Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/07/11 at 10:19 AM ET
from David Albright of ESPN,
Two of college hockey’s most storied programs, Michigan and North Dakota, will face off against each other in the prime-time matchup Thursday (ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com, 8:30 p.m. ET).
The other two teams skating here, Minnesota-Duluth and Notre Dame (ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com, 5 p.m. ET), are looking to become the 18th different school to skate around with the plaque.
Here are five key questions heading into the national semifinals.
1. Can North Dakota (32-8-3), the lone remaining national seed, be stopped?
The numbers say no, but logic says maybe. The Fighting Sioux are 14-0-1 since their last loss way back on Jan. 28. And over that stretch UND has outscored its opponents 78-19, including 12-1 in the NCAA tournament. Dave Hakstol’s club is second in the nation in scoring at 4.14 goals per game, third in goals against at 2.14 per game and second in scoring margin (2.00).
“I don’t know if we can match North Dakota’s speed or skill,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “And I don’t think anyone’s found a way to take that out of the game. We just have to be ready to play in a game that might be footrace hockey, or it might be a special-teams game.
“They have the edge in special teams and they have the edge on offensive skill. They’re as good as it gets, and they’ve had that kind of season.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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