Miami has lost seven straight games against Minn.-Duluth and enters this road series with a .182 winning percentage in 33 meetings vs. the Bulldogs.
But UMD has been slumping, with a 1-5 record since the end of November, although the Bulldogs have played one of the toughest schedules in Division I, with Bemidji State, Minnesota, Michigan, Providence, Minnesota State and Northern Michigan on their non-conference slate.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: Miami RedHawks (4-15-1) at No. 7 Minn.-Duluth Bulldogs (11-8-1).
WHERE: Amsoil Arena (6,026), Duluth, Minn.
WHEN: Both nights – 8:07 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Minn.-Duluth leads, 26-5-2.
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
MIAMI RADIO: Friday – WKBV-AM (1490). Saturday – WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
MINN.-DULUTH RADIO: Both nights – KDAL-FM (103.9), Duluth, Minn.
NOTES: The biggest reason for UMD’s early success has been the performance of goalie Ryan Fanti. He has a 1.62 goals-against average and a save percentage of .934, tops in the NCHC and the seventh-best clip in Division I.
He also has four shutouts.
Fanti’s defense corps has been outstanding in front of him, helping limit opponents to just 25.4 shots per game. Freshman Owen Gallatin has made an immediate impact with a corps-best 10 points and a team-high plus-13 rating.
Matt Anderson, Darian Gotz and Hunter Lellig have also dressed for all 20 games on the Bulldogs’ blue line, and Wyatt Kaiser is 1-6-7 and Connor Kelly 0-6-6.
Up front, Noah Cates and Blake Biondi are tied for the team lead with 14 points apiece, and Quinn Olson trails the pair by one point with a team-high 10 helpers.
Forwards Koby Roth, former Miamian Casey Gilling and Koby Bender have also reached double digits in points.
Miami bussed to Duluth with the intention of staying in northern Minnesota for the St. Cloud State series next weekend, but Friday and Saturday’s Huskies games have been rescheduled, so it’s unclear if the RedHawks will still play at SCSU.