OXFORD, Ohio -- Here's a new one.

The UND hockey team's flight Thursday was delayed by about 90 minutes because it was too cold for the de-icing fluid. So, the team hung out in an aircraft hanger at Grand Forks International Airport, waiting for temperatures to warm up to 25-below zero so the de-icing could be applied.

After that slight hurdle -- and rather comical one for those leaving town -- the Fighting Hawks flew to Ohio ahead of their two-game series with Miami University (5:30 p.m. tonight, 6:05 p.m. Saturday).

Because Oxford doesn't have an airport, UND's options are to fly to Dayton or Cincinnati. Both are about an hour away. When the league started, UND often flew to Cincinnati and drove north. The last few years, though, they've gone to Dayton.

UND arrived in time to hold a 5:40 p.m. practice in Goggin Ice Center.

There was a good sign for UND at practice: Jacob Bernard-Docker, who was questionable after missing last Saturday's game, not only skated but won the team's weekly shootout competition. It was his first win of the year.

This weekend's series between the Fighting Hawks and RedHawks is bound to be different than the one in November for a few reasons.

In Game 1 between the teams in The Ralph, Miami loaded up its top line with its three best forwards -- Gordie Green, Karch Bachman and Casey Gilling. UND, with the luxury of last line change, sent the Gavin Hain, Mark Senden and Cole Smith line to match up against them all night long. The Senden line won that battle and UND won 7-1.

So, for Game 2, Miami coach Chris Bergeron split up that line, likely to get one or two of them away from the Senden line. It worked better and UND won a narrow 5-4 game.

This time, UND will not have last line change, and Miami is a much deeper team with the addition of Matt Barry and the emergence of Chase Pletzke (see below).

Miami's numbers have reflected a huge difference, too.

In the first nine games of the season (after the UND series in November), Miami averaged 2.78 goals per game, gave up 4.22 goals per game, had a power play at 10.8 percent and a penalty kill at 73.8.

Since leaving Grand Forks, the RedHawks are averaging 3.18 goals per game, giving up 2.91 goals per game, have a power play at 34.4 percent and a penalty kill at 81.4 percent.

One other inside-the-game nugget to follow: Gilling and Collin Adams were linemates in Muskegon in the USHL, forming one of the league's best lines. The third guy on their line? Andrei Svechnikov, the Carolina Hurricanes player who keeps scoring lacrosse-style goals.

A young UND fan in a Matt Henderson jersey watches practice at Goggin Ice Center on Thursday in Oxford, Ohio. Photo by Brad Elliott Schlossman / Grand Forks Herald
A young UND fan in a Matt Henderson jersey watches practice at Goggin Ice Center on Thursday in Oxford, Ohio. Photo by Brad Elliott Schlossman / Grand Forks Herald

Follow the games

No. 1 UND at Miami

When: 5:30 tonight, 6:05 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Steve Cady Arena at Goggin Ice Center, Oxford, Ohio.

TV: CBS Sports Network tonight only

Radio: The Fox (96.1 FM).

Webcast: NCHC.tv on Saturday only.

Live blog: GrandForksHerald.com.

Stories to read

Notebook: Jordan Kawaguchi's numbers may be more impressive than they seem

Feature: Top UND recruit Jake Sanderson 'has everything you want'

Former player news: Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson to participate in NHL All-Star weekend

News: Allegiant adds Grand Forks-to-Nashville flight for sold out U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game

Former player news: T.J. Oshie voted to NHL All-Star Game

Recruiting: UND commit Jake Sanderson ranked No. 11 on Central Scouting's midterm draft list, other recruits follow

News: NCHC suspends Shane Pinto one game for cross-checking major

Tale of the tape

UNDStatistical categoryMiami
17-2-2Record6-11-3
1Poll rankingNR
2Pairwise43
4.19 (1st)Offense3.00 (21st)
1.81 (4th)Defense3.50 (54th)
9.2 (48th)Penalty minutes10.8 (32nd)
18.3 (30th)Power play21.7 (16th)
91.4 (4th)Penalty kill77.6 (49th)
53.2 (10th)Faceoffs51.2 (21st)
60.3 (1st)Corsi (possession)45.3 (51st)
.912 (21st)Goaltending.891 (47th)

