Minnesota State-Mankato’s 4-2 non-conference home loss Tuesday to Nebraska-Omaha didn’t do Minnesota Duluth any favors in the PairWise Rankings. UMD dropped from a tie at No. 12 to a tie at No. 14, which would just barely be in (or out) of the NCAA field of 16 when considering automatic bids. Minnesota has now moved ahead of UMD.
The Mankato loss certainly didn’t help the hometown Mavericks, either, writes Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press:
Minnesota State’s Pairwise ranking suffered a blow Tuesday night as Nebraska-Omaha scored a 4-2 upset. Omaha swept the series, captured the Spirit of the Maverick Trophy for the first time since 2002 and knocked Mankato from a tie for seventh in the Pairwise to a tie for 11th.
"We didn’t come out with any fire," MSU captain Joel Hanson said, "like it was a must win."
Here’s what the PairWise Rankings show Wednesday for the WCHA: Colorado College tied at No. 2, North Dakota tied at No. 4, Denver at No. 6, St. Cloud State (moving up quickly) tied at No. 7, Mankato tied at No. 11, Minnesota at No. 13, UMD and Wisconsin tied at No. 14.
Here Comes North Dakota
North Dakota brings the longest unbeaten streak in Division I (12-0-1) to Duluth for afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday against UMD. The Fighting Sioux also have these stats:
Goalie Jean Philippe Lamoureux is No. 3 in Division I in goals-against average (1.76) and No. 4 in save percentage (.931). North Dakota is No. 11 in scoring (3.23 a game), and No. 3 in margin of victory (1.35 goals a game), and is No. 2 in penalty minutes per game (21.4, behind No. 1 Canisius at 21.5).