Showing posts with label Gopher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gopher. Show all posts

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gophers lose, are the fans set to riot in streets of Dinkytown?

What do we have here?

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Tom Serratore the heart and soul of the Beavers

Having attended college at both BSU and UND, I have a fondness for the Bemidji State Beavershockey program.
Over the years, I have not found a lot of fans that dislike the Bemidji State Beavers. Sure you have a few.
I was there in the stands when the Beavers won the Division II National Title in 1993 against the Mercy Hurst Lakers, so I still have a few fond memories of the John S. Glas Fieldhouse on the BSU campus as well.
I also have a great respect for the Beavers head coach Tom Serratore, 12th year, 201–184–49, I think he brings a lot of energy to the room and if you run into him at Galen Nagel golf tourney at the Bemidji Town and Country, or see him at the postgame press conference, he’s the same person. Tom’s usually fired up.
Coach Serratore is what I classify as a high energy guy that brings a lot of enthusiasm to life and to the game of hockey. The Beavers play on the ice resembles the man behind the bench, tenacious, fiery, hardworking and up-tempo.
I also think that he’s a very good hockey coach, his teams are hard to play against and they play a high pressure fore-check that is incorrectly mistaken for the neutral zone trap.
This high pressure fore-check, if played to perfection, can lead to turn overs going the other way. This was the case on Friday night, as the Beaver’s and Gophers treated the fans to a great game of up and down the ice action.
Saturday night, not so much, the Gophers pretty much had their way with the Beavers and the Gophers never really gave the fans much doubt.
If you want to see what kind of coach Serratore is, go back and re-watch the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Beavers had the Irish on their heels by scoring early and they forced the Irish to change their game plan. The Beavers would win the game 5-1, shocking the college hockey world.
The next night, the Beavers put the college hockey world into a coma by beating the Cornell Big Red 4-1 to send them to the Frozen Four in Washington D.C. at the Verizon Center, where their magical season would end two weeks later to the eventual runner up Miami.
This season, it’s been a rough year for the Beavers, but there will be better years ahead for the BSU hockey team. I don’t think any hockey program is going to be immune from it. The Minnesota Gophers just suffered through three rough seasons.
I love to go to the postgame press conferences and listen to Tom Serratore speak, last night he seemed very emotional in talking about his senior class. This was the last class to play in the John Glas Fieldhouse and then play at the new Sanford Center. This was also the senior class that made the move from the now defunct CHA to the WCHA.
“They’ve accomplished a lot here,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said when discussing his senior class. “We have five years seniors, four year seniors and three year seniors. Some of them helped us go to a Frozen Four in 09. They were part of a team in 2010 that was a number two seed in the NCAA tournament. We received an at-large-bid and went to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the Midwest Regionals.  They were a big part of team that advanced to the WCHA Final Five as we transitioned into the WCHA that first year. Again, last year, we were basically a game from home ice in the WCHA, last year. You know what; they’ve done a lot of good things for this program. It’s tough to see those guys go. You can’t take away from their accomplishments.”
It’s no doubt that this class has had some big-time moments in BSU’s historic program and you can bet, it won’t be long before Bemidji is again standing in the lime light of another great run, thanks to its energetic head coach.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Weekend in Review; slugging through the snow in the north country (Sanford Center)

Bemidji State Beavers women's ice hockey

This past weekend, I went to Bemidji to watch the Bemidji State Beavers and the Minnesota Gophers play in a two game series at the Sanford Center. This was the last time the Beavers and the Gophers would play as members of the WCHA.

Obviously, most of us are aware of the upcoming realignment so we won’t review that again.

With UND out of town and in Mankato, it was an opportunity to go to another WCHA series within driving distant, that didn’t involve UND.

I also hadn’t seen the Gophers live this season, so I wanted to take a look, if you know what I mean.

I thought about driving to Mankato and watching UND and MSU, but after looking at the road conditions on the internet, it appears that was a good decision not to go. 

The Sanford Center experienced its biggest crowd ever on Saturday night, 4,415 fans showed up to watch UMN and BSU, and there were a lot of Gophers jersey’s in the crowd.

Next season, UND fans are going to have to help the BSU fans pack that place on January 17, 2014 when UND comes to town to play the BSU Beavers in a non-conference tilt, to break that record. 

I think this is what the City of Bemidji had in mind when they built the Sanford Center, I was down town getting gas on Saturday and even with all of the fresh snow, the downtown was hopping.

