With no NCHC teams playing in holiday tournaments this season, the 2015 portion of this season is quickly winding down. Plenty happened this weekend, though, and here are three of the bigger talking points.
UND rolls past Pioneers
What many expected to be a tight rivalry series between ninth-ranked Denver and No. 4 North Dakota instead turned into UND winning big twice and displaying just how good it can be.
The Fighting Hawks rolled to a 5-1 win in Friday’s series-opener, even though Denver scored first through a Grant Arnold goal 82 seconds into the second period. After that, four different UND skaters beat DU goaltender Evan Crowley – Brock Boeser beat Crowley twice – to send most of the Ralph Engelstad Arena crowd home happy.
A 4-0 UND win Saturday gave Hawks fans more of the same. Austin Poganski scored UND’s first two goals – his second and third of the weekend – before Boeser and Drake Caggiula both found the back of the Pioneers’ net in the third period.
Results-wise, it was Denver’s worst weekend in more than a decade. The Pioneers hadn’t lost back-to-back games by at least four goals since UND routed the Pios twice in Denver in 2003.
UND (14-2-2, 7-1 NCHC) sits alone atop the NCHC standings ahead of a trip to Minnesota-Duluth next weekend. DU (7-5-2, 3-2-1-1) now gets ready to host St. Cloud State (12-4, 6-2) in a week’s time.
Huskies, Mavericks share spoils
Two more top-10 battles this weekend saw No. 6 Omaha square off with seventh-ranked SCSU. The two teams appeared evenly matched going into the series, and the teams’ series split shouldn’t surprise anyone.
St. Cloud got the best of UNO in Friday’s series-opener. The Huskies rode two goals from Robby Jackson in the first and third periods, as well as tallies from Judd Peterson and Jimmy Murray, en route to a 4-1 win.
UNO returned the favor Saturday in a 7-3 victory over the Huskies. Omaha went 3-for-5 on the power play, and seven different Mavericks each pushed the puck past one of the two goaltenders St. Cloud used in the rematch.
Omaha (12-3-1) is off until it closes the 2015 portion of its schedule with a home series against Arizona State on Dec. 19-20.
CC breaks out brooms
Although Colorado College lost each of its first 13 games of the season, things are now definitely looking up for the Tigers.
CC is riding a three-game winning streak after sweeping Miami at home this weekend. The Tigers picked up their first win of the campaign just the weekend before when CC downed Air Force 4-3 on Nov. 28.
Beating Miami twice promised to be a tougher task, but CC achieved that feat. The Tigers’ success this weekend started in earnest in Friday’s third period when two goals from Hunter Fejes gave the hosts a 2-1 win over the RedHawks.
The Tigers then picked up yet another one-goal win Saturday. Fejes was again the hero, scoring a game-winning goal with just 1:13 remaining to give CC a 3-2 win and a first series sweep of the season.
CC (3-13, 2-6) will hope to keep its momentum going next weekend when the Tigers visit Western Michigan. The Tigers and WMU are deadlocked at the bottom of the NCHC standings with identical league records.
Miami (5-9-2, 2-7-1-1), which now has just one win in its last six games, won’t play another game for nearly a month. Non-conference foe Rensselaer comes to Oxford, Ohio on Jan. 2-3.