Miami is catching an NCAA perennial power in a rare weak moment.

North Dakota is 1-3-1 in its last five games, including a loss to Arizona State in the U.S. Hall of Fame Game.

But the Fighting Hawks are still ranked No. 19 in both major polls, and its four other losses came against Quinnipiac, Denver and Minnesota — the latter two were ranked first and second in .

Miami was stellar in its non-conference slate but has bombed since NCHC play started, going 0-5-1 in the league following a 4-1-1 start.

A look at this weekend’s matchup:

WHO: Miami RedHawks (4-6-2) at No. 19 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (4-5-2).

WHERE: Ralph Engelstad Arena (11,643), Grand Forks, N.D.

WHEN: Friday – 8:07 p.m.; Saturday – 7:07 p.m.

ALL-TIME SERIES: North Dakota leads, 22-7-4.

TV: None.


MIAMI RADIO: Both nights – WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

NOTES: Weird that a quarter of the way through the season, North Dakota is sitting in seventh place in an eight-team conference with four points, but the Fighting Hawks were also bulldozed by Denver and went 1-0-1 against Omaha.

UND is obviously not having the start of its dreams, largely because it has allowed 3.12 goals per game.

The Fighting Hawks’ save percentage is .879, but Drew DeRidder has allowed three goals or fewer in his last four starts.

He appears to have won the North Dakota goalie competition and should start both nights.

North Dakota has had no problem scoring, with Riese Gaber netting eight goals — four on the power play — and he has added four assists. The undersized junior has crushed Miami, going 6-1-7 in five career games vs. the RedHawks.

Jackson Blake is also off to an excellent start for UND, recording four goals and seven assists. Gavin Hain has missed two games but is still second on the team in goals with five.

Jake Schmaltz — cousin of former UND standout Nick Schmaltz — and captain Mark Senden, as well as Dylan James, all have six points and have been significant offensive threats up front as well.

On defense, Chris Jandric leads the team in points with 14, including a pair of goals and Cooper Moore is 2-5-7 for fourth-best overall.

Miami has largely played North Dakota tough in recent years but is 0-8-1 in the last nine meetings. Its last win in Grand Forks came on Jan. 13, 2017.


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