After watching the Air Force Academy head coach Frank Serratore go off on the NCHC officials, I decided to take a look and see if the Pioneers are getting more power play opportunities than their opponents. I looked at all of the box scores and tallied up the penalties. At first look, there does seem to be a huge disparity in the number of penalties DU’s opponents are taking.
During the 2017-18 season, DU was has been whistled for 73 penalties. Their Opponents have had 106 penalties called against them. Mathematically, DU’s opponents are getting penalized 32 percent more than the Pioneers.
From my seat, it would appear that Denver, is enjoying a huge disparity in power-play opportunities. Their opponents are also killing a lot of penalties. Dever is ranked third nationally on the power play cashing in on 23-for-95, 26.3 percent. On the flip side, Denver penalty kill is ranked 13th nationally 54-for-64, 84.4 percent.
Are the Pioneers a bunch of halo-wearing saints? Not hardly, but they’re not spending a lot of time in the penalty box either.
Digging deeper into the stats. In ten conference games, DU is averaging 8.0 penalty minutes per game. That’s the lowest total in the NCHC. On the other end of the spectrum, Western Michigan is the most penalized team in the conference averaging 14.7 minutes per game. For comparison sake, UND is fifth averaging 12.1 minutes per game. You can check the other NCHC team’s PIM/G below.
Breaking this down further, in 20 games, DU has had 95 power play opportunities to their opponents 64. In 10 conference games, DU has had 48 power plays to their opponents 34. That’s not a misprint, DU has had 14 more power plays during conference play than their opponents. I would be willing to bet, that some of the teams around the NCHC are taking notice of that stat. Frank Serratore finally said what a lot of us have been thinking.
In four non-conference road games, the Pioneers have been assessed 14 minor penalties for 28 minutes. Their opponents were assessed 15 minor penalties for 30 minutes.
If you dig deeper, the biggest disparity for penalty minutes comes in non-conference games officiated by NCHC officials in Denver. In six non-conference games at home, DU was assessed 19 penalties for 49 PIMs. Their opponents were assessed 36 penalties for 73 minutes. During those four games, the Pioneers were 2-2-0.
Looking at DU season stats, in 20 games, the Pioneers have been penalized 73 for 157 minutes. Their opponents have had 106 penalties called against them for 245 minutes. Denver’s opponents have had 33 more penalties and 88 more minutes in penalties called against them.
Let’s compare the other NCHC schools.
UNO has been penalized 91 times for 190 PIMs. Opponents have been penalized 97 for 235 PIMs.
SCSU has been penalized 91 times for 207 PIMs. Opponents have been penalized 101 times for 243 PIMs.
C.C has been penalized 101 times for 232 PIMs. Opponents have been penalized 127 times for 287 PIMs.
UND has been penalized 106 times for 234 PIMs. Opponents have been penalized 101 times for 235 PIMs.
UMD has been penalized 103 times for 239 minutes. Opponents have been penalized 96 times for 217 minutes.
WMU has been penalized 135 times for 284 PIMs. Opponents have been penalized 128 times for 265 PIMs.
Miami has been penalized 111 times for 298 PIMS. Opponents have been penalized 108 times for 276 PIMs.