Four or five weeks ago DU switched Penalty Kill strategies and the payoff was immediate. The Pioneers turned in a 12-for-12 effort on the penalty kill last weekend and remained unbeaten at 5-0-1 when holding opponents without a power-play goal. It appears that DU lets you play with the puck around the edges uncontested, but ferociously block shots and swarm the puck when you move in.
DU basically stinks on the Power Play. Losing Carle, Skinner, Stastny & Gauthier over the past two seasons will do that. Those guys were exceptional puck handlers and could control errant passes and skipping pucks. DU's power-play improved to 14.9% (20-for-139) after last weekend's 4-for-18 (22.2%) effort. DU is 8-3-2 when scoring on the power play. The Pioneers have tallied at least one power-play goal in eight of their last nine games.
Wanna beat DU, stop Ryan Dingle. Dingle not only is an awesome player but he possesses what all great players seem to have. He can elevate his game in the last two minutes of a period, when DU falls behind or is on a "must score" Power Play. He leads DU in goals (15), power-play goals (7), game-winning goals (3) and shorthanded goals (2). He also led the Pioneers in all four categories last season.
Senior captain Adrian Veideman (concussion) and senior forward Ryan Helgason (hand) are out for the second consecutive weekend with injuries. Rumor has it that Veideman may return on Saturday, but I'll bet against it. He's a warrior, but why mess around with a concussion.