Brad Elliott Schlossman
Ticket packages for UND’s best-of-three series against Omaha in the first round of the NCHC playoffs go on sale at 10 a.m. today. The games are set for 7:38 p.m. Friday, 7:08 p.m. Saturday and 7:08 p.m. Sunday. Series ticket packages are reserved seating and are $50 for adults, $30 for youth and $20 for students. They can be purchased at The Ralph or through Ticketmaster.
OXFORD, Ohio — UND had a golden chance to lock up home ice for the first round of the NCHC playoffs and get in better position in the Pairwise, but lost that opportunity with a loss and tie at Miami. Now, it’s all going to come down to the final weekend of the regular season.
The end of the regular season is near. UND is in Oxford, needing to put together some wins to get home ice and get in better position in the Pairwise, where the Fighting Hawks are currently on the bubble. Wait a second. Didn’t we just do this last year? Last year, UND came to Oxford a week after a split with Omaha. UND’s record was 16-14-3. This year, UND is in Oxford a week after a split with Omaha. UND’s record is 14-10-8. Last year, the Fighting Hawks were No. 16 in the Pairwise Rankings ahead of their series in Oxford.
Five notable items from this weekend: 1. Colorado College bounced back for a 1-0 win in the series finale against a Troy Terry-less Denver team. Alex Leclerc proved he can stifle teams other than UND, making 40 saves. The season series between Colorado College and Denver ended up with a 1-1-2 split, and thanks to a commenter for the statistic that neither of these teams won a rivalry game at home this season. It’s a huge step forward for the Tigers, who were picked last, against a heavily favored Denver team.
UND junior Nick Jones , who was the team’s leading forward scorer when he went down with an injury three weeks ago, will make the trip to Omaha this weekend. Jones is practicing and coach Brad Berry confirmed he’ll be on the trip as the team departs Thursday morning. Berry didn’t commit to playing Jones against Omaha, but the fact that he’s going on the trip is a good sign that he figures to be available again for action sooner rather than later.
There are three weeks left to go in the regular season of the NCHC. Every team in the league has played the same number of games (18) and has the same number left (6). Here’s a quick rundown of what’s left for each team. Who will win the Penrose Cup? Denver or St. Cloud State? Who will wind up getting home ice? For more, click here.
UND is expecting to get top-line center Rhett Gardner back in the lineup for this weekend’s series against Colorado College. “He’s all in,” UND coach Brad Berry said. Gardner missed five games with a lower-body injury sustained on Jan. 12 in a 5-1 win over Bemidji State. In his absence, UND tied three times and lost twice. Gardner has practiced all week.
The NFL will award its Most Valuable Player award on Saturday night, but there might have been a spoiler alert at Thursday’s Super Bowl press conferences in the Twin Cities. An official was spotted carrying an acceptance speech for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in plain view as Brady wrapped up his 45-minute media session.
Five items of note from Saturday night: 1. East Grand Forks Senior High graduate Taylor Brierley played his first college game Saturday night for Union College — and it happened to be against rival RPI in the Mayor’s Cup game in Albany. Brierley suffered an injury during the offseason, so he missed the first half of the year. Union jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on to win 4-3.
1. Dartmouth was again the Giant Killers, ending Clarkson’s 15-game unbeaten streak with a 3-2 win in Potsdam, N.Y. Dartmouth started backup Adrian Clark and he won his first game of the season, making 24 saves. After losing 1-0 to Denver in Magness Arena, the Big Green dropped to 2-8-1. Since then, Dartmouth is 6-2-1. Wins have come against Denver, Clarkson, Quinnipiac, New Hampshire, RPI and St. Lawrence and the tie came against Minnesota Duluth. Next weekend, 16-2-1 Cornell goes to Dartmouth. We’ll see if the Big Green can take down yet another giant.