Looking at the schedule last summer, it was hard to imagine North Dakota would be in seventh place in the NCHC when it came to Oxford.
But the Fighting Hawks’ loss to the RedHawks in Grand Forks two months ago started their current 2-6-1 skid vs. league opponents.
Miami is winless in its last four home contests vs. UND.
Overall the RedHawks have dropped five straight and were outscored, 20-1 on their four-game road trip to open 2023.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: North Dakota Fighting Hawks (10-11-4, 4-8-2 NCHC) at Miami RedHawks (7-15-2, 2-11-1).
WHERE: Cady Arena (3,642), Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday — 7:35 p.m.; Saturday — 7:05 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: North Dakota leads, 23-8-1.
TV: Friday — CBS Sports Network (DirecTV Ch. 221).
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
NORTH DAKOTA RADIO: Both nights — KQHT-FM (96.1), Grand Forks, N.D.
MIAMI RADIO: Both nights — WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.; Saturday — WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
NOTES: Simply put, North Dakota has struggled to stop the puck this season.
The Fighting Hawks’ save percentage is just .872, and none of their three goalies are above .888.
Drew DeRidder played both ends of last weekend’s series, a home split with Duluth, and held the Bulldogs to four goals on the weekend, so he is the likely favorite to start both nights again.
That makes for an interesting matchup against Miami, which has scored once in its last four games.
North Dakota has had no problem scoring, averaging 3.36 goals per game, the 14th-best clip in Division I.
We talked about the roster in November, but freshman, Carolina fourth-rounder Jackson Blake, now leads the team in scoring with 26 points.
Riese Gaber, an undersized stud with a wicked shot, is tops on the team in goals with 13 goals — eight on the power play.
— Which brings up the next note: The Fighting Hawks are second in the NCAA in power play efficiency at 30.1 percent. The RedHawks are fifth in Division I in penalty minutes per game.
Discipline is key for Miami.
— The RedHawks played North Dakota in Grand Forks two months ago and were whipped, 7-1 in the opener but salvaged a 4-3 win in the final after blowing a 3-0 lead.
Jack Clement scored the game-winner in the closing minutes.
— Miami’s last win over the Fighting Hawks at Cady Arena was on Nov. 10, 2018. The RedHawks are 0-3-1 vs. UND in Oxford since.
— Will Logan Neaton earn more time between the pipes with his 32-for-33 performance in Omaha last Saturday? Ludvig Persson has an .829 save percentage the last four games.