The WCHA Final Five opens today with a 7:07 p.m. play-in game between Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota, teams that tied for fourth place during the regular season. A story from the Grand Forks Herald is here.
A story from the News Tribune is here.
A News Tribune story on UMD and Minnesota preparing for the NCAA Frozen Four women’s semifinals is here.
U.S. College Hockey Online writer Theresa Spisak has these Final Five predictions:
North Dakota over Minnesota Duluth
Wisconsin over St. Cloud State
Denver over North Dakota
North Dakota over St. Cloud State
Denver over Wisconsin
What: WCHA FINAL FIVE PLAY-IN GAME
WHEN: 7:07 P.M. TODAY
WHERE: XCEL ENERGY CENTER (18,064), ST. PAUL
RANKING: NORTH DAKOTA IS NO. 5 AND UMD NO. 11 IN PAIRWISE RANKINGS
RADIO/TV: KQDS-AM 1490; FSN NORTH
SERIES: NORTH DAKOTA LEADS SERIES 131-73-9.
Scott Sandelin is 166-189-46 in 10 years at UMD.
DAVE HAKSTOL IS 152-83-24 IN SIX YEARS AT NORTH DAKOTA.
The Bulldogs are 2-0 versus North Dakota in the Final Five, including a 3-0 semifinal win last season. Sophomore Brady Lamb is second among WCHA defensemen in goal scoring with 11. UMD, 3-1 the past four games, is 8-8-1 on the road this season. Sophomore C Jack Connolly is on a six-game scoring streak. UMD is reporting no injuries. Sophomore G Kenny Reiter is expected to start a fifth straight game. UMD’s seniors in the lineup are Drew Akins (152 career games) and Jordan Fulton (155).
North Dakota swept UMD, 5-2 and 5-1, on Feb. 19-20 in Grand Forks, N.D., and split games in Duluth on Dec. 4-5, winning 4-2 and losing 3-2 in overtime. The Fighting Sioux are 13-6-2 in 2010, and 11 of 12 losses overall have been by one or two goals. North Dakota was the team defensive leader in the WCHA at 2.18 goals allowed. Senior C Chris VandeVelde leads in scoring at 14-22–36 and sophomore LW Jason Gregoire has 19-16–35. Sophomore G Brad Eidsness has marks of .914 and 2.09.
UMD PROBABLE LINEUP
JORDAN FULTON-JACK CONNOLLY-MIKE CONNOLLY, ROB BORDSON-TRAVIS OLEKSUK-JUSTIN FONTAINE, CODY DANBERG-DREW AKINS-DAVID GRUN, KYLE SCHMIDT-KEEGAN FLAHERTY-MIKE SEIDEL
MIKE MONTGOMERY-DYLAN OLSEN, DREW OLSON-CHAD HUTTEL, WADE BERGMAN-BRADY LAMB
KENNY REITER, BRADY HJELLE