National rank in parenthesis

Injury update

UND will be without captain Colton Poolman (upper body), who did not make the trip to Oxford after sustaining an injury during last Saturday's game against Omaha. Zach Yon (undisclosed) also did not practice this week or make the trip to Oxford. Jacob Bernard-Docker, who missed last Saturday's game with a lower-body injury sustained on a knee-to-knee collision with Omaha's Nolan Sullivan, did make the trip. Bernard-Docker practiced Thursday at Goggin Ice Center. Miami is expected to be without rookie forward Ryan Savage, who missed last Saturday's game against Colorado College.

Jacob Bernard-Docker signs autographs for young fans after UND's practice Thursday at Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio. Photo by Brad Elliott Schlossman / Grand Forks Herald
Jacob Bernard-Docker signs autographs for young fans after UND's practice Thursday at Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio. Photo by Brad Elliott Schlossman / Grand Forks Herald

The focus: Matt Barry

Miami will look a lot different than it did in early November when it came to Ralph Engelstad Arena and lost 7-1 and 5-4. For starters, Matt Barry, a Holy Cross transfer and one of the USHL’s best players in 2017-18, became eligible at semester break. He is centering Miami’s second line and tallied two points in Miami’s 6-1 win over Colorado College a week ago. Also, rookie Chase Pletzke (pictured), who had one point in Miami’s first 10 games of the season, has come alive. Pletzke has 10 points in the last 10 games for the RedHawks, including four last weekend.

Miami forward Chase Pletzke. Photo by Miami athletics.
Miami forward Chase Pletzke. Photo by Miami athletics.

Pick to click: Cole Smith

Steve Cady Arena at Goggin Ice Center feels like a small rink where things happen fast. Sometimes, that means the players who have the most success are the ones who play a simple, north-south game. Since the formation of the NCHC, only one UND player has scored in both games of a series in this building. It was Trevor Olson in 2016-17. The player on this team who most fits that mold is Cole Smith. He's big, physical, plays a north-south simple game and he's due for a goal. Smith had an empty-netter against Huntsville, but the last time he beat a goalie was Thanksgiving Day, when he buried the ninth goal of the game on Minnesota. Smith looked sharp in practice Wednesday, and if he keeps playing his style, a reward is coming soon.

North Dakota's Cole Smith gets tangled up with Miami's Ryan Savage (21) in the first period Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. Eric Hylden/The Rink Live
North Dakota's Cole Smith gets tangled up with Miami's Ryan Savage (21) in the first period Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. Eric Hylden/The Rink Live

Weekend prediction: Sweep

This UND men’s hockey team hasn’t faced a ton of adversity this season. But there will be a touch of adversity this weekend. UND will be on the road in a place where it has one win in its last four games. UND won’t be at full strength. The Fighting Hawks will be playing against a Miami team that’s considerably better than the one they faced in November. But great teams narrow their focus and respond to adversity. The games will be close this weekend. Can UND find a way to win?

UND 3-2, 4-3

UND's Mark Senden and Miami's Scott Corbett work for control of the puck in the first period Saturday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
UND's Mark Senden and Miami's Scott Corbett work for control of the puck in the first period Saturday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald


