MINNEAPOLIS -- Here we go with the 2017 NCHC Frozen Faceoff Championship.
UMD will face longtime rival North Dakota for a fifth time this season, trying to extend its program-record five-game winning streak over UND.
On Beyond The Pond (KFAN/92.1 The Fan) Saturday, head coach Scott Sandelin acknowledged UND "probably has this one circled, we've had success against them."
And that's probably an understatement.
"We've got a lot of respect for them," North Dakota coach Brad Berry said after Friday's 1-0 semifinal win over Denver. "We play similarly, we play hard, and we're looking forward to (Saturday). They've had our number all year, and the year before was the other way around."
Should be a great game. North Dakota has won five straight, and used a smothering defensive effort to get by Denver. The Fighting Hawks have outshot their adversaries in each game of this run, and oddly enough actually outshot UMD in two of the four meetings this season -- got shut out in both those games.
Denver beat Western Michigan 3-1 in a gripping third place game. Denver won without its top four scorers, as Troy Terry, Henrik Borgstrom, Dylan Gambrell, and Will Butcher all sat, and also starting goalie Tanner Jaillet. WMU played freshman Ben Blacker in goal, but was still without Sheldon Dries and Wade Allison up front. DU clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, so UMD is playing for the No. 2 spot in this game. The Bulldogs could fall to third with a loss to UND, depending on other results.
Iafallo - Toninato - Anderson
Osterberg - Johnson - Mackay
Tufte - Peterson - Kuhlman
Young - Thomas - Exell
Pionk - Kotyk
Raskob - Hilderman
Wolff - Molenaar
Miska - Shepard - Deery
Gersich - Jost - Poganski
Janatuinen - Gardner - Boeser
Smith - Simonson - Olson
Yon - Bowen - Gornall
Poolman (Colton) - Poolman (Tucker)
Ausmus - Peski
Wolanin - Shaw
Johnson - Hrynkiw