There are a couple things that stuck out on Friday night.
Going into Friday night’s game, the University of North Dakota hockey team has looked a bit sluggish on Friday nights. UND’s record on Friday nights is 5-4-2 (.545). With the 5-1 win, make that 6-4-2 (.583).
The Fighting Hawks are much better on Saturday night going 6-2-3 (.681). On Friday night, coach Berry’s team came in waves and played the perfect road game. The Fighting Hawks set the pace instead of chasing the game.
It’s not early to start looking at the Pairwise Rankings. Currently, seven of eight NCHC teams are in the top-16 spots of the Pairwise rankings. If the playoffs started today, five NCHC teams would “probably” make the NCAA tourney. I am not sure how the committee would be able to avoid conference matchups. The Fighting Hawks are currently eighth.
We might be getting ahead of our skis right now. If there aren’t any surprises and Minnesota State could win the WCHA, there’s a chance there could be six NCHC teams in the NCAA playoffs. If someone other than Northeastern or Providence wins the Hockey East tournament, that’s when things start getting dicy.
Last week before Friday’s game, I was reading a fan message board and someone had posted a comment about Shane Gersich, Rhett Gardner and Austin Poganski being on the first line. Since last Friday’s game, that line has been on fire, they’ve scored six goals and 14 points.
Digging into the numbers, there are two other players that have caught fire.
Nick Jones (2g-3a–5pts)
Jordan Kawaguchi (0g-3a–3pts)