For me, this is the third series that I have been to at the Sanford Center and in comparing some of the other rinks around the WCHA that I have been to, the place is a nice facility. 

While the Sanford Center might not have the “bells and whistles” of the Ralph Engelstad Arena, not many places do, the Sanford Center is an awesome facility and probably one of the best in the new WCHA going forward.

Head coach Tom Serratore should be able to use the Sanford Center to his advantage to land some good recruiting classes.

In 2010, I got take a tour of the facility and it’s got a lot of things recruits look for when they look at hockey programs. I was very impressed with the weight room.

I would say that the Sanford Center is definitely a destination for college hockey fans. For those that are wondering, they serve beer and Dunn Brother’s Coffee.

While no one will ever accuse me of being Marilyn Hagerty, the Sanford Center’s   cheese burgers are phenomenal, and simply awesome and roughly about the same price as the ones at the Ralph. Size wise, their burgers are actually bigger in my opinion.

The bag of popcorn was reasonably priced and too big to consume in one sitting, I actually threw away about a third of it.

In comparing the Sanford Center to other arenas I have been to, it’s better than the National Hockey Center pre-renovations and it’s better than the old DECC or Amsoil Arena, in my opinion, to quote our favorite radio announcer Bruce Ciskie, “apologies to those arenas.”

I am sure there will be those fans that disagree with me on this, but hey, that’s just how I feel on the matter.

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

B1G Hockey Conference Trophy

There it is, the new Big 10 hockey conference trophy, what do you think? I think it looks like something you put on the end of an arrow...
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Weekend Match-Ups (by Donn)

This is it!  The last weekend of the regular season, buckle up sports fan, ‘cause we got a full slate of games.  The standings are still jam packed, with the top seven teams separated by 5 points.  It is possible to have a four-way tie for the McNaughton Cup, if things work out that way, not likely, but possible.  What we do know is that CC, UMD, MTU, BSU, and UAA will be on the road next weekend, we just don’t know who’s rink they will be at, and SCSU and UND have wrapped up home ice.


1. St. Cloud St……………17-8-1.…….….35
2. Minnesota……………...14-7-2……..…33
2. North Dakota.………….13-6-7………..33
4. Minnesota State………15-10-1....…....31
4. Wisconsin…....………..12-7-7………...31
6. Nebraska-Omaha…......14-10-2…...…30
7. Denver…………..……..12-9-5..…........29
8. Colorado College …….10-12-4...…….24
9. Minnesota-Duluth….…..8-13-5……….21
10. Michigan Tech………..7-15-4.…..…..18
11. Bemidji State……..…..6-13-7.......…..17
12. Alaska-Anchorage…...2-18-6.......…..10

The # numbers below are now the PAIRWISE rankings.

WCHA Games

#2 Minnesota @ Bemidji St.
Last weekend the Gophers split (2-0L, 5-1W) with the Pioneers in Minneapolis and the Beavers got a point from NoDak (4-2, 2-2) in Grand Forks.

The Gopher faithfully will be hoping for some help, from Wisconsin, this weekend to keep their hopes alive for the last WCHA title.  The Beavers still have a chance to move up the standings, they could finish as high as ninth place, with a sweep.  BSU plays sound defense and clogs up the passing and shooting lanes.  The Beavers style can frustrate teams, but if their opponents can get a lead, they can force BSU to change their style.  The Gophers will need to draw some penalties to get the power play some chances to score.  All the numbers point to the Gophers, but when teams like have BSU nothing to lose, you need to watch out for the kitchen sink.  GOPHERS 3-PTS

Alaska-Anchorage @ #8 Denver (Fri/Sun)
Last weekend the Seawolves were swept by the Nanooks (2-1ot, 3-1) in the home/home series and the Pioneers split (2-0W, 5-1L) with the Gophers in Minneapolis.

The Pioneers still have some control over their own fate, but they need to sweep the Seawolves, and have UNO drop below them.  I’m sure the Seawolves would like to welcome DU to the bottom half of the bracket and keep them there, by winning a game or two.  DU played well last weekend in Minneapolis, I watched the replays. And if they play like that again this weekend, they should secure four points.  UAA has nothing to lose; they have been locked into last place for a couple of weeks now.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Shyiak pulled a few tricks out of his sleeve this weekend.  PIONEERS SWEEP

#7 North Dakota @ #8 Minnesota State
Last weekend NoDak got three points (4-2, 2-2ot) from the Beavers in Grand Forks and the Mavericks split (4-1L, 7-2W) with the Tigers in Colorado Springs.

