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College men's hockey preview: Minnesota Duluth at St. Cloud State

No. 8 Minnesota Duluth (4-2-2) at No. 2 St. Cloud State (5-0)

What: NCHC openers

When: 7:37 p.m. Friday/4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St. Cloud

Series: The Huskies lead 64-49-9

Coaches: Scott Sandelin, in his 18th season at UMD, is 319-286-84; Bob Motzko, in his 13th season at St. Cloud State, is 256-183-43.

TV: FSN-Plus

Radio: KDAL-AM 610/KDAL-FM 103.9

Internet: (audio); (video)

Twitter: @mattwellens

UMD update: The Bulldogs enter NCHC play on a three-game winning streak after sweeping Maine 2-1 and 2-0 in Orono last weekend. UMD was perfect on the penalty kill and is now 11-for-11 on the PK over the last three games after starting 17-for-27 (.630). Sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard has helped boost the PK with his .960 save percentage and 1.01 goals-against average over the last three games. Freshman defenseman Dylan Samberg of Hermantown leads UMD in blocked shots with 15, good for third in the country among freshmen. He blocked nine shots in the sweep of Maine. The Bulldogs' penalty kill — 13-of-16 (.813) — helped them go 4-1-0 against the Huskies last season. Over the last three seasons, UMD is 9-4-1 against the Huskies with a perfect 6-0 record on the big ice sheet in St. Cloud. The Bulldogs have found success on the wider Olympic ice sheets the past three seasons, going 13-1-1 at five sites.

St. Cloud State update: The Huskies are off to their best start since 2013-14 when they started 5-0-1. They also started 8-0-1 in 2003-04 but the last time St. Cloud State won its first five games was in 2001-02 when it started 9-0. Duluth native Judd Peterson, who played at Marshall, is co-captain along with junior defenseman Jimmy Schuldt. Peterson, a senior forward, underwent hip surgery at the end of last spring after playing with the injury throughout the second half of the season. Peterson, 24, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft . He's still searching for his first goal of the season, though he does have five assists. Schuldt leads the team in scoring with four goals and six assists. Twin brothers Jack and Nick Poehling, sophomore forwards, have four goals each and their younger brother, sophomore forward Ryan, is second on the team in points with eight. Junior Jeff Smith (1.67 goals-against average, .943 save percentage) and freshman David Hrenak (2.46, .921) have split time in goal.

Quote: "Whenever we play St. Cloud or Minnesota, the No. 1 thing is to stay out of the box because they always have good power plays. We've done a good job in St. Cloud's building of limiting those opportunities for them." — Sandelin

Matt Wellens

College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.

(218) 723-5317