual game-winning goal 5:34 into the third period.

Top-seeded UND will host Colorado College next weekend in the first round of the NCHC playoffs, while Western hits the road again to take on No. 2 seed St. Cloud State

Duluth wins right to stay at home

The biggest league series this weekend that didn’t have a trophy up for grabs took place in Duluth, Minn., where Minnesota-Duluth swept Miami to earn home ice in the first round of the league playoffs.

Duluth’s opponent next weekend at the Amsoil Arena? The same team UMD just defeated twice and three times in total so far this season.

The Bulldogs gained the upper hand in their latest series against Miami on Friday when UMD pasted the RedHawks 5-0. Five different Duluth skaters found the back of the Miami net, while Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped all 20 shots he faced at the other end of the ice.

Duluth then prevailed again in Saturday’s rematch, this time handing Miami a 3-1 defeat. The teams entered Saturday’s second period tied at 1-1 before Charlie Sampair and Alex Iafallo scored in the third to allow UMD to take all six points from the series.

Omaha’s late-season struggles continue

A Frozen Four participant last season, Omaha finds its NCAA tournament hopes this time around even more unstable after a pair of road losses to Denver this weekend.

UNO’s 3-0 loss inside Magness Arena on Friday and a 2-1 defeat to the Pioneers in Saturday’s rematch saw the Mavericks’ current losing streak stretch to six games. Also worrying for UNO is the fact that the Mavs are now 4-12 in their past 16 games.

They sit in 15th place in the PairWise Rankings ahead of next week’s first round of the NCHC playoffs. UNO’s opening-round foe? Denver, currently tied for sixth in the PairWise, back in the Colorado capital.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Hey kids. I’ll be back to check in on this later — off to day job stuff. I proofread twice, but you know my old eyes…

    You can reach me on Twitter: @paulacweston
    You can reach me by email: [email protected]

    Happy Friday!

  2. Thanks, guys. Got the corrections. I knew that UAA-UAF is home-and-home (hence the “vs.” not the “at”), but I put Fairbanks there both nights anyway. And I am sorry that I just completely glossed over that series with Minnesota State. AARP is knocking on my door — obviously. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  3. hey Paula ganafu is right, there is no way Miami can take 2nd in the ccha. Miami is locked into third. Michigan will finish 2nd or first depending on tonight’s results. I think you should look into AARP…

  4. for Saturday’s UMass-Lowell vs BC game, Jim picked BC to win, but said “difficult to pick against the River Hawks.” Guess you meant Eagles?

  5. Pretty much onboard with your picks again this week, although it is hard to imagine UMD losing another 2 at home.   I am thinking split there.

  6. Wow how does the Shephard family keeps thier jobs….Someone need sto tell me what they have on Mcleod. Oh yeah Mcleod is equally incompetent. 

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