This is a big series for both teams.  UND still has an outside chance at the title and MSUM for that matter too.  The Mavericks are 10-5-1 at home this year and UND is 8-6-1 away from Grand Forks.  NoDak has scored three more goals and given up three more than MSUM has in the WCHA this season, so those are pretty even numbers.  The big difference is that NoDak has 7 ties in the league and the Mavericks have just one.  With so much on the line for both teams, this should be a very entertaining series to watch.  SPLIT

Colorado College @ Michigan Tech
Last weekend the Tigers split (4-1W, 7-2L) with the MSUM Mavericks in Colorado Springs and the Huskies split (5-3L, 5-1W) with the SCSU Huskies in St. Cloud.

The Huskies gave themselves a boost with a win over SCSU on Saturday, and gave the rest of the league hope at title with that win.  MTU has been better over the last month, going 4-4-0 in their last eight games, and CC has gone 3-2-3 over their last eight contests.  The Tigers can’t move up the standings, they are stuck at 8th place and could slip to 9th if they lose twice this weekend.  CC hasn’t been too good on the road this season going 4-8-3 away from home and the Huskies are 5-7-2 at home in MacInnis Student Ice Arena.  I’m going say both black and gold teams win.  SPLIT

#10 St. Could St.  @ #20 Wisconsin
Last weekend the Huskies split (5-3W, 5-1L) with the MTU Huskies in St. Cloud and the Badgers swept (4-3, 6-2) the UNO Mavericks in Omaha.

The other top teams will be watching the scoreboard for these games.  If the Huskies win on Friday, they will secure at least a share of the McNaughton Cup.  The Badgers have plans of their own; a win on Friday (coupled with a UNO loss or DU tie/loss) would secure them home ice.  The Badgers are 7-7-3 home this year, but they aren’t playing in the Kohl center this weekend, they are at coliseum, for a throwback weekend, and the Huskies are 7-6-1 on the road.  I’m not sure if the pressure got to SCSU last Saturday, because if they would have won, they would have already secured a share of the title.  This series should have the feel of a playoff series with the stakes high for both teams.  The Badgers need some quality wins to move up the rankings, and improve their odds of getting into the NCAA tournament.  SPLIT

#25 Nebraska-Omaha @ Minnesota-Duluth
Last weekend the Mavericks were swept by the Badgers (4-3, 6-2) in Omaha and the Bulldogs swept the UAH Chargers (4-2, 4-0) in Duluth.

The Mavericks saw their chance at the McNaughton Cup slip away last weekend.  UNO also saw their home ice spot put in jeopardy, with suffering a pair of losses in Omaha.  They need to put last weekend in the past and move on to this series and get back on track.  UMD is looking to continue to build momentum for the playoffs and what better way to do that by dragging UNO to the bottom half with a sweep in Duluth.  However, that is a tall order given Omaha’s scoring ability and the Bulldogs porous defensive play this year.  SPLIT
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Monday, February 18, 2013

My Impressions of the Hockey City Classic

Sunday, I was able to take in both games of the Hockey City Classic that was played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois from my living room.

I have to say that I was highly impressed and entertained by the event and thoroughly enjoyed both games. So, I am going to give the Hockey City Classic props.

In my opinion, the Hockey City Classic appears to have gone off without a hitch.

Obviously, I didn’t have any dog in the fight, as my favorite team was on a bye week, but it was a good way to pass the time.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon, watching college hockey from the comfort of my living room with my DVR Recorder at the ready.

Did I mention, the best way to watch an outdoor hockey game, is from the comfort of your living-room. There are no poor sight lines and you’re never very far from the action. You also have the benefit of a replay and you can re-watch whatever you want to watch.

Normally, I am not a big fan of the outdoor games, and I think that we have been over saturated with them the last four or five years. I also think that they’re a bit of a gimmick, but if both teams agree to them, I am all for it. Even if it's for league points during a championship run.

I think that maybe the outdoor games need to be played during the month of December and January and not during the month of February.

Outdoor games can also be very unpredictable, because we can’t control the weather, mother nature has us at her mercy. But like any good traffic accident or train wreck, we all have to take a look, even though we shouldn't.

