North Dakota vs. Michigan Preview

The nightcap in St. Paul features two teams who have combined for 16 national titles, Michigan and North Dakota.

The Wolverines, who won the CCHA regular season crown, are on a nice streak, having won 11 of their last 12 games. However, Michigan’s streak seems modest compared to the one the Sioux have built. UND hasn’t lost since the last weekend in January, going 14-0-1 during that stretch.

Michigan will have to rely on goalie Shawn Hunwick and pointman Jon Merrill to play keys roles in tonight’s game, because North Dakota is one of the deepest teams in college hockey. Led by Hobey Baker finalist Matt Frattin, the Sioux will roll four lines, get production out of each of them and try to break down the Wolverines with their speed, size and physicality.

Players to watch

Michigan boasts a dangerous duo in Carl Hagelin and Louie Caporusso, who have combined for 78 points. Hunwick was the West Regional MVP, holding the Wolverines’ opponents to three goals on the weekend.

For the Sioux, Frattin is the obvious player to focus on. The senior forward has a national-best 36 goals, is second in points and hasn’t been held off the scoresheet since North Dakota’s last loss. Aaron Dell, the WCHA goaltender of the year, has been nearly unbeatable at times this year, collecting six shutouts and a .924 save percentage.

Numbers

Michigan is a remarkable 21-1-3 when scoring first this season. Hagelin has seven power play goals in 2010-11, and boasts five career NCAA tournament points in eight games.

The Sioux aren’t only deep up front, but have maybe the best blueline in the nation. Their best defenseman, Chay Genoway, is only one of two pointmen not drafted by an NHL squad.

Lineups:

Michigan

Forwards

Carl Hagelin—Louie Caporusso—Chris Brown

Scooter Vaughan—Kevin Lynch—AJ Treais

Ben Winnett—Matt Rust—Luke Glendening

Luke Moffatt—Jeff Rohrkemper—Derek DeBlois

Defensemen

Jon Merrill—Chad Langlais

Kevin Clare—Greg Pateryn

Lee Moffie—Mac Bennett

Goalies

Shawn Hunwick

Bryan Hogan

North Dakota

Forwards

Evan Trupp—Brad Malone—Matt Frattin

Jason Gregoire—Corban Knight—Brett Hextall

Brent Davidson—Brock Nelson—Danny Kristo

Mario Lamoureux—Carter Rowney—Derek Rodwell

Defensemen

Derek Forbort—Ben Blood

Andrew MacWilliam—Chay Genoway

Derrick LaPoint—Jake Marto

Goalies

Aaron Dell

Brad Eidsness

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