Pioneers vs. Fighting Hawks, a Series Preview

This weekend, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks take on the Denver Pioneers in an important two-game conference series. This is the last home series of 2015.

Series History

All-time, the Fighting Hawks lead the series against the Pioneers 140-120-10 (.537). In Grand Forks, ND, the Fighting Hawks lead the series against the Pioneers 82-42-7 (.653). In Denver, CO, UND trails the Pioneers 53-70-3 (.433). At neutral sites, UND trails 5-8-0 (.385). Last 10 games, UND leads 5-4-1 (.500). Last meeting, DU beat UND 5-1 in the third place game of the 2015 Frozen Faceoff.

Tale of the Tape

#4 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (12-2-2, 5-1-0 NCHC) at #9Denver Pioneers (7-3-2, 3-0-1 NCHC)

North Dakota

UND Last Time Out: Swept Michigan State (3-1 W, 4-1W)
UND Offense: 12th, 3.44 GPG
UND Defense: 11th, 2.06 G/GM
UND Scoring Margin: 10th, 1.38
UND Power Play: 41st, (10/60, 16.7%)
UND Penalty Kill: 41nd, (49/62, 79.0%)
UND Penalty Minutes: 15th, (12.9 PIM/G)
UND USCHO Ranking: 4 Corsi Ranking: 58.8%
UND Record during November: 6-2-0 (.750)
UND Home Record: 4-1-0 (.800)
UND Away Record: 8-1-2 (.818)
Last 10 Games against Pioneers: 5-4-1 (.550)

Denver Pioneers

DU Last Time Out: Three Points against UW (3-3 T, 6-2 W)
DU Offense: 10th, 3.50 GPG
DU Defense: 14th, 2.25 G/GM
DU Scoring Margin: 12th, 1.25
DU Power Play: 33rd, (8/36, 17.4%)
DU Penalty Kill: 8th, (35/39, 89.7%)
DU Penalty Minutes: 37th, (9.9 PIM/G)
DU USCHO Rankings: 9
DU Corsi Rankings: 55.9%
Record during November: 4-0-2 (.666)
DU Home: 4-0-0 (1.00)
DU Away: 3-3-2 (.500)

North Dakota Fighting Hawks: Forwards: Drake Caggiula (11g-10a—21pts), Nick Schmaltz (2g-19a—21pts), Brock Boeser (8g-8a—16pts), Bryn Chyzyk (6g-3a—9pts), Luke Johnson (3g-4a—7pts), Johnny Simonson (2g-4a—6pts), Defense: Troy Stecher (3g-10a—13pts), Christian Wolanin (3g-5a—8pts), Tucker Poolman (1g-7a—8pts), Gage Ausmus (0g-4a—4pts), Keaton Thompson (1g-3a—4pts). Goaltenders: Cam Johnson (3-0-1, 1.92 GAA, .921 SV%), Matt Hrynkiw (9-2-1, 2.11 GAA, .911 Sv%). (UND Stats)

UND Injuries: Colten St. Clair.

Denver Pioneers: Forwards: Dylan Gambrell (2g-9a—11pts), Danton Heinen (5g-05a—10pts), Trevor Moore (2g-6a—8pts). Defense: Will Butcher (3g-9a—12pts), Nolan Zajac (1g-9a—10pts). Goalies: Tanner Jaillet (3-1-2, 2.11 GAA, .929 SV%), Evan Cowley (4-2-0, 2.33 GAA, .915 SV%). (DU Stats)

Series Prediction

In recent times, the series between UND and DU has been very competitive. There hasn’t been a series sweep since the 2009-10 season. During the 2009-10 season, the Pioneers swept the season series shutting out UND in two of the four games. The Fighting Sioux would finally beat the Pioneers in the semifinal game of the Final Five. This weekend, I believe the trend will continue. I am going with a split, UND 4-2 Friday. DU 3-1 Saturday.