NCAA Tournament Round 1 Preview: North Dakota

NCAA Tournament Mens Hockey Tickets

We made it to the dance.  Pretty much everybody until last weekend doubted we’d be here, but we’re here as the hottest team in the country with some new hardware.

Alright, so I admittedly don’t know anything about North Dakota.  I know that they’re apparently good.  I know that they managed to win thirty games this year.  I know they’ve been to the last two Frozen Fours.  I know they also have a line named after the world’s most boring television network.

Let’s take a look at our old friend the stat sheet.  They have a 58.6 close CF%, which is third in the country.  The members of the previously referenced CBS line are three of the top fifteen scorers in the country.  Goalie Cam Johnson is tied for the third best save percentage in the country at .935.  They have the eighth best offense and third best defense, good for the fifth best scoring margin.

So, that was a little depressing.  Let’s cheer up with this:

Yeah, remember how awesome Northeastern is?  One single loss in 2016.  First Hockey East championship since 1988.  The Huskies are good.

North Dakota also plays in a worse conference, beating up on worse teams than those we’ve seen in Hockey East all year.  They blew a lead in their conference championship on the way to getting dusted by fellow tournament fourth seed Duluth.  Their own goalie dropped that they got too comfortable playing bad teams, saying “We thought, ‘Oh, all we have to do is just show up to the rink, and we’re going to win the game.'”  The players their goalie is tied with in save percentage?  Thatcher Demko and Kevin Boyle, the two most recent victims of Husky offense.  They ain’t so bad.

Jim Dahl at College Hockey Ranked ran the KRACH predictions using just 2016 and found Northeastern to be an 86-14 favorite over North Dakota.  With those parameters, the Huskies have a 46% to win the championship.  I like those odds.

.

Advertisements