Win both games against Omaha and UND clinches NCHC regular season title
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — North Dakota hockey is about to get real familiar with Omaha as both programs get set to play each other over the final four games of the season. Luckily for the Fighting Hawks, three of those four come on home ice.
It presents an opportunity for UND to clinch the Penrose Cup and take the NCHC regular season title outright in front of the home fans. To do so, it’ll take two wins over the Mavericks.
Its not going to be an easy task, in 20 home games last season the Mavs were the Hawks only loss. The players are aware of that and know the task at hand.
“Its in the back of our heads all through this week but we know we have to take care of the job at hand first and its coming out on Friday night and winning that first game taking it shift by shift and then moving on getting into the second game,” senior captain Jordan Kawaguchi said.
“Bubs brought up earlier this week and said we were not stressing on him,” said sophomore forward Ethan Frisch. “I know we have some math guys on the team, it doesn’t take rocket scientists to figure out that if we win both games, we’ll have enough points to clinch the Penrose. Its obviously something in the back of our minds and we’d love to win it at home.”
“We’ve been in this league long enough to know combining both games and knowing that you have to win two to do it is what you have to do but Friday night is our biggest focus,” head coach Brad Berry said.
The Hawks have a four-point lead over St Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth and regained the top ranking in the USCHO poll.