Friday, December 7, 2018

Bulldogs Roadtrip to Western Michigan

Bulldogs Face Broncos to End 2018 NCHC Play

What a year for UMD! As 2018 NCHC play comes to a close, it is a good time to look back at all the good things that the Bulldogs made happen.

One of those almost unbelievable carry-overs from last season is the season series between UMD and this weekend's opponent Western Michigan.

UMD and WMU played six times, four in the regular season and two in the first round of the playoffs. Of the six games, UMD won five. Additionally five of the six games were shutouts. The lone UMD loss was one of the shutouts, 5-0 at Duluth in November.

The five UMD wins were 3-0, 8-0, 6-1, 5-0, 2-0. WMU games helped propel goaltender Hunter Shepard to tie the UMD record for most shutouts in a career last season, a record that he broke last weekend.

What will this weekend bring? Likely not shutouts either way, but it should be a favorable weekend for UMD.

StatPack.

Friday, November 30, 2018

North Dakota Visits Duluth

Fighting Hawks Looking to Get On Track Against Bulldogs

It has not been a happy season in Grand Forks. Many have wondered what is happening after missing the NCAA Tournament last year. And they were expecting a good year this year. So far, no good.

UND is scrambling for wins with five of their seven wins being 1-2 goal differential. Three of the five were one goal wins. This is a symptom of not top scoring, but also fair to below average goaltending and defense. Team save percentage is 0.880 which is far from the benchmark of 90% that we look for in our stat comparisons at CollegeHockeyHH.

But this team is never one to take lightly. UND always has talent and replaces talent with talent. It could be a light switch type situation, let's just not flip that switch this weekend.

Prediction. Look for a UMD sweep. they are destined to keep pushing for the Penrose Cup and this is one of may key weekends for that goal.

StatPack.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Looking Ahead, NCHC Pre-Conference Predictions

Unconventional, But Here is How We Predict the NCHC

Most conference predictions come before the season starts, but we thought we would try something new and see how the non-conference stacks up and then make some predictions. Here is how the staff at College Hockey HH sees the NCHC regular season going:

  1. Saint Cloud State. Strong team looking to continues its winning ways and making a stake to the Penrose for the second straight year. Returning players are plentiful including goaltenders. What is up next for goals is moving through the NCAAs.
  2. Minnesota Duluth. Last year was a pleasant surprise for UMD ending where all the Division I teams want to be, the National Champions. For as good as they became as a team, they come back pretty much still intact and looking for the same success. But it just seems that UMD teams can't sustain success historically to win a regular season championship. Two national championships (2011 and 2018) and the last conference regular season championship was 1992-93.
  3. Denver. New coach, lots of new players but look for more of the same as past years. Denver is reloading and likely not rebuilding.
  4. Colorado College. Our first "out on a limb" prediction. The Tigers made strides last year with young players and this year return a strong goaltender in Leclerc.
  5. North Dakota. A team can only lose talent for so long before reloading cannot continue and rebuilding must occur. This is that year.
  6. Miami. The Redhawks at 6 and Broncos at 7 could really go either way. both have limited senior experience on their rosters so this is really just a gut feeling. Also we predict that the future looks brighter for Miami than WMU, but not by much.
  7. Western Michigan. See Miami capsule above. The 5-7 picks could really be a toss up.
  8. Omaha. The Mavericks have looked outmatched all non-conference. They have some talent, but it looks to be a year of struggles in Omaha.
Well, there it is. The predicted finish tot he 2018-19 NCHC regular season. If it holds, it would be the first time North Dakota did not secure home ice and CC hosted in the first round. But for now, it is all just speculation.

See you at the Penrose Cup, NCHC!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Another Trip to Michigan Tech

UMD and MTU Renew Rivalry

Not that this is as big of games as UMD and other Minnesota teams or MTU vs North Michigan, but these games this weekend are the 231st and 232nd of the series between these teams.

Some of the games have been heated, some laughers, while others head scratchers as both the Bulldogs and Huskies have had their ups, downs, and National Championships over the years.

Last meeting went to the Huskies in Duluth last season 4-3, but the Bulldogs are currently 7-1-1 in the last nine games at McInnes Ice Arena.

It will be a good weekend to see if UMD can rebound from a 0-1-1 weekend with the Gophers and this is a good time to go on the road to build the team bonds for the Bulldogs.

StatPack.

Coming soon as the stats stack up!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Could It Be More Sweet?

Same Formula Brings Championship to Duluth

Now who would have thunk that? Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs getting into the NCAA Tournament by the narrowest of margins, sweeps their way from #3 seed in the West to the champion of NCAA Division I National Champions.

leveraging three straight 2-1 wins, preceded by a 3-2 OT win, makes UMD the first team to win all their NCAA Tournament games by one goal. That is is the key to the championship run for the Bulldogs, defense and just enough scoring to get the win.

In UMD's three straight 2-1 wins the equation seemed to stay the same: jump out to a fast start scoring two goals in the first period, play strong defense all game, and keep the offensive pressure on. This equals wins and a championship.

This UMD Bulldogs team, thankful just to get into the NCAA Tournament, now can look back and relax with the new label, Champion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

All the Way to the Frozen Four

Unlikely Return for UMD Makes This Frozen Four Sweet

Last year's Frozen Four was almost expected, though it didn't come easy. This year's Frozen Four is an unexpected surprise.

The story line is well known: seven seniors graduated and three underclassmen left for pro deals after the National Championship loss to Denver. 10 major players out of the lineup including five starting defensemen and the goaltender that played just shy of 90% of the games by minutes played.

Rebuild was on the minds of many fans. Maybe even those close tot he program, but this Bulldog coaching staff has proven that they are up to the task in a big way. They have taken an inexperienced team and built them up all year.

Evidence is plentiful, but just he improvement in the NCHC conference play says it all. At the Holiday Break, UMD was in seventh place just ahead of Omaha whom they had just split a series with. After the break in the NCHC UMD peeled off a 10-4-0 record to bolt into third place, host a first round series, and make it to the Frozen Faceoff for the third straight year.

Only nine current Bulldogs played in the 2017 Frozen Four.

All this leads us to say: not rebuild, but RELOAD.

UMD is in rarefied air making their program record fourth straight NCAA appearance and they look to make the most of it by crashing the B1G Ten party in St. Paul.

There is only one thing left for this group of upstarts to do but to win it all.

StatPack:

Thursday, March 22, 2018