Minn.-Duluth is the only NCHC team Miami has yet to face this season and the lone conference foe it will not host in 2022-23.
The Bulldogs have been highly streaky this season, having most recently lost three, won three and lost three more before beating Denver, 6-5 in overtime last Saturday.
Miami is 1-15-2 all-time in Duluth, with its lone win there coming on Halloween of 2014, although the RedHawks did tie their last game at Amsoil late last regular season.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: Miami RedHawks (7-19-4, 2-15-3 NCHC) at Minn.-Duluth Bulldogs (13-16-1, 8-12).
WHERE: Amsoil Arena (6,756), Duluth, Minn.
WHEN: Friday — 8:07 p.m.; Saturday — 9:37 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Minn.-Duluth leads, 28-6-3.
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
MIAMI RADIO: Friday — WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.; Saturday — WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
MINN.-DULUTH RADIO: KDAL-AM (610) and KDAL-FM (103.9), Duluth, Minn.
NOTES: It’s a rare down year for Minn.-Duluth, which has advanced the NCAA Tournament seven straight seasons and has won two national championships in that span.
The Bulldogs have clinched a non-winning league record and will almost certainly have to travel for its first-round NCHC Tournament series, as they are in fifth place and are trying to hold off charging North Dakota and Colorado College.
UMD has been a one-dimensional team offensively, with Ben Steeves scoring 19 goals, a quarter of the team’s total offensive production. He has six assists for a team-best 25 points.
Minn.-Duluth has scored 26 power play goals this season, and Steeves has 11 of them (amazingly, he has just one assist on the man advantage).
Dominic James (8-12-20), Quinn Olson (5-14-19) and Luke Loheit (6-10-16) have been the Bulldogs’ other top offensive threats up front. James is 58 percent on faceoffs.
On defense, three UMD blueliners have exactly 15 points: Owen Gallatin, Wyatt Kaiser and Derek Daschke.
Gallatin and Kaiser have identical 4-11-15 lines, and Daschke — a graduate senior who played for the RedHawks the last four seasons and was team captain in 2021-22 — has two goals and 13 assists.
Goalies Matthew Thiessen and Zach Stejskal have split time in net this season, and each has started one game per weekend recently.
Thiessen, a Maine transfer, has the better overall numbers, with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage, and Stejskal’s GAA is 3.19 and his save percentage is just .893.
Stejskal was a backup for the Bulldogs the past two seasons.
Miami is mired in an 11-game winless streak, the team’s longest solely under coach Chris Bergeron, but the RedHawks salvaged a pair of ties two weeks ago in St. Cloud.
MU has been held to nine goals in its last 10 games and has already clinched last place in the league.