Wrapping up Week 7 of NCHC action

Hunter Shepard
Hunter Shepard was strong in goal

Coming into last weekend’s slate of games, Western Michigan sat atop the NCHC standings. They headed to Grand Forks to face the UND, while DU and SCSU were on the road, all fighting for that top spot.

WMU 9-7-1 (11) vs UND 10-4-4 (5)

The Broncos came to Ralph Englestad Arena riding a three-game winning streak over the Hawks dating back to last season. They left without a single point.

The first period of Friday evening was a showcase of the high-end offensive talent both teams have. The Hawks scored three goals in the opening frame, two from Austin Poganski, and the Broncos scored two goals making the score 3-2 heading into the second period.

The Hawks added a goal in the second, and Wade Allison scored his 11th goal of the season for WMU in the third period leading to a 4-3 UND victory.

Cam Johnson was back in net for the Fighting Hawks. Johnson gave up three goals on 21 shots.

Saturday, the Broncos started the scoring off close to halfway through the second period when Austin Rueschhoff scored his fifth goal of the season. Quite a difference from the five-goal first period the previous night. UND scored the equalizer with less than 30 seconds remaining in the period.

The Hawks won the opening face-off in the third period, and Cole Smith snuck the puck past the goalie seven seconds into the frame giving UND a 2-1 lead. Two more goals from the Hawks would put the game away, and make it seem much more lopsided than it actually was at 4-1.

The Hawks faced the top team in the NCHC last weekend, and that trend will continue this weekend when they travel to St. Cloud to face the SCSU Huskies. The Huskies haven’t lost a single series this season. Last year, the Hawks swept the Huskies in St. Cloud and were 3-1 against them overall.

For the Broncos, they will head back to Michigan for a matchup with the Miami Red Hawks. The Red Hawks are reeling having not won a series since the end of October. The Hawks have had WMU’s number recently as they’re 4-7-1 against them in the last three seasons.

DU 9-3-2 (1) vs UMD 7-8-2 (17)

DU came to Duluth winning three of their last four games, and they continued their success in their sweep of the Bulldogs.

Friday evening was a goalie’s dream. The Pioneers won 1-0 with their only goal coming in the second period. Each team had three power plays, but neither was able to capitalize on their opportunities.

Tanner Jaillet earned the shutout for the Pioneers saving all 28 shots he faced.

The Bulldog goalie, Hunter Shepard, also had a good game letting in one goal, while stopping the 25 shots that were taken on his net.

The second game on Saturday was also a close one. Once again, the goalies held their opponents scoreless through the first frame.

The Pioneers struck with 20 seconds left in second period when Jarid Lukosevicius found the back of the net. Blake Young scored for the Bulldogs to tie the game in the third period. The game remains tied until DU scored once again with a little over four minutes remaining which would go on to be the difference in their 2-1 win.

The Pioneer’s defense once again locked down the Bulldog attack allowing only 15 shots and a single goal.

Denver will return home this weekend to face in-state rival Colorado College. The Pioneers haven’t lost to the Tigers since 2014, and are 14-2-1 against them since then.

The Bulldogs face UNO next weekend in Omaha. They are the bottom two teams in the NCHC standings and were both swept in their last series.

SCSU 11-2-0 (2) vs UNO 6-7-1

Just like the other highly-ranked teams in the division, the Huskies are within striking distance of the top of the conference. They took the top spot with their sweep of the Mavericks.

SCSU’s high octane offense was in full display Friday night. The Huskies scored seven goals on their way to their ninth victory.

UNO was able to get on the scoreboard first three minutes into the contest, but SCSU answered back with two more goals of their own to take a 2-1 lead. The teams traded goals to end the period giving the Huskies a 3-2 advantage.

St. Cloud added two more goals in the second while blanking the Mavericks in the period to give the Huskies a 5-2 lead.

The Mavericks got a boost from a power play when David Pope scored his eighth goal of the season. Another mavericks goal four minutes later cut the Husky lead to one goal at 4-5. St. Cloud finished the period strong with two goals to help preserve their lead and won 7-4.

Saturday was the David Hrenak show. The SCSU goalie was flawless in his shutout saving all 40 shots he faced.

The Huskies lit up the scoreboard with five goals. The scoring was by five different Huskies with both Jack Poehling and Robby Jackson scoring their sixth goals fo the season en route to a 5-0 win.

While the Mavericks went 0-5 on the power play, the Huskies took advantage of their opportunities and scored on two of their five power plays.

St. Cloud will host UND next weekend in St. Cloud. Last season the Hawks swept the Huskies in St. Cloud. Both teams come into the matchup off of sweeps in their previous series.

UNO will remain home this weekend where they will welcome the UMD Bulldogs for a series. They are the bottom two teams in the conference.

CU 10-2-0 (6) vs MU 7-7-2

Cornell and Miami squared off last weekend for the first time since 2014 when the Red Hawks defeated Cornell 3-0. Cornell started their season hot, as they had only lost one game so far in their season.

Friday, Alex Rauter started the scoring off netting a goal for Cornell just four minutes into the first period. The Hawks tied it up later in the period, 1-1 with a power-play goal.

With less than a minute left in the second period, MU found the back of the net once again to pull themselves ahead 2-1. Like their only other goal, it came with a man advantage on a power play.

Special teams is a very important part of any hockey team, and that was in the spotlight on Friday. The Hawks were a perfect 2-2 on their power play opportunities, which was the difference in the game. They also held the Big Red on all four of their power plays.

The following evening was all Cornell. The Big Red scored three goals in the opening period to give themselves a nice cushion, but one goal is all that they would need as they easily dispatched the Red Hawks 4-0.

Like the previous night, the winning team had solid play from their special teams. Two power-play goals once again were scored by the winning side.

Next week, Miami University has a tough task ahead of them. They will head to Kalamazoo and take on the Western Michigan University Broncos. The Hawks are 1-3 in Kalamazoo in the last two season and have been out-scored 16-10 in those four games.

Points Leaders:

1. Troy Terry DU 23
2. Henrik Borgström DU 22
3. Colt Conrad WMU 21

Wins Leaders:

1. Tanner Jaillet DU 8
1. Ben Blacker WMU 8
2. Alex Leclerc SCSU 7

Goals Leaders:

1. Henrik Borgström DU 13
2. Wade Allison WMU 11
3. Mason Bergh CC 9

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Adam Gunderman is a University of North Dakota graduate with a degree in Communication with an emphasis on journalism. He was written for the Dakota Student for a year and a half while in school. He is an avid fan of Baseball who grew up watching the Chicago Cubs every day after school. He is firmly on team no DH. Adam also has a passion for Football and Hockey as well as his hometown Bears and Blackhawks.

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