I have seen where some have said, that they thought the ice was worse in Chicago, than it was in Omaha. I don’t think that is a very accurate statement, seriously, it was 28 degrees in Chicago and a balmy 40-plus all day long in Omaha. I don’t know if the temperature got below 40 degrees during the course of the game.

Let’s not forget that the start to the UND versus Nebraska-Omaha game had to be delayed for two-plus hours, so the ice could freeze back up and be hard enough to play on, after the sun had melted it, making the ice unacceptable to play hockey on.

Historically, I think that the Frozen Fenway games have been the best college hockey outdoor games, but I am partial to the city of Boston and Fenway Park is a historical gem.

That being said, I was genuinely impressed with what I saw yesterday.

While I have seen a lot of grumbling from Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey fans on Twitter and on the fan message boards, I think we can call the event a huge success as 52,051 people showed up to watch the two game event and many more probably watched it at home on their televisions as well. I am sure if the Minnesota Gophers had won their game, their fans would've had a different view of the Hockey City Classic.

Obviously, Soldier Field is much better for a football game but I think yesterday’s event turned into a pretty good made for TV event.

If I had one complaint, it would be the team’s uniforms; I was not a fan of any of them.

Let's give credit where credit is due

There are a couple of things that I have seen that I find troublesome. First off, Gopher fans should give the Wisconsin Badgers a little credit; I see their fans blaming the ice surface for the reason their team lost the game yesterday.

The reason, the Minnesota Gophers lost the hockey game was that the Wisconsin Badgers scored one more goal than the Gophers. Both teams played on the same ice surface. I have seen moronic comments along the lines on how if the Gophers had played in the Kohl Center they would have been guaranteed a victory. We don't know that.

I mean seriously, you have to give credit where credit is due, the Badgers are well coached hockey team and Mike Eaves is a very good hockey coach and his teams always play a solid team defensive scheme and yesterday they cashed in on the Gophers mistakes. That’s hockey, and the best team doesn’t always win. Just ask Brendan Morrison. You need to give your opponent some respect.

I also think that the Golden Gophers beat writer Roman Augustoviz said it best.
Those knuckleheads ripping Don Lucia for agreeing to play outdoors have their head buried in the sand. It was not the Gophers giving up a home game, it was Wisconsin.
So the Gophers lost. What do you expect? They have swept ONE series in the WCHA all season. And that was against last-place Alaska-Anchorage. As Lucia said recently, it is amazing his team is in the conference race at all.
Cross Posted at the Hockey Writers Combine 
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Did the Minnesota and North Dakota series become more tame?

English: Ralph Engelstadt Arena at the Univers...
Ralph Engelstad Arena 
The Minnesota and North Dakota hockey series is one of the best rivalries in college hockey.
Unfortunately, this past weekend was the final regular season WCHA series between the University of Minnesota and The University of North Dakota. There will be no more of these regular season battles.
The Rivalry has been likened by some as the modern day version of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s feud.
All a person has to do is go on YouTube.comand search for Sioux and Gophers and there are literally hours of video of scrums, dustups and fights.
From a historical perspective, last weekend’s series between there UND and UMN was rather tame.  There were no major dust-ups or line brawls. Both teams were whistled for a combined miniscule total of 64 minutes in penalties over the course of a two game series.
What’s even more shocking, there were no major penalties called against either team all weekend long, not a single one.
I thought UND was a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthal goons? Looking at the numbers it’s safe to assume that North Dakota is not anymore.
This weekend’s penalty minutes were tame compared to last season’s series at the Ralph Engelstad Arenabetween UND and UMN on
English: Logo for the University of Minnesota
English: Logo for the University of Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
January 13-14, 2012. Minnesota and North Dakota amassed 105 minutes in penalties. There were also two major penalties called during that weekend series, with each team garnering a five minute major penalty.
In years past, there were single periods that surpassed that penalty minute total of 64 minutes.
North Dakota Senior Defenseman MacWillam was asked about this past weekend’s games and if they were as tame as they appeared on the television.
“It has been in the past,” MacWillam said. “I think that hockey is changing a little bit. You can’t have the big hits anymore. So I think that might have contributed to some of it. It’s still heated between the whistles. It’s a little different than playing I assume. But that bitter rivalry is still there.”
UND Junior Defenseman Dillon Simpson who has played in the series for three seasons, had this to say about this past weekend’s series as well.
UND forward Mitch MacMillan Eric Classen, UND ...
UND forward Mitch MacMillan
Eric Classen, UND Sports
“On the ice there is a lot of stuff on the ice going on,” Simpson said. “Maybe not as much open to the fans as you can see. But it’s always heated when we play those guys, and it was rough, a lot of big hits but nothing out of control. I think for us we were more focused, we needed to two wins big time. We were trying to stay out of the box and try to make it a game. It was still rough and still a tough series but at the same time nothing outrageous happened.”
One could make the argument that the players do adjust to the way the game is being called.
When Simpson was asked about his thoughts on not playing the Minnesota Gophers next season, he went on to say.
“It sucks, this is the biggest rivalry I think in college hockey”, Simpson said. “This is the most fun that I have playing on the weekends. It kind of sucks! Who knows if we will see them down the line this year, but it’s not fun not being able to play them next year.”

