Friday, December 7, 2012

North Dakota vs. Denver: Notes & Links

  • North Dakota: 7-5-2 Overall (4-2-2 WCHA)
  • Denver: 9-4-1 Overall (7-2-1 WCHA)
  • Gametime: Friday 7:37 CST/Saturday 7:07 CST
  • Both games will be broadcast across the region on a variety of media outlets and as always, here's the standard broadcast information. Fox College Sports Central will also be televising both games of the series (DirecTV channel 626).
  • Series Notes: North Dakota and Denver
  • For all of the GF Herald stories, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading.
  • College Hockey News: Saunders Finds a New Home in Grand Forks
  • Series Numbers: North Dakota leads the all-time series 135-116-8, including an 80-42-5 record in Grand Forks. Denver has had relative success playing in the new Engelstad however, managing an 8-9-2 record in Grand Forks since North Dakota opened its current arena. Over the course of the previous two seasons, UND owns a 5-2 advantage over Denver, with three of those wins coming in the postseason (two at the WCHA Final Five, one in the NCAA tournament).
  • The GF Herald's Brad Schlossman wrote a great article containing a number of impressive stats that detail the staying power both Denver and North Dakota have displayed over the course of the last decade. The sustained relevance of these two programs has created a very heated rivalry, and every time they meet the games seem to carry some measure of significance. One other number that displays the consistency of this weekend's combatants? Denver and North Dakota have hosted WCHA first round playoff series each of the past nine seasons. Every other program in the conference has had to travel for the first round at least twice over that same span.  
  • North Dakota pivot Corban Knight is currently riding a nine game point streak (1G, 11A). The last time he failed to record a point was November 2nd against Boston University.
  • UND freshman Drake Caggiula scored three goals last weekend against Colorado College. When was the last time a freshman scored three times in a weekend for North Dakota? Danny Kristo accomplished the feat November 27-28, 2009 in the Subway Holiday Classic against Ohio State and Miami University.
  • At the beginning of the season, significant departures upfront led many to question where Denver would find its offensive production. During the first ten games of the season Pioneer defensemen racked up a very impressive 14 goals and were responsible for nearly a third of the team's offense as Denver jumped out to a 9-1-0 start. The last four games, however, their defensemen have produced just one goal and the team has gone winless (0-3-1). Denver head coach George Gwozdecky affords his defensive corps quite a bit of freedom to jump up into the offensive play, and the talented group will certainly warrant extra attention in the North Dakota zone this weekend.
  • Denver has played 14 games thus far in 2012-13, with only three coming on the road. One of those games was against Colorado College, making this weekend's visit to Grand Forks just the second time this season the Pioneers have travelled outside of Colorado. They swept Minnesota State in Mankato a month ago.
  • Over the course of the past five seasons, North Dakota has been swept at home just once. Denver was the evildoer, back in January of 2010.
  • Denver Post writer Mike Chambers says Denver is expected to start Juho Olkinuora in goal Friday night, and that the Fin could be in net Saturday night as well.
  • Earlier this week rumors swirled that highly-regarded freshman forward Quentin Shore was considering leaving Denver in order to join the WHL's Portland Winterhawks. Shore appears to be staying put, however, and he is excited to be making the trip to Grand Forks.
  • North Dakota forward Michael Parks remains sidelined with a lower body injury. On the Denver injury front, defenseman Nolan Zajac is expected to return to the lineup while Josiah Didier is out. Also sitting for the Pioneers is Larkin Jacobson (team suspension).
  • Seven members of this season's Pioneer squad are NHL draft picks, while 14 North Dakota players have heard their names called by NHL clubs.
  • USCHO's This Week in the WCHA 
  • USCHO's Weekend Picks
  • CHN's Tale of the Tape
  • CHN's WCHA Power Rankings
  • CHN's WCHA 3 Up, 2 Down
  • WCHB Weekly WCHA Preview
  • WCHA Weekly Press Release
  • The Hockey Writer's Combine: Series Notes
  • Sioux Sports Series Preview

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