NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: Only three NCHC teams are in action on Thanksgiving weekend, all in non-conference play. No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth is the lone NCHC team at home, hosting top-ranked Minnesota State of the WCHA, while Miami is at UConn (Hockey East) and No. 3/3 North Dakota is at long-time rival Minnesota (Big Ten). On the season, NCHC teams have combined to go 31-16-9 in non-conference play this season, with the .634 winning percentage tops among the six Division I men’s hockey conferences. The NCHC has posted the best combined non-conference winning percentage in four of the last five seasons, including last year at .659.
POLL POSITIONS: Five NCHC teams remain ranked in the USCHO.com Poll for the third straight week. The five ranked teams in the poll tie with Hockey East and the Big Ten for the most from one conference. Three NCHC teams remain ranked, all in the top 10, in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll, as well:
WE’RE GOING STREAKING: No. 3/3 North Dakota heads into its series with Minnesota riding a nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1), which is the longest active unbeaten streak in the country (Cornell is second at 8-0-0). North Dakota ranks in the top five nationally in both offense (3.85 gpg/4th in NCAA) and defense (1.54 gapg/3rd in NCAA) on the season. UND is also allowing the fewest shots on goal per game in the NCAA this season at 19.69, while the Fighting Hawks 93.3 percent penalty kill is second nationally (42-of-45).
SCORIN’ SCOTTY: Minnesota Duluth junior defenseman Scott Perunovich, the two-time NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year, handed out seven assists last weekend, has 10 in his last three games, and 14 during his current six-game point streak. He leads all NCAA defensemen with 20 points this season (second among all NCAA skaters), while his 18 assists rank second nationally, as well, and lead all NCHC players. His 1.50 assists per game also rank second in the NCAA.
THE STARS ALIGNED: For the fourth straight week, an NCHC player was named an NCAA Star of the Week as UMD junior defenseman Scott Perunovich earned First Star on Tuesday after his seven-assist weekend against Colorado College. He’s the first NCHC player among the four to earn NCAA First Star of the Week this season.
IN SEARCH OF 100: No active NCHC players have 100 career points, but two are closing in on the century mark. Miami senior forward and captain Gordie Green has 94 points and Western Michigan senior forward and captain Hugh McGing has 93, with Green the active career scoring lead in the NCHC. Green has 40 goals and 54 assists in 124 career games, while McGing has 35 goals and 58 assists in 125 career games.
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