 Originally Posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine...

Related articles
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tom Miller nails it UND vs. UMN

North Dakota highway shield
North Dakota highway shield (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you haven't read the Grand Forks Herald on-line newspaper you should head on over and check out Tom Miller's article about the UND vs. UMN Hockey rivalry. I guess not everyone is gobbling up what Minnesota coach Don Lucia is shoveling.
“(The atmosphere) was good all weekend,” Lucia said. “Our fans get pumped for big games. Boston College and Notre Dame were great atmospheres, too.”

Seriously, Don? Give it up. Clearly, there is no replacing the UND-Minnesota rivalry. No other matchup will hold a candle to North Dakota-Minnesota. The fans know it. The players know it. In fact, everyone seems to know it but Lucia.
All weekend long you have ex-players on both sides of the ice talking about the rivalry and how great it is. Former Gopher and Sioux players going on and on about how great the rivalry, then you have Donny Lucia giving his petty reasons why the rivalry is taking a break. Give it up Donny.
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

UND vs. Minnesota Week... It's on... Let the fun begin...

It's here and it's on... This will be the final WCHA series between the two teams, before they go their separate ways. So after this season, there will be no more after regular season games, for at least four years. I wouldn't be surprised it that last longer.

If UND plays Minnesota during the next four seasons it will be during the NCAA tourney. So I expect there will be some pleasantries exchanged this weekend.

This is one of my favorite memories of recent time. I still think they should call that famous corner Wehrs Corner like some have suggest. I wonder if Kevin Wehr still has night mares of that corner.

I still giggle when I hear Frank Mazzocco say, "This Fighting Sioux teams is bringing some old time hockey back to the WCHA." Also, in retrospect, I think Woog and Mazzocco are better than the current Gopher television announcers that are employed by FSN. I never thought I would say this but I think it's true.

Don't leave the arena early after the last game, there still could be some fire works in the hand shake line as well. I am kind of sad this is the last regulars season between the two teams. I also think that it's sad that he two schools are going to let this historic rivalry cool off. In my opinion, there is no reason for the two teams not to play.

I like many UND fans would love to see the two team meet every year.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lucia on the Gophers future schedules

English: Big Ten Conference logo since 2010.
English: Big Ten Conference logo since 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There has been a lot of discussion on the Gophers future hockey schedules with their move to the Big Ten and why they're not playing one team and then playing maybe another team. Here is a quote from Michael Russo's blog today.
Some Don Lucia quotes:

On future schedule? “We have a four-year deal with Northeastern and Boston College [starting next year], so it’s something I want to continue to do – at least every year get out to the east coast. Right now, we’ll have our 20 Big Ten ames, our eight in-state games – that’s 28, we’ll have our tournament, that’s 30, so that’ll leave us four games a year. Right now we’re locked in with Notre Dame, B.C. and Northeastern, and when that drops off, we’ll get North Dakota back on when Notre Dame drops off. When B.C. drops off, that’ll free up another opportunity to go at East to play somebody every other year back and forth. The plan is to try to get out to the east coast every other year.”
Thoughts? Comments? It will be nice to see the rivalry return in four years hopefully.
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Thursday, November 08, 2012

EDIT: So is UMN ducking UND in hockey?

Roman had this article on his blog this morning and I am kind of perplexed why the Gophers and UND wouldn't continue the rivalry?

The first reason really doesn't wash because UW Kept dates open on their schedule with the caveat that if UND didn't change the name the future nonconference games would be canceled.

