Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sioux vs. Pioneers Final Five championship game notes

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux athl...
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The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux will play the Denver Pioneers in the WCHA Final Five Championship game tonight. This is the rematch of last years Final Five Championship game where the Fighting Sioux beat the Pioneers 3-2 in double overtime.

Game Time: 7:07 pm CT

Records and Rankings: 

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (24-12-3); ranked 12th in both the USCHO and USA Today polls. The Fighting Sioux beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 6-3 in the semifinals of the Final Five on Friday night. Ranked 4th in the Pairwise Rankings.

The Denver University Pioneers (25-12-4) are ranked 9th in both the USCHO Poll and USA Today Poll. The Pioneers beat the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 4-3 in double O.T. in the semifinals of the Final Five on Friday afternoon. Tied for 8th in the Pairwise rankings

Series History:  The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux lead the all-time series against the Denver Pioneers 131-116-8. Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol’s teams have a 12-15-1 record against the Denver Pioneers. The Fighting Sioux have won five of the last seven games the Pioneers.  The Fighting Sioux and the Pioneers split the season series (4-3 W and 3-5 L).

Radio:  UND 96.1 (KQHT-FM) – The Fox.

Webcast Audio: WCHA.COM and Fighting

TV Saturday: Fox Sports North – 668 DirecTV

Players to Watch: 

North Dakota: Forwards: Danny Kristo (18-25a—43pts), Corbin Knight (15g-23a—38pts) and Brock Nelson (26g-17a—43pts). Defense: Nick Mattson (6g-13a—19pts), Dillon Simpson, (2g-15a—17pts), Ben Blood (3g-17a—20pts), Andrew MacWilliam (2g-5a—7pts). Goaltenders: Aaron Dell .898 save percentage and a 2.74 goals against average. Brad Eidsness .920 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average.

North Dakota injuries: Taylor Dickin (lower-body injury), forward Rocco Grimaldi (season, knee surgery), Brendan O’Donnell (season-ending surgery) and Derek Rodwell (season, shoulder surgery) are all out of the lineup.

For DU  Forwards: Jason Zucker (22g-24a—46pts), Drew Shore (21g-31a—52pts), Nick Shore (13g-28a—41pts) Luke Salazar (12g-17a—29pts) Defense: Joey LaLeggia (11g-27a—38pts), Jon Lee (3g-11a—14pts)   Goaltenders: Sam Brittain .931 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average, Juho Olkinuora .928 save percentage and  a 2.39 goals against average.

Denver University Injuries: Paul Phillips, Beau Bennett (wrist)
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