For the first time in memory, the UND hockey team entered a season under the radar.

It mostly stayed there, despite a strong start.

But as of last Saturday night, that's over.

Things are back to usual this weekend. UND will have a target on its back and will be dealing with high expectations as St. Cloud State comes to town for the final home series before Christmas break.

That leaves a big question for the Fighting Hawks: How will they handle this crazy week of media attention and hoopla? Coach Brad Berry knows how he wants them to and he detailed it in this story.

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St. Cloud State is going to look quite a bit different this year without some key pieces from last year's dominant squad. Another thing that's weird about this Husky team: They've been better on the road.

St. Cloud State has already lost more games at home this season (1-4-1) than it did the last two seasons combined (33-3-3). Meanwhile, they're still unbeaten on the road (one win, three ties).

Since fans may not know much about this St. Cloud State team, here are 10 things to know ahead of this series.

While the Huskies are unbeaten on the road this season, UND is still unbeaten at home. That presents an opportunity at rare history this weekend for the Fighting Hawks. Read this story that details how rare it has been for UND to be undefeated at home at Christmas break.

Other stories to read

Denver rewind: UND holds Pioneers to fewest goal total in home series since formation of NCHC

News: Fighting Hawks re-enter top five of national rankings

Nashville game: UND's game in Nashville is set: 2,500 hotel rooms booked, two pregame parties planned

Nashville game: Destination games a big hit with players, recruits

UND in Europe report: Jean-Philippe Lamoureux putting together another dominant season

How to follow the games

Time: 7:37 tonight, 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

Place: Ralph Engelstad Arena (tickets available).

TV: Midco Sports Network (GF Ch. 27/622 HD).

Radio: The Fox (96.1 FM).

Webcast: NCHC.tv.

Live blog: GrandForksHerald.com.

Tale of the tape

North Dakota--Statistical category--St. Cloud State
8-1-2Record2-4-4
5RankingNR
4.00 (4th)Offense2.90 (25th)
1.55 (3rd)Defense3.70 (51st)
16.7 (36th)Power play22.5 (16th)
94.9 (2nd)Penalty kill67.6 (58th)
.924 (11th)Goaltending.870 (54th)

Key stat

UND's power play has been particularly efficient as of late. The Fighting Hawks are at nearly 30 percent (29.4 to be exact) in the last four games. The Fighting Hawks have scored on the power play in each of those four games.

The opponent focus: Sam Hentges

When St. Cloud State scores, chances are that Sam Hentges is involved. The Minnesota Wild draft pick is off to an incredible start for the Huskies. Hentges has 16 points. The Huskies have scored 29 goals. That means Hentges has been directly involved in 55 percent of their goals this season. He opened the campaign on a nine-game point streak, which finally ended last Saturday against Colorado College. Slowing down Hentges and getting proper line matchups will be key for UND this weekend.

St. Cloud State's Sam Hentges (19) handles the puck with Bemidji State's Alex Adams (25) and Brendan Harris (21) defending on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. (Jillian Gandsey/Forum News Service)
St. Cloud State's Sam Hentges (19) handles the puck with Bemidji State's Alex Adams (25) and Brendan Harris (21) defending on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. (Jillian Gandsey/Forum News Service)

Pick to click: Shane Pinto

After starting his college hockey career with points in the first five games (six if you count the exhibition), UND rookie forward Shane Pinto has had a tough time finding the scoresheet. He has one point in his last six games, despite playing fairly well. Pinto has 14 shots on goal in those games. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound forward is too talented for opponents to keep off the scoresheet for long.

Fighting Hawks forward Shane Pinto sprints between Miami's Bray Crowder (3) and Monte Graham (18) toward the Redhawks goal Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
Fighting Hawks forward Shane Pinto sprints between Miami's Bray Crowder (3) and Monte Graham (18) toward the Redhawks goal Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks HeraldNick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The pick: Sweep

Think of this St. Cloud State team like some of Dave Hakstol’s old UND teams. There was massive roster turnover in the offseason, which means much of the roster will have to adjust to new roles. The Huskies have enough talent to be right in the mix by the end of the season, but it is taking time. UND will want to take advantage of this early series at home, because the Huskies figure to be much more consistent come the February series in St. Cloud.

UND 4-2, 4-3.

Beaver watch

Bemidji State hosts Alabama Huntsville in a rivalry that dates back to 1994, when they were Division II programs. They met for the D-II national title twice and have been conference-mates in both College Hockey America and the WCHA at the D-I level. Expect Zach Driscoll to get the start in net for the Beavers. Driscoll has made six starts in a row and ranks seventh nationally with a .938 save percentage.

Bemidji State sophomore goalie Zach Driscoll makes a save during an Oct. 6 exhibition game against Lakehead at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. (Bemidji State University photo services)
Bemidji State sophomore goalie Zach Driscoll makes a save during an Oct. 6 exhibition game against Lakehead at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. (Bemidji State University photo services)

Tonight's games

NCHC

St. Cloud State at UND, 7:37 p.m. (Midco)

Colorado College at Minn. Duluth, 7:07 p.m.