One has to believe that there are other reasons that UMN doesn't want to continue the series right now.
Roman Augustoviz, Goal Gophers --- The Don tried to explain why on his weekly radio show on Monday. He said, in matter-of-fact fashion, that the U could not schedule a team with an American Indian nickname in a nonconference game by school rules. That dispute -- to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname or not -- at UND has only been settled recently.

In late September, UND and the NCAA agreed which signage could stay and which had to go at Ralph Engelstad Arena. A month later, workers took down the "Home of the Fighting Sioux" sign on the front of the building.

By then, Lucia seemed to imply, the Gophers' schedule, which will include a whopping 14 nonconference games -- the U will have only 20 conference games in the six-team Big Ten -- was all filled up for the next few seasons. The U will be playing the other Division I teams in the state and schools like Notre Dame, where his son Mario is a freshman, Boston College and Northeastern, Lucia said.

UND? They might return to the U schedule in three, four years, Lucia said.
What do "UND" fans think? Do you think somewhere between the Spin and the B.S. is an answer?  I will have to admit that some of the best games that have been on the schedule from a year-to-year basis have been the UND vs UMN games.

Let's examine the logic of this decision, we would rather not play a game that will fill both team arena's every other season. Hum... That makes no sense what-so-ever. I mean seriously, that one doesn't pass the smell test.

Does anyone think that the Gophers are tired of getting roughed up playing UND? Last year was an enigma in recent times where the Gophers got the best of UND and beat them 4/6 games.

Most of the games are very rough and physical and both teams fan bases are at each others throats for a week after. In fact the best weeks on the blog are during the rivalry series between UND and the Gophers... That doesn't happen during any other series in the current configuration of the WCHA. DU and UND are probably a distant second. You don't see UND and UMD fans at each other's throats on the message boards and fan blogs.

What's the real reason, I don't believe some of the meadow muffins that I have read recently on GPL either. I have a hard time believing that most Gopher fans with half a brain would not want to continue one of the greatest rivalries in all of college sports. No matter how you slice it, Penn State and Ohio State isn't going to bring half of the interest that UND vs. UMN will. You could play the game on an area lake and 5,000-10,000 people would show up for it.
Edit: Check out this quote by UMN head coach Don Lucia...s/t to INCH...
A day later, when asked about the high-tension rivalry between the Gophers and North Dakota, Minnesota coach Don Lucia suggested that a cooling off period might be in order starting in two years when the teams are no longer in the same conference.

“We will go back there as a non-conference team,” Lucia said at his weekly gathering with the media. “We have a great rivalry. Sometimes it gets a little over the top and I’m not sure that is healthy for anybody. So we will continue to play, but I doubt we will continue to play each and every year.”
Thanks to Jake in the comments for bringing up this point from last years series between UND and UMN, that got lost in the shuffle. So in retrospect, the Gophers probably are using the Fighting Sioux nick name as cover, but also probably are ducking UND as well.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Doug Woog in a Tigger Suit

Oh my! Check out former Gopher head coach Doug Woog who posed for a pictured dressed in a Tigger suit, this was just too good to pass up. You have to give the Wooger credit... I got to give him the stick tap as well for that one.
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

EDIT: Easton - The Art of Scoring Series: Meet Scott Bjugstad

Some familiar faces in this video. Zach Parise, former Fighting Sioux forward and current Minnesota Wild forward, if they ever end the lockout. Scott Bjugstad is the uncle of Gopher forward Nick Bjugstad. The kid in the video, is Anthony Walsh who has been profiled on this blog twice.
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Monday, October 01, 2012

UND 4th in first USCHO Poll

The first USCHO Poll is out and the Boston College Eagles are the number one pick. I know that some Gopher fans will be upset with the slight but according to Todd Milewski of USCHO, only one team since the 1997-98 season the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2002-03 has went on to win an NCAA title. So being the number one team in the first USCHO poll of the preseason really doesn't matter all that much.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Haula in trouble in Stillwater...

English: Logo for the University of Minnesota
According to the Star and Tribune Gopher's Junior Erik Haula had a bit of an incident outside a Stillwater Bar at closing time. You got to know that WCHA fans of opposition teams are going to have a good time with this one.
An "extremely intoxicated" Minnesota Gopher hockey player stood on a street in Stillwater after bar closing time and urinated for others to witness, police said.

Forward Erik Haula, 21, was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct early Saturday and then turned over to a friend, whom police described as "somewhat sober."