Pairwise Rankings

1. Cornell 12-1-2

2. UND 17-2-2

3. MSU-Mankato 20-3-1

4. Denver 15-4-3

5. Boston College 13-5

6. Penn State 16-6

7. Ohio State 14-6-2

8. UMass 14-7-1

9. Minnesota Duluth 12-6-2

10. Clarkson 15-4-2

11. Providence 13-5-5

12. Northeastern 13-6-2

13. UMass Lowell 12-5-4

14. Arizona State 13-8-3

15. Northern Michigan 13-7-2

16. Michigan State 11-10-1

17. Quinnipiac 12-8-1

18. Harvard 8-5-2

19. Michigan Tech 13-10-2

20. Notre Dame 10-9-3

21. Bemidji State 12-7-3

22. New Hampshire 11-8-1

23. Army 14-7-2

24. Bowling Green 13-9-2

25. Dartmouth 8-5-3

USCHO poll

1t. North Dakota (17 first-place votes) 17-2-2

1t. Cornell (21) 12-1-2

3. MSU-Mankato (12) 20-3-1

4. Denver 15-4-3

5. Boston College 13-5

6. Penn State 16-6

7. Clarkson 15-4-2

8. Minnesota Duluth 12-6-2

9. Ohio State 14-6-2

10. UMass 14-7-1

11. Providence 13-5-5

12. Northeastern 13-6-2

13. UMass Lowell 12-5-4

14. Arizona State 13-8-3

15. Bowling Green 13-9-2

16. Harvard 8-5-2

17. Northern Michigan 13-7-2

18. Notre Dame 10-9-3

19. Michigan Tech 13-10-2

20. Michigan State 11-10-1

Player stats

UND

Scoring

29 Jordan Kawaguchi, jr, f 10-20--30

18 Collin Adams, jr, f 7-12--19

11 Westin Michaud, sr, f 8-9--17

22 Shane Pinto, fr, f 10-6--16

16 Grant Mismash, jr, f 6-9--15

24 J. Bernard-Docker, so, d 3-11--14

3 Matt Kiersted, jr, d 2-12--14

26 Cole Smith, sr, f 7-5--12

6 Colton Poolman, sr, d 2-9--11

14 Jasper Weatherby, so, f 7-3--10

19 Mark Senden, so, f 4-5--9

17 Jonny Tychonick, so, d 3-6--9

9 Dixon Bowen, sr, f 6-2--8

10 Gavin Hain, so, f 2-6--8

8 Harrison Blaisdell, fr, f 2-6--8

28 Judd Caulfield, fr, f 2-5--7

4 Andrew Peski, sr, d 1-6--7

21 Jackson Keane, jr, f 1-3--4

2 Gabe Bast, jr, d 2-1--3

15 Ethan Frisch, fr, d 1-2--3

7 Zach Yon, sr, f 0-3--3

31 Adam Scheel, so, g 0-2--2

20 Josh Rieger, jr, d 1-0--1

5 Casey Johnson, sr, f 1-0--1

1 Peter Thome, jr, g 0-0--0

35 Harrison Feeney, fr, g NA

13 Carson Albrecht, fr, f NA

Goaltending

31 Adam Scheel, so 16-1-2 1.61 .922

1 Peter Thome, jr 0-0-0 0.00 1.000

35 Harrison Feeney, fr NA

MIAMI

Scoring

9 Gordie Green, sr, f 9-15--24

85 Karch Bachman, sr, f 7-12--19

13 Derek Daschke, so, d 6-10--16

39 Casey Gilling, jr, f 5-11--16

28 Chase Pletzke, fr, f 5-6--11

18 Monte Graham, so, f 3-8--11

12 John Sladic, fr, f 5-5--10

21 Ryan Savage, fr, f 5-5--10

5 Jack Clement, fr, d 4-4--8

67 Phil Knies, jr, f 2-6--8

14 Noah Jordan, so, f 2-4--6

11 Rourke Russell, jr, d 1-5--6

3 Bray Crowder, so, d 0-6--6

20 Christian Mohs, jr, f 2-1--3

10 Ben Lown, jr, f 1-2--3

25 Scott Corbett, so, f 0-3--3

26 Matt Barry, so, f 1-1--2

7 Grant Frederic, sr, d 0-2--2

34 Alec Capstick, fr, d 0-2--2

4 Andrew Sinard, so, d 0-2--2

6 Alec Mahalak, jr, d 1-0--1

8 Chaz Switzer, sr, d 1-0--1

19 Brian Hawkinson, so, f 0-1--1

22 Carter Johnson, sr, f 0-0--0

31 Ryan Larkin, sr, g 0-0--0

33 Ben Kraws, fr, g 0-0--0

36 Grant Valentine, jr, g 0-0--0

Goaltending

31 Ryan Larkin, sr 5-8-0 3.72 .895

33 Ben Kraws, fr 1-1--2 2.92 .893

36 Grant Valentine, jr 0-2-1 3.32 .881