|| No. 1 Minnesota at No. 8/8 North Dakota
Oct. 25, 2012
The Last Meeting
March 10, 2012
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. The Golden Gophers have started the season off hot by going 8-0-0 to open the 2012-13 season. It is only the fifth time in program history that they have done so with the last being in 2009-10. The last time the Gophers went 9-0-0 or better was in 2004-05 when they went 11-0-0 to start the year and repeated as National Champions. If you include last season, Minnesota is actually on a 16-game winning streak, which is the longest since the 2008-09 season. A win on Friday would be the team's longest winning streak since their 20-game streak between the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
2. Minnesota has been an offensive powerhouse thus far this season with notching 55 goals, which makes for 6.9 goals per game. Specials teams for the Gophers have possible be the most impressive as they have converted on 17of-43 (.395) power play opportunities. To complement the offensive, the Maroon & Gold defense has been equally as impressive by only allowing three goals and garnering a shutout in six of their eight games. On penalty kills, the Gophers are 1-of-38 (.026) with the lone goal happening on a 3-on-5 advantage for Ohio State.
3. This weekend junior Amanda Kessel has a shot at cracking Minnesota's Top 10 list in scoring with only being three points away from tying Emily West (158) for 10th. Kessel, who sits at 155-career points, is already in the Top 10 for assists as she is tied with 92. Another Top 10 list to watch over the next few weekends is goals. She currently has 63 but is only six away from tying Sarah Erickson for 10th.
4. Part of Minnesota's success this season has to go to a trio of unsung veterans that have stepped up their game in these first eight games. The first is Rachael Bona who is close to matching her point total from last year as a freshman (8-7-15). In these first eight games, she has two goals and eight assists for a total of 10 points, which is tied for eighth in the WCHA with the next unsung hero.
Mira Jalosuo has already set career highs in points, goals and assists through these first eight games. The senior blueliner had just nine points (three goals, six assists) last season and already has 10 points by adding one more assist to last year's total.
Lastly, we have senior Becky Kortum who has five nine points (five goals, four assists) on the year. These totals surpass what she compiled during the 2011-12 season (2-3-5), but it is still 10 points shy of her 2010-11 totals (14-5-19). Her five goals currently rank eight in the WCHA.
5. The Gophers embark on their first WCHA toad trip of the 2012-13 season this weekend. Dating back the past 10 years, Minnesota is 7-3-0 in their first WCHA road game, including a 3-2 loss to Wisconsin last year. In each of those seven years that the Gophers won their opening road game, they went on to sweep the series.
SCOUTING NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota comes into the weekend after sweeping St. Cloud State, 3-1 and 1-0. No. 8 UND is 4-2-0 on the season with one of their losses coming at home against Minnesota State. Despite the two losses, North Dakota sits tied atop the WCHA with the Gophers at 12 points. UND was selected in the coaches' preseason poll to finish second in the conference.
Offensively, UND is led by a trio of players in senior Jocelyne Lamoureux, her twin sister Monica and junior Michelle Karvinen. J. Lamoureux was last year's league scoring champ while Karvinen was named WCHA Rookie of the Year. Currently, J. Lamoureux has eight goals on the year with one assist while her sister has only one goal but contributed six assists. On the other hand, Karvinen has yet to record a game, due to injury.
Defensively, North Dakota has split time in goal between senior Jorid Dagfinurd and freshman Shelby Amsley-Benzie. Dagfinurd has only allowed one goal this season while Amsley-Benzie has granted eight.