The officer wrote in his report that he witnessed Haula "urinating while standing on Water St. on the west side of the Freight House [restaurant and bar] in plain view of the bar crowd after bar closing."

The officer also noted in his report that even though "it was clear that he was extremely intoxicated," the 2009 Minnesota Wild draft choice "was very cooperative. No problems."

Garry Bowman, a spokesman for the Athletic Department, said Friday that "Coach Lucia is aware of the incident. He has spoken to Erik and will handle it as an internal team matter."

Haula, a native of Finland, will be a junior this coming season for the Gophers. He led the team last season with 49 points, scoring 20 goals and earning 29 assists.
It is too bad that the Minnesota Gophers don't travel to Grand Forks, ND this season.

First off, I realize the college kids drink but peeing in the street after a bar closes is stupid – and is grounds for being arrested and or cited – just as peeing in an elevator is – neither offense is really better than the other one.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

NCHC conference tourney in the Target Center

Jess Myers of 1500 ESPN and of Inside College Hockey has this little nugget in his post on Thursday and my first reaction is no thank you.

The Target Center is less than attractive option for hockey and the ice was horrible last time a hockey game was played in there. 
Jess Myers 1500 ESPN --- And what about those armies of North Dakota fans, with their team heading to the new NCHC (with Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State) at the end of next season? For now, it looks as though they could be heading to Minneapolis, as NCHC officials have reportedly been offered a sweetheart deal to hold their post-season tournament at Target Center.

Of course, that idea raises several questions about the future. The initial good news that there would be one or two college post-season tournaments in the Twin Cities every March is tempered just a bit by several "yes, but..." factors to consider.

For example, while a Minnesota-Michigan tournament final in St. Paul in St. Paul would surely be a sought-after ticket, the notion of filling Xcel Energy Center for a match-up between "new" WCHA teams like Michigan Tech and Bowling Green has no basis in reality. A title game featuring Bemidji State or Minnesota State, Mankato might draw a respectable crowd, but in most years where the Gophers are at Joe Louis, there will be oceans of good seats available.

And the inadequacy of Target Center as a hockey building is one of the reasons the North Stars headed to Dallas rather than moving from the antiquated Met Center to downtown Minneapolis in 1993. A 2010 game between the Gophers and the Badgers is the only hockey game the building has hosted in more than a decade.
Personally, I like the option of rotating the tourney between Denver, Colorado Saint Paul, Minnesota and or Omaha, Nebraska.  Seriously, unless the Target Center is going to upgrade it's hockey capabilities,  more specifically, the ice making capabilities would have to improve quite a bit. That being said, there are better restaurants and bar options in the Target Center area, than around the Xcel Energy Center.
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Monday, March 05, 2012

Kyle Rau's hit on Joseph LaBate

First off as most of you know, I am not a Gopher fan or an apologist by any stretch of the imagination. I also have a lot of respect for MIke Eaves coach of the Badgers... That being said, check out this hit by Gopher forward Kyle Rau check (38 second mark) on the Badgers Joseph LaBate. This is a textbook clean shoulder to shoulder body check. Apparently, Badgers coach Mike Eaves was less than pleased with the hit. 

Things got testy late in the second when freshman Kyle Rau leveled UW freshman left winger Joseph LaBate at center ice. No penalty was called even though the sequence looked almost identical to an episode Feb. 4 at the Kohl Center when UW junior defenseman and captain John Ramage was assessed a 5-minute major for contact to the head.

“The young boy’s woozy on his feet and there’s no contact to the head?” Eaves asked rhetorically, referring to LaBate. “That doesn’t add up does it?” []
Feel free to chime in your thoughts on the hit. Editing Note: Chuck Schwartz of Bucky's Fifth Quarter tells me that Eaves made those comments right after the game and there is a very good chance that the Wisconsin head coach had probably "not" seen the hit in question on video, before he made those comments in the post game press conference.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekend Match-Ups (by Sioux 7)

This week we have a full schedule of six WCHA series. Every team is now down to six games left in the regular season, except MSUM and UAA which are down to four. This means teams have a maximum of twelve points left on the table to grab in an effort to move up the WCHA rankings. Taking that into account, it is looking the MSUM Mavericks, the Badgers will be on the road in the first round, and the Seawolves are already assured of first round trip. It also appears to be down to a three team, UM, UMD, and DU, race for the coveted McNaughton Cup.

Also we wish the young Mr. Zucker a quick and full recovery from the illegal hit he received from the UM’s Kyle Rau.



