Hockey team returns for home series

UND women prepare for faceoff against St. Cloud State this weekend at the Ralph.

The UND women’s hockey team will face St. Cloud State this weekend in its first series back home since the holiday break started.

The Green and White faced the Manitoba Maple Leafs in an exhibition series Dec. 21 and won 7-0. Last weekend, the team traveled to Wisconsin and came out with a split.

“Obviously I’m a little bit disappointed,” junior forward Andrea Dalen said. “We expect to go out and sweep every weekend. Doesn’t matter what team we are going for, but I thought we — at least in the first game — I thought we competed well and we did everything right and we got the win on that one. The second night, we had a tough second period, struggled a little bit and we just couldn’t make it happen.”

With the bitter split last weekend, North Dakota is focused on improving its game.

“I think we knew going into the year we’d have opportunities every night because of our goaltending and our D-core,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “Offensively, we are really starting to develop and improve. That first night — that’s a formula for success. A lot of kids on the score sheet, contributing and getting some gritty, dirty goals. When we can do that, we are going to be tough to beat.”

This weekend, the team will host St. Cloud State — a team that has only posted one victory in the past seven games, but came away from last weekend with a split against Bemidji State.

The Huskies also have taken points from Minnesota Duluth when the two met earlier in the season.

“It’ll be a typical WCHA grind,” Idalski said. “They’ve played Minnesota extremely tough, they’ve taken points from Duluth. They’re going to come in and they are going to compete. We have to be ready and go and keep striving to improve and get better.”

UND hasn’t had a home game in nearly a month, and this weekend will provide a chance to play in front of a home crowd.

“Home is always special like our fans and everything are amazing,” Dalen said. “It gives a little extra boost to win at home and play for our city and school.”

Faceoff is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday night and 2:07 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Mariah Holland is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].