Jan 29, 2014 9:40 PM by Jordan Mason
NCHC Notes of Interest
• Only four NCHC teams are in action this weekend with all four playing a conference series. The other four NCHC squads have their final bye weekend of the regular season. Following this weekend's games, all eight NCHC teams will have 10 conference games remaining on their schedule.
• After last weekend's inaugural North Star College Cup, where Minnesota Duluth earned runner-up and No. 5/5 St. Cloud State took third, all eight NCHC teams are finished with non-conference play in the regular season. Only conference games remain over the final six weeks of the regular season. The NCHC finished 37-31-16 (.536) in non-conference play (page 6).
• Coming off a bye week, No. 20 Western Michigan looks to extend its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) when it faces Minnesota Duluth. During the unbeaten streak, WMU has two wins over then No. 13 Miami, a win over then No. 3 Michigan and a win and a tie against then No. 3 St. Cloud State. UMD was the last team to beat WMU back on Dec. 14 in Duluth.
• The NCHC's Trophy Tour continues this weekend as the Penrose Cup, awarded to the NCHC regular-season champion, will be on display at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. for the WMU/UMD series.
• Denver, which is idle this week, is one of just three NCAA teams (Minn. State, Quinnipiac) to rank in the top 10 nationally in both special teams categories. The Pioneers are fifth on the power play at 22.9 percent and sixth on the penalty kill at 87.9 percent. Two NCHC teams rank in the top five on the power play as St. Cloud State ranks fourth at 23.4 percent.
• A pair of NCHC goaltenders rank in the top five in the NCAA in save percentage with Denver senior Sam Brittain third (.936) and WMU sophomore Lukas Hafner fifth (.935). Hafner leads the NCAA with a 1.61 GAA.
• The NCHC also boasts two of the top six goal-scorers in the country in Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald and Miami sophomore forward Riley Barber. Archibald is tied for third nationally with 17 goals (first in the NCHC) while Barber is tied for sixth with 16 tallies. Barber is also tied for sixth in the NCAA in points with 35, tops in the NCHC.