A few of the bigger talking points from this past weekend in NCHC play:
Omaha gets back on track
A week after picking up its first two losses of the season, Omaha bounced back well at home this last weekend against a top-10 opponent.
Sixth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth made its first visit to Baxter Arena to take on the No. 8 Mavericks in one of the nation’s spotlight series of the week. Ultimately, only Omaha came away happy after picking up a pair of 4-2 wins over the Bulldogs.
UNO gained the upper hand early in Friday’s game and stayed ahead. Brian Cooper opened the scoring 24 seconds into the game before three other Mavericks also found their way onto the score sheet.
Saturday’s rematch was a different story, with UNO and UMD heading into the right minutes of the game tied at 1-1. Three consecutive Mavericks goals, however, quickly put the Bulldogs under.
Omaha (8-2-0, 2-2 NCHC) is off this week before visiting Miami on Nov. 20-21. UMD (3-4-3, 0-2) is back at home this weekend to take on ninth-ranked Denver.
Pioneers go panning, strike gold
Speaking of DU, the Pios will enter Minnesota this weekend with momentum on its side after Denver picked up a series sweep of in-state rival Colorado College.
On Friday at Denver’s Magness Arena, three second-period goals helped see the Pioneers through in an eventual 5-3 victory. The next night, DU walked out of Colorado Springs’ World Arena with a 3-1 win over the Tigers.
DU used its solid goaltending tandem to pick up the sweep. Evan Crowley stopped 20 shots on Friday night in the Colorado capital before Tanner Jaillet made 19 saves in the rematch.
Denver (5-3-0, 2-0) will look to keep rolling this weekend against UMD. CC fell to 0-10 on the season last weekend and will have almost two weeks to prepare for a visit from Duluth on Nov. 20-21.
UND made to work for home split
North Dakota came into last weekend looking for a pair of non-conference wins against a Wisconsin team that had been mediocre at the start of the season. What UND ended up getting was somewhat unexpected by the faithful in Grand Forks.
A North Dakota team that went into the weekend ranked No. 1 in the country will find itself further down the ladder Monday after falling 3-1 to the Badgers Friday night. Luke Johnson gave UND an early 1-0 lead 7:31 into the game, but three unanswered UW goals gave the Badgers a surprise victory.
What UND fans like to think is normal service was resumed Saturday when the home team beat the Badgers 3-1. Two third-period goals from Shane Gersich and Drake Caggiula, the latter of whom was suspended for Friday’s game, allowed UND to salvage a split.
UND (7-1-2, 2-0) is at home again this weekend to take on Miami (5-4-1, 2-2), which swept Western Michigan last weekend in Oxford, Ohio.