This weekend, the University of North Dakota hockey team faces off against the Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks enter the weekend ranked fifth nationally in scoring. They’re averaging 3.56 goal per game. For comparison sake, UND is ranked 35th overall.
Those stats aside, the Fighting Hawks should be licking their lips. The Mavericks are ranked 59 out of 60 nationally and eighth in the conference defensively. The Mavericks are giving up an eye popping 3.78 goals per game. The offensively challenged Hawks are ranked sixth nationally and second in the conference in defense giving up 2.20 goals per game.
While Dean Blais is no longer standing behind the Mavericks bench; there’s a very good chance that we’re going to see racehorse hockey this weekend. One has to think that the Mavericks are going to try to open the game up and fill the Fighting Hawks net with pucks. UND senior All-American goalie Cam Johnson (7-3-2, 1.93 GAA, .917 save percentage) is going to need to be ready. That being said, defense isn’t the Mavericks strong suit. Something gotta give.
Looking at the Mavericks goalies, one can identify the problem. This season, the Mavericks have struggled between the pipes. What sticks out is that the Mavericks have used all three of their goalies. Checking out College Hockey Inc. here’s the Mavericks goaltending statistics: (Stats courtesy of College Hockey Inc.)
Hockey players look at stats and the UND forwards should licking their lips in anticipation. I would think that they’re ready to fill the opposition net with pucks this weekend. UNO enters the weekend 2-6-0 in conference play. During those eight games, the Mavericks have scored 21 goals and given up 39.
According to senior captain Austin Poganski, UND is going to stick their game, nothing changes. It’s starts in their own end.
“It all starts with us playing good defense,” Poganski said. “If were playing good defense that’s going to lead to good offense.”