Miami at Omaha, 7:07 p.m.

Western Michigan at Denver, 8:07 p.m.

Big Ten

Notre Dame at Michigan State, 6 p.m.

Ohio State at Penn State, 6 p.m.

Michigan at New Hampshire, 6 p.m.

Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (FSN)

WCHA

Alabama Huntsville at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.

Lake Superior State at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.

Northern Michigan at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.

Alaska Anchorage at MSU-Mankato, 7:07 p.m.

Ferris State at Alaska (Fairbanks), 10:07 p.m.

Other leagues

Clarkson at Brown, 6 p.m.

Princeton at Colgate, 6 p.m.

Quinnipiac at Cornell, 6 p.m.

Harvard at RPI, 6 p.m.

St. Lawrence at Yale, 6 p.m.

Maine at Northeastern, 6 p.m.

Merrimack at UMass, 6 p.m.

RIT at Army, 6:05 p.m.

Sacred Heart at Holy Cross, 6:05 p.m.

Niagara at Mercyhurst, 6:05 p.m.

Air Force at Robert Morris, 6:05 p.m.

Providence at UConn, 6:05 p.m.

Vermont at Boston University, 6:30 p.m.

Player stats

UND

Scoring leaders

29 Jordan Kawaguchi, jr, f 3-11--14

11 Westin Michaud, sr, f 6-3--9

18 Collin Adams, jr, f 4-5--9

24 J. Bernard-Docker, so, d 1-8--9

3 Matt Kiersted, jr, d 1-7--8

8 Harrison Blaisdell, fr, f 2-5--7

6 Colton Poolman, sr, d 1-6--7

26 Cole Smith, sr, f 4-2--6

22 Shane Pinto, fr, f 2-4--6

9 Dixon Bowen, sr, f 4-1--5

17 Jonny Tychonick, so, d 3-2--5

14 Jasper Weatherby, so, f 3-2--5

16 Grant Mismash, jr, f 2-3--5

19 Mark Senden, so, f 2-2--4

4 Andrew Peski, sr, d 1-3--4

2 Gabe Bast, jr, d 2-1--3

21 Jackson Keane, jr, f 1-2--3

10 Gavin Hain, so, f 1-2--3

28 Judd Caulfield, fr, f 0-2--2

20 Josh Rieger, jr, d 1-0--1

15 Ethan Frisch, fr, d 0-1--1

7 Zach Yon, sr, f 0-0--0

5 Casey Johnson, sr, f 0-0--0

Goaltending

31 Adam Scheel, so 8-1-2 .924 1.53

1 Peter Thome, jr NA

35 Harrison Feeney, fr NA

SCSU

Scoring leaders

19 Sam Hentges, so, f 6-10--16

26 Easton Brodzinski, jr, f 5-6--11

12 Jack Ahcan, sr, d 2-6--8

3 Jack Poehling, sr, f 2-4--6

25 Nick Perbix, so, d 2-3--5

27 Chase Brand, fr, f 2-2--4

7 Nick Poehling, sr, f 2-2--4

9 Spencer Meier, so, d 2-2--4

13 Jami Krannila, fr, f 1-3--4

28 Kevin Fitzgerald, jr, f 1-2--3

21 Jake Wahlin, sr, f 1-2--3

16 Will Hammer, jr, f 2-0--2

2 Clark Kuster, sr, d 1-1--2

15 Micah Miller, so, f 0-2--2

20 Nolan Walker, so, f 0-2--2

17 Thomas Rocco, fr, f 0-2--2

8 Tyler Anderson, jr, d 0-1--1

6 Luke Jaycox, jr, d 0-1--1

18 Brendan Bushy, so, d 0-0--0

14 Zach Okabe, fr, f 0-0--0

10 Kyler Kupka, fr, f 0-0--0

5 Ondrej Trejbal, fr, d 0-0--0

34 David Hrenak, jr, g 0-0--0

30 Joey Lamoreaux, fr, g 0-0--0

11 Trevor Zins, fr, d NA

23 Henry Enebak, fr, f NA

Goaltending

34 David Hrenak, jr 2-4-4, .876 3.39

30 Joey Lamoreaux, fr 0-0-0, .933, 1.98

USCHO rankings

1. MSU-Mankato (36 first-place votes) 8-1-1

2. Cornell (13) 6-0

3. Notre Dame 8-1-1

4. Denver 8-2-2

5. North Dakota (1) 8-1-2

6. Penn State 9-2

7. UMass 7-3

8. Clarkson 8-3-1

9. Minnesota Duluth 5-4-1

10. Harvard 5-0

11. Ohio State 6-3-1

12. Providence 6-4-2

13. Northeastern 6-4-2

14. Boston College 7-4

15. UMass Lowell 7-3-4

16. Wisconsin 6-6

17. Bowling Green 7-4

18. Omaha 6-3-1

19. Northern Michigan 7-3-2

20. Western Michigan 6-4-2