Nov. 1, 2012
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Inside BU Hockey - Episode 4
Two storied college hockey programs will clash this weekend as No. 12 Boston University (3-1-0) opens its November and non-conference schedules with a series at No. 5/6 North Dakota (2-1-1). Both contests will be televised live by NESN and FCS Central.
The series opener on Friday with start at 8:30 p.m. ET while Saturday's contest will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET.
BU is making its first trip to Grand Forks since 1996 and will make its first appearance at the new Ralph Engelstad Arena. This is the first time BU has visited a WCHA team for a two-game series since it traveled to face Minnesota on Jan. 2-3, 2004.
The Terriers have faced North Dakota 19 times and hold a 7-11-1 record in the all-time series, but are winless in the six meetings (0-5-1) that have taken place in Grand Forks. BU is 70-67-10 (.510) all-time against current WCHA teams and the only member schools it has never faced are Bemidji State and Minnesota State.
The teams last faced off in 2008 when they opened the season at Agganis Arena for the Ice Breaker Invitational on Oct. 10. BU won that contest, 5-1, for the first of what would be a school-record 35 victories en route to the program's fifth national championship.
The Terriers are coming off a home-and-home sweep of UMass. Saturday's come-from-behind win in Amherst closed out a run of four straight league games to open the season and also started a span of four straight road games, the longest such stretch for the team since the 2005-06 season.
North Dakota has played only teams from Alaska thus far this season, having opened the year at the Alaska Gold Rush tournament in Fairbanks before hosting Alaska Anchorage for a pair of games last weekend. UND tied the Seawolves, 3-3, on Sunday after earning a 4-1 victory on Friday.
Redshirt freshman Rocco Grimaldi is off to a good start with four points (2g, 2a) and shares the team lead in points with senior Danny Kristo, who has a squad-best four assists. Senior Corban Knight, junior Derek Forbort and sophomore Mark MacMillan have two goals apiece as 13 UND players on the team already have at least two points.
Junior Clarke Saunders - an Alabama-Huntsville transfer - is 1-1-1 in goal thus far with a 1.64 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Freshman Zane Gothberg won his first collegiate start last Friday.
Dave Hakstol is in his ninth season at the helm of the UND program and boasts a record of 215-107-31 (.653). His winning percentage ranks third among active Division I coaches.
BU's forward line of senior Wade Megan and sophomores Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues has totaled 15 points (6g, 9a) and a combined plus-17 rating through the first four games of the season.
Megan has scored BU's first goal in each of the last three games and is on a five-game point streak dating back to last season. Hohmann has three goals already this season after only tallying two goals as a rookie and Rodrigues has at least one assist in all four games thus far.
Freshman goaltender Matt O'Connor, who was named Hockey Co-Rookie of the Month on Thursday, has won his first three collegiate starts and leads Hockey East in save percentage at .945, a mark that ranks 11th nationally.