Minnesota Duluth-Bemidji State Preview

The Bulldogs and Beavers renew one of the best rivalries that no one knows about (outside of the Highway 2 corridor) this weekend at Amsoil Arena.  The reason for the loathing between these teams is perhaps because of the tense fashion in which the games are played – six of the last seven games in the series have been one-goal affairs, and the last four have gone to overtime.  Lately, the Beavers have UMD’s number, going 8-4-1 against the Bulldogs since 2005-06.  Bemidji State is making it’s first visit to Amsoil after playing UMD at home and at Xcel Energy Center last year.

Records and Rankings:

UMD – 2-3-1 overall, 0-2 WCHA; ranked 15th in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.

Bemidji State – 3-3 overall, 2-2 WCHA; unranked in both polls.

Players to Watch:  The Bulldogs knew they’d need secondary scoring coming into the season, and, so far, rookies Caleb Herbert and Justin Crandall have been doing their best to step up.  The linemates have combined for nine points and continue to develop on-ice chemistry.  Much like UMD, Bemidji State is getting timely scoring off of lesser-known sticks.  Brance Orban has put together a five-game point streak (two goals, five assists), nearly equaling his career total of eight points entering the season.

Key Numbers:

4 – Assists Jack Connolly needs to reach the 100-assist club.  He’d be the 14th Bulldog to achieve that feat.

7 – The number of points Brad Hunt has in his seven career games against UMD (3 goals, 4 assists).

10 – Games in a row the Bulldogs have scored a power play goal.  The last time UMD didn’t score on the PP was against Bemidji State in last year’s Final Five.

Elsewhere in the WCHA:  Denver at Michigan Tech; Minnesota at Alaska-Anchorage; St. Cloud State at North Dakota; Nebraska-Omaha at Wisconsin; Colorado College at RPI.

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