Clash of the Titans: Miami Plays North Dakota for Weekend Set
This week, I teamed up with another member of The Hockey Writers, Eric Burton (found on twitter as @goon48) to preview the upcoming series with North Dakota. This originally appeared on The Hockey Writers, so click here to see the full preview over at THW: http://thehockeywriters.com/clash-titans-miami-plays-north-dakota-weekend-set/ Here are a couple highlights of of the full version.
It’s only week 2 of the NCAA Hockey season, and already we have one of the most anticipated, most exciting matchups of the entire season on the docket, as the University of North Dakota visits Oxford, Ohio for the very first time to take on the top-ranked Miami RedHawks. We thought it would be nice to get together to get psyched up for the big weekend, so Eric Burton, who covers NCAA Hockey for The Hockey Writers, and also covers North Dakota for Inside Hockey and the popular fan blog Goon’s World and I, writer for the Blog of Brotherhood, did so, and we preview the weekend for you.
Not only does this matchup pit the #1 team in the land against the #6 team, but it’s also a matchup of the 2 favorites to take the inaugural NCHC regular season championship. In it’s first year, the NCHC is the first conference in the NCAA to start up conference play with 2 games scheduled for each night this weekend (Minnesota-Duluth and Colorado College play a weekend set as well).
Burton reminds us that Miami will be looking for it’s first-ever win against North Dakota this weekend: “All-time when Miami plays North Dakota, UND is 2-0-1, but the two teams haven’t played on the ice since November 28, 2009 when UND and Miami skated to a wild 5-5 finish at Ralph Engelstad Arena. There’s a building excitement surrounding the new league and the match-up with the RedHawks.”
I couldn’t agree more. It seems like just yesterday, but this won’t be the first time the two teams meet as top 10 opponents. Back in that 2009 matchup, Miami was again ranked #1 in the nation, a position they eventually held for 12 straight weeks, and North Dakota (back then, they were still the Fighting Sioux) was ranked #4. Miami just assumed the top spot this week, and in this early season, both teams look strong.
Burton: I predict that this series will end in a split. That’s my best guess. But, any result other than that won’t surprise me either.
Cutler: You might call me a homer here, but I think the RedHawks sweep the weekend. Miami has the offensive firepower to beat just about anyone, and they take both games on their home ice, a site with a true advantage: