ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Rather than playing a home-and-home NCHC series, the St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth men's hockey teams will play games one week apart.
St. Cloud State announced the change on Monday, Feb. 22, that the Huskies and Bulldogs will still play at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. That game will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network.
The teams will now play at 1:07 p.m. March 6 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center for the other meeting between the teams remaining on the regular season schedule. That game was originally scheduled to be played on Friday, Feb. 26.
"The schedule change was made to provide easier travel for both the Huskies and Bulldogs and is in the best interests of the student-athletes' health, safety and performance," according to a news release by St. Cloud State.
The two games remaining between St. Cloud State (14-8-0) and Minnesota Duluth (12-8-2) have postseason meaning. The Huskies are in second place in the NCHC standings with 43 points, four points ahead of the Bulldogs. Nebraska Omaha (13-8-1) is in fourth place, one point behind UMD.
St. Cloud State is 3-1 this season against Minnesota Duluth.
North Dakota (17-4-1) wrapped up the NCHC regular season title with a series sweep of the Mavericks over the weekend. North Dakota and UNO have two games against one another remaining on their schedule: 7:07 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 at Baxter Arena in Omaha, and 7:37 p.m. Friday, March 5 at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.
At the end of the regular season, the conference will seed the teams for the conference quarterfinals based on where teams finish in the final standings. North Dakota will play the No. 8 seed, the No. 2 seed will play No. 7, No. 3 will play No. 6 and No. 4 will play No. 5. Unlike other years in the quarterfinals, it will be a win-or-go-home scenario. In past years, the quarterfinals have been a best-of-three series.
The quarterfinals, semifinals and championship games of the NCHC tournament will all be played at Engelstad Arena. There will be quarterfinals games at 2:37 p.m. and 7:37 p.m. on March 12-13. The teams will be re-seeded after the quarterfinals and the semifinals games will be played at 3:05 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. March 15. The championship game will be played at 7:35 p.m. March 16.
The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Division I tournament.
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