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UND outscored its opponents 102-36 last year at the REA.
North Dakota opens season hosting Mavericks
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Updated: Saturday 10/04/2012 09:57:42 (ET)
by Derek Koenen, UND Athletic Media Relations
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THIS WEEK: With no exhibition games on the 2012-13 schedule, fifth-ranked North Dakota will jump straight into conference play, opening the regular season against Minnesota State University, Mankato.

TUNE IN: This weekend's games will be broadcasted on KKXL "The Fan" 1440 AM and on www.UNDSports.com with broadcaster Darrin Looker calling the action. A webcast is also available through www.UNDSports.com.

A live blog will be open for fans during the game at www.UNDSports.com or you can get live updates by following UNDWHockey through twitter. Live stats for the game can be found through www.UNDSports.com.

Make sure to "like" the team on Facebook for behind the scenes videos and information on this years squad at www.faceboook.com/UNDwhky.

ABOUT MINNESOTA STATE: The Mavericks opened their season last weekend hosting then-second-ranked Wisconsin. MSU earned a disappointing one point in the series.

The Mavericks skated to a surprising 2-2 tie in the series opener, but allowed the game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation. Wisconsin would go on to win the shootout for the extra point.

In the series finale, it was the Mavericks who fell short of the late comeback attempt, falling 3-2.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES: UND is 11-21-6 (.368) all-time against the Mavericks. North Dakota went undefeated against MSU last year going 3-0-1, winning the lone shootout on the road.

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 5 in both the USCHO.com and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.

COACHES CHOICE: North Dakota was picked to finish second in the WCHA Pre-Season Coaches Poll, behind defending national champion Minnesota and tied with defending WCHA regular-season champion Wisconsin.

HOME DOMINANCE: North Dakota went 15-3-1 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena last year to set new program records in home wins and home winning percentage. At the REA, UND outscored its opponents 102-36.

START STRONG, FINISH STRONG: UND went 17-2 when scoring first last season.

UNITED NATIONS: North Dakota continues to expand its recruiting pipeline while pursuing local standouts as well. UND has four players from North Dakota, 10 from Minnesota, two from Colorado, two from Manitoba, one from Ontario, one from Quebec and six from Europe (Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden).

OLD VETS VS. THE YOUNG AND RESTLESS: Of the 26 athletes on UND's 2012-13 roster, eight of them are seniors and 14 are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen.

FRONT LOADED: UND will open the season playing 12 of its first 16 games at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

BONUS SCHOOL: Jorid Dagfinrud, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux have all received their bachelor's degrees from UND and are pursuing their master's degrees.

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT: For the second consecutive season, UND ranked second in the nation in attendance (1,485 per game) while setting a new program record for total attendance as well (28,218).

EXPOSURE: UND will have four games televised by Midco Sports Net in 2012-13 as home series against rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin will be shown in households regionally.

All home games are aired locally on the radio along with eight road games this season.

All UND home games can be viewed through UNDSports.com.

AROUND THE WCHA: Defending Western Collegiate Hockey Association champion Wisconsin started league play by taking five of six points from Minnesota State at Mankato and defending national champion and top-rated Minnesota rolled out of the gate with two impressive home victories against Colgate on the opening weekend of the 2012-13 women's college hockey season.

Ohio State swept Lindenwood, 4-0 and 7-2, in two non-conference games in Columbus on Sept. 28-29, but the loudest September song came from Minnesota who scored 7-0 and 11-0 victories over visiting Colgate at Ridder Arena.

On the second weekend of the season, this Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6, five more WCHA teams will launch their league campaigns as Minnesota (2-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) hosts St. Cloud State (0-0-0), Minnesota Duluth (0-0-0) entertains Ohio State (2-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) and North Dakota (0-0-0) welcomes Minnesota State (0-1-1, 0-1-0-1 WCHA). Bemidji State's first WCHA series this fall will come on Oct. 12-13 when the Beavers host St. Cloud State. The Beavers (0-0-0) open their non-conference season Oct. 5-6 at Providence College (0-0-0) while Wisconsin (1-0-1) travels to Lindenwood (0-2-0).

Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt, the WCHA's head coaches' pick for pre-season rookie of the year, scored the first three goals in last Friday's 7-0 whitewash of Colgate and all-American goalie Noora Räty made 20 saves in recording her 27th collegiate shutout. Last Saturday, junior forward Amanda Kessel, Brandt and fellow freshman Maryanne Menefee each had two goals and freshman goaltender Amanda Leveille recorded her first shutout (with 21 saves) in an 11-0 whitewash. The non-conference sweep solidified Minnesota's spot as the unanimous No. 1 pick atop the USCHO.com Women's Division 1 Poll this week.

That poll also shows four WCHA teams in the top seven this week as Wisconsin is at No. 4, North Dakota is at No. 5 and Minnesota Duluth is at No. 7. UMD started its season with two home exhibition victories over the Minnesota Whitecaps, 5-2 and 5-3, last weekend at AMSOIL Arena.

The 112-game conference season began in Mankato with a hotly contested series between the host MSU Mavericks and two-time defending league champion Wisconsin at All Seasons Arena. Last Friday (Sept. 28), Minnesota State's Danielle Butters made 41 saves and Lauren Zrust and Lauren Smith had goals, but UW's Katy Josephs tied the game with :49 seconds left in regulation and Madison Packer picked up the extra point for the Badgers with the shootout-winning goal. In the series finale last Saturday (Sept. 29), senior forward Brianna Decker, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner and WCHA Player of the Year last season, had two goals and freshman Kim Drake had the game-winner in the Badgers' first victory this season. UW goaltender Alex Rigsby made 16 saves, bringing her series total to 39 stops. Butters made 36 saves, including 22 in the second period alone.

Ohio State set a school record for shots on goal, with over 60 in each game, in sweeping visiting Lindenwood last weekend. Junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp was between the pipes in both games for the Buckeyes, making 35 saves. Senior forward Paige Semenza scored three goals in the series and had five points overall, including a four-point day in the series finale with two goals and two assists. Junior defenseman Annie Svedin had five points in the win last Saturday on two goals and three assists, including a shorthanded tally early in the second period. Ohio State outshot Lindenwood 124-37 in the series. The previous high for shots on goal in a game for Ohio State was 55.

Looking ahead to the weekend of Friday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, Oct. 14, all eight WCHA-member teams will be in action. Two-game conference series have Ohio State hosting North Dakota (Friday/Saturday), St. Cloud State traveling to Bemidji State (Friday/Saturday) and Minnesota Duluth hosting Wisconsin (Saturday/Sunday). In non-conference match ups, Minnesota heads east to take on St. Lawrence while Minnesota State entertains Lindenwood.

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