1. Minnesota………………15-7-0…..……30
2. Minnesota-Duluth……..13-6-3….…….29
3. Denver…………..………12-6-4………..27
4. Colorado College ……..12-9-1………..25
5. Nebraska-Omaha………10-7-5………..25
6. North Dakota……….….12-10-0….…….24
7. Michigan Tech………….10-9-3………..23
8. St. Cloud St……………. 9-10-3……….21
8. Bemidji State….…………9-10-3…….…21
10. Minnesota State………8-15-1………..17
11. Wisconsin……………..7-13-2…..……16
12. Alaska-Anchorage…...4-19-1…………9

WCHA Games
Note - the #'s are now the PairWise Ranking (PWR)

Nebraska-Omaha @ Colorado College
Last weekend Mavericks took 3-points from the MTU Huskies in Houghton and the Tigers were swept by the Beavers in Bemidji.

The Tigers have started to slide, only get one win in their last five games, going 1-3-1. Over those games, they have not scored more than two goals in a game. CC needs their offense to start scoring some more, if they want to get claw their way back into the win column. The Mavericks also only have one win in their last five games too, going 1-2-2. However, they have been scoring more than CC, but have given up too many goals. UNO needs to get some solid goaltending in better defensive zone coverage to limit opponents scoring chances. The Mavericks play the Gophers and the Pioneers after this series. UNO will need to get points any way possible to stay in the mix for a home playoff spot. SPLIT

#3 Minnesota-Duluth @ Minnesota State
Last weekend Bulldogs split with North Dakota in Duluth and the Mavericks swept the Seawolves in Anchorage.

The Mavericks are hot right now, winning five of their last seven games, going 5-2-0. Also since 2012 they have not lost back to back games. The Bulldogs have been struggling lately going 2-3-1 in their last six games. UMD has a chance to win the WCHA again, thanks to DU sweeping UM. I’m sure they are fully aware of this fact and will step up to the challenge and try and win their first McNaughton Cup this millennium. SPLIT

Alaska-Anchorage @ St. Cloud State
Last weekend the Seawolves were swept by the MSUM Mavericks in Anchorage and the SCSU Huskies enjoyed a free weekend at home.

The Huskies still have a chance to get home ice, but they need points and some help. They can help themselves this weekend by taking four points from the woeful Seawolves. UAA is playing for pride now and can play the spoiler role, if they can get a win here or there. Huskies 3-pts

Bemidji State @ #14 Minnesota
Last weekend the Beavers swept the Tigers in Bemidji and the Gophers were swept by the Pioneers in Denver.

The Beavers are on a four game unbeaten streak going 3-0-1 their last four games. The Gophers saw their grip on the top spot dwindle down to a single point last weekend. UM’s struggles on Friday nights continues on, and if it happens again this weekend they could slip down the standings a spot. These are the only games they play this year, last season the Gophers won one game and tied the other, in Bemidji. This year BSU has struggled on the road, going 4-8-2, and the Gophers are 12-5-0 at Mariucci Arena this season. SPLIT

Michigan Tech @ #15 North Dakota
Last weekend the Huskies earned one point against the UNO Mavericks in Houghton and North Dakota split with the Bulldogs in Duluth.

This will be the first meeting for these long time rivals this year. Last year UND beat MTU the last two games of the regular season (6-1, 11-2) and then twice again the next weekend in the first round of the playoffs (8-0, 3-1). The Sioux…North Dakota has won four of their last five games and looking to be finding their scoring touch again. The Huskies have been sliding their last seven games, going 2-3-2 over that span. Tech is 5-7-1 on the road this season. The last time they won in Grand Forks was March 15th of 2008 in overtime, in a first round WCHA playoff game, UND won the three game series. North Dakota is fighting for home, just like the Huskies are and every point now is critical. North Dakota Sweep

#7 Denver @ Wisconsin
Last weekend the Pioneers swept the Gophers in Denver and the Badgers had a weekend of in Madison.

The Pioneers pulled themselves within three points of the top spot in the WCHA last weekend. In case you forgot DU was the preseason favorite to win the league this year. The Pioneers are heating up going 7-1-1 in their last nine games. The Badgers are just playing for pride now, they best they could do we be to end the season with an even record. The Badgers are winless in their last four games. In the end, the Pioneers just have too much talent for the Badgers to handle this season. Pioneers Sweep
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