Montgomery’s Pioneers had encountered hiccups through the early portion of their title protection, and now they have been getting some main pushback from league rivals.
That is simply the NCHC, he stated.
“It is a (battle), you realize? Each night time,” Montgomery stated, describing the NCHC. “That is probably the most aggressive season but within the NCHC. I do not know if a staff goes to win 15 video games to win this convention out of 24. It is that aggressive one via eight this yr.”
The No. 15-ranked Bulldogs return to NCHC play this week they usually have a rigorous schedule the subsequent 4 weeks, beginning with a visit to Colorado School for video games at eight:37 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, and seven:07 p.m. Saturday, Jan. thirteen, at World Area in Colorado Springs.
After that, UMD returns residence to host NCHC co-leaders North Dakota Jan. 19-20 and St. Cloud State Jan. 26-27, adopted by a return journey to Colorado to play third-place Denver Feb. 2-three. A nonconference recreation Jan. 23 at eighth-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato is combined in.
UMD enters this weekend’s collection chasing Colorado School within the standings, three factors again and tied for final with Nebraska-Omaha.
Factors towards the Tigers was straightforward, however as Denver discovered every week after visiting Duluth, that is not the case.
After ending final within the NCHC every of the final three seasons, profitable between two and 4 convention video games, Colorado School enters the second half of 2017-18 sixth within the league and with probably the most common-season wins (9) since becoming a member of the NCHC in 2013-14.
“CC is an effective hockey staff this yr,” Montgomery stated again in November, every week earlier than his workforce tied the Tigers twice in a house-and-residence collection. “In years previous you would be like, ‘OK, nicely, we will include our ‘B’ effort.’ Nicely, you possibly can’t anticipate to win anymore.”
The Bulldogs (9-9-three general, three-7 NCHC) discovered that final yr, going 1-1-2 towards the Tigers (9-eight-three, three-5-2). UMD was among the many league groups — together with North Dakota, Western Michigan and St. Cloud State — that the Tigers stole factors from a yr in the past within the second half.
Fourth-yr Tigers coach Mike Haviland stated these second-half wins performed an enormous half in his staff’s 5-2 begin this season. Gamers got here in with larger requirements than previous seasons, he stated.
“We’re enjoying means higher, extra constant,” Haviland stated. “We’re not the place we need to be, however I just like the path we’re going, for positive.”
Haviland has no seniors on this yr’s staff, forcing him to lean on a 9-man junior class that features Cloquet native Westin…