UND hoping for less penalties and better penalty kill vs. Minnesota

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- The University of North Dakota hockey team heads to Las Vegas for a one-game series with the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0-1) this weekend.

North Dakota (1-2-1) is hoping the trip to Sin City will result in less time spent in the "sin bin."

The Fighting Hawks rank last at 61.5% (8-for-13) in Division I Men's Hockey on the penalty kill.

"Everyone knows we shouldn't be taking penalties and the coaches have been mentioning that its been a problem in our game lately that we've been taking some unnecessary stick penalties and things that we've got to keep out of our game," junior forward Ludwig Hoff said Wednesday.

"It's things we talk on and its one of those things that you want to be aggressive as a team and you have to have discipline in the game. It's through the use of video and individual meetings," Head Coach Brad Berry added.

While the Fighting Hawks are still working to find the right combination on the penalty kill the Gophers haven't been great on the power play.

Minnesota is just 1-for-5 (.200) in its two games so far this season.

If the one game is anything like the last time the two old WCHA rivals met there will be plenty of opportunities on special teams. In the two game series played last year in Grand Forks the teams combined for 79 penalty minutes with the Gophers assessed 31 penalty minutes in the second game.

Berry said its about maintaining discipline.

"I go back to a guy like Gino Gasparini who said when you're playing these types of series you've got to get to the edge. You can't be over the edge and you can't be three feet back from the edge. You have to get to the edge and you have to play on the edge."

North Dakota was able to kill all 11 Gopher power plays in last year's series and added four power play goals on 15 man-advantage situations.

North Dakota and Minnesota drop the puck Saturday at 9:07 p.m. Central from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.