College hockey: UND set for showdown
The stretch run is coming. In a few days, the University of North Dakota men's hockey team will find out what that means. This weekend's series against Denver may determine whether the rest of the regular season will be spent fighting for the Mac...
The stretch run is coming.
In a few days, the University of North Dakota men's hockey team will find out what that means.
This weekend's series against Denver may determine whether the rest of the regular season will be spent fighting for the MacNaughton Cup or for home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Beat the Pioneers twice and UND will be in first place. Lose twice and the Sioux will find themselves in a jumbled mess of teams battling to stay in the league's top five.
"Right now, things are looking good," UND associate coach Cary Eades said, "but that can all change Friday night."
First-place Denver (23 points) is 9-1-1 in the last 11 games and hasn't lost a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest since Nov. 21. Fourth-place UND (20 points) is 9-2-1 in the last 12 and is unbeaten in six straight WCHA games.
The second- and third-place teams, Wisconsin (22 points) and Minnesota (21), are idle this weekend.
"We're very aware that (the Sioux) are playing a lot better than in the first half of the schedule," Denver coach George Gwozdecky said.
Denver leads the WCHA in both scoring offense (3.65 goals per game) and scoring defense (2.22). Sophomore goalie Marc Cheverie has the best goals-against average (2.19), save percentage (.925) and winning percentage (.696) in the league.
"They've got lots of skill and they are a team that's to be respected, for sure," Sioux goalie Brad Eidsness said.
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