Showing posts with label Minnesota Golden Gophers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota Golden Gophers. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How I Think It's Going to Turn out

Before some Gopher fan comes on here and calls me a moron, UMN is 1-2-1 in the state of Michigan, so I wouldn't be surprised if the final Pairwise Rankings looked like this. Feel free to share yours.

Here's another thing to consider, Minnesota has a 2-1-1 record against Michigan State and a 3-1 record against Ohio State this season. Three of those combined wins against the two teams came at home

Monday, February 02, 2015

Corbin McGuire hit on Connor Reilly (Video)

During Saturday's game, Wisconsin's Corbin McGuire hit Minnesota's Connor Reilly with a knee-on-knee hit. According to Minnesota head coach Don Lucia, Reilly is going to miss a substantial amount of time. The Gophers have already talked to the Big Ten about the hit. I am thinking suspension.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

MSU-M 4 UMN 2 (Maverick goals)

After watching the video, I can see why the Gophers are having a tough time.

It's pretty simple, if the Gophers don't start winning hockey games, they will be sitting home for the NCAA tournament.

Right now, they're not a good hockey team.

It's kind of puzzling. Minnesota returned most of the team that went to the Frozen Four last season and finished as the runner-up.

After you watch these goals, you will see why the Gophers losing. They're getting beat to pucks. They're not strong on pucks. They're losing the battles. They're not going to the hard areas.

The Gophers All-American goaltender Adam Wilcox looks human. Wilcox is getting beat by shots at the top of the faceoff dots. That didn't happen last season.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

(Video) Eddie Wittchow blows up Leon Bristedt

There was a little excitement to finish Saturday's game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Gophers. Wiscon's Eddie Wittchow was given five-minute major and a game disqualification for contact-to-the-head on Leon Bristedt. That's what the final box score said.

I think there's a chance that Wittchow could get a game suspension for this hit, it was high.

WIS-13 Eddie Wittchow (5-Contact to the Head) 19:29
WIS-14 Eddie Wittchow (10-Disqualification) 19:29
MIN-13 Mike Reilly (5-Contact to the Head) 19:29
MIN-14 Mike Reilly (10-Game Misconduct) 19:29

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What to Make of Big 10

In an article posted on USCHO, they were quoted with saying that the Big 10 Conference isn't all that bad, and that they are one of the stronger conferences in all of college hockey. Let us just take a look at the numbers to see if we can back-up the USCHO article shall we.

First off, there is only one, yes ONE Big 10 team in the USCHO top 20 and that is Minnesota at number three, which is just a bit too generous. Even though their last game was an exhibition against the USA development team, they still lost, which would mark three losses in a row for the Golden Gophers. If they are able to stay at three after three losses in a row, why did Michigan Tech, from the WCHA, drop big time after getting swept by Mankato last weekend?

Now we have the struggling Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin has yet to win a game this season, and has looked terrible in a majority of their contests this season. Last season's Big 10 tournament champions have lost nine in a row, dating back to last seasons NCAA tournament loss to North Dakota, where again they were extremely outplayed.

Just two teams in the conference have winning records this season, Penn State (7-3-2) and Minnesota (7-3-0). Lets see how many ranked opponents each team has beat, starting with Penn State. Penn State holds one of their seven victories over a top 10 opponent, and that is number four UMass Lowell where they won 4-1. Yes they did split with Michigan too, but is Michigan just known and talked about because of their historic name and coach this year? Penn State's last contest was an 8-1 loss to Michigan, making me wonder if they can compete with the big boys for real. Minnesota has had some struggles against other ranked opponents this season as well. In three games against number eight Minnesota-Duluth, they are 1-2-0 and have been outscored 8-5 in the series. They also hold a split against number 16 St. Cloud State and barely pulled off the overtime victory on home ice in the weekend series.

Conference play finally started this past weekend, with four of the six teams in action. Each team won one and lost one game, not showing any powerhouses throughout the conference. If you look inside the conference, Minnesota will probably be the only team with any chance at the NCAA tournament, but with their sloppy play as of late makes me wonder if they will have to win their conference to do it.

Taking a look at Michigan State, they seem to have what it takes to be competitive with their opponents, but doesn't quite have what it takes to finish games on a consistent basis. They most recently played number 12 Boston College and lost the decision 3-2. They could play upset once it comes conference tournament time, but that could be about it.

Finally, Ohio State has had one early season win worthy of note, and that is against Providence, who probably was a tad overrated at the time. Other than that, the Buckeyes have not looked anything but average at best making me wonder how they made it to the Big 10 championship last season.

The Big 10 is a conference that created a lot of drama once it entered college hockey last season, and ruined many great college hockey rivalries that fans have grown to love over the past four decades. With a sub 500 non conference record in almost a year and a half in existence, does the Big 10 deserve to be called one of college hockey's top conferences like some think it should be?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hearld Letter to the Editor: Union, Yale share key trait: Coaches who deliver

 If you haven't read the Grand Forks Herald, this letter to the editor is worth a look. So a Herald Reader wants us to take a look one row back.

If anything, this was probably Dave Hakstol's beat coaching job so far to date. Yeah, I would hate to disappoint this letter writer, but Don Lucia and Dave Hakstol aren't going anywhere. #firehakstol #firelucia
WARREN, Minn. — The past two NCAA hockey champions have been fun to watch. Both Union College, this year, and Yale University the previous year captured the essence of collegiate athletics, in that neither give out athletic scholarships but both still rose to the pinnacle of an NCAA sport.

UND and the University of Minnesota Gophers should also be commended for their fine efforts in reaching the Frozen Four. The expectations for those two schools should be high, in that they are among the elite in resources, both financial and facilities in the collegiate hockey world. Union plays in an arena that seats just over 2,000 fans.

Both Union and Yale had lesser talent, if the number of NHL draftees on their roster is considered. But as ESPN’s lead hockey analyst Barry Melrose pointed out — and I do respect his knowledge of hockey — you could see plays develop and players executing a plan.

The announcers talked in this tournament about the fine traditions of both UND and the Gophers, which is true with many titles in their past. But what brought both Union and Yale to the epitome of the college hockey world was behind the bench. Don Lucia, head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, last won a title about 11 years ago; but from what I read, there is some pressure developing on him, as the expectations in Dinkytown are high — plus, he now has an athletic director who demands accountability. In Grand Forks, the current regime has yet to win a national championship.

You can only ride the tradition mantra so long. In my mind, part of tradition can be equated to longevity. In that regard, the Chicago Cubs have a fine and long baseball tradition; but not so in championships.

Given the “tradition” but more importantly the resources available, fans of the Gophers and UND should expect more than mere winning records. I commend the players of both teams; their effort cannot be questioned. I look one row back.
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Friday, April 04, 2014

Blast from the past: Vannelli vs.McMahon

The date was October 24, 2004, the Minnesota Gophers beat the UND Fighting Sioux on the score board 6-0. UND would get the best of the Gophers in the physical department. Something you don't see very often in college hockey, a full out knock down fight.

MIN-5 Alex Goligoski (2-Roughing) 20:00
MIN-6 Garrett Smaagaard (2-Roughing) 20:00
MIN-7 Mike Vannelli (5-Fighting) 20:00
MIN-8 Mike Vannelli (10-Game Disqualification) 20:00
NDK-3 Rylan Kaip (2-Roughing)20:00
NDK-4 Quinn Fylling (2-Roughing) 20:00
NDK-5 Rory McMahon (5-Fighting) 20:00
NDK-6 Rory McMahon (10-Game Disqualification) 20:00
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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Blast from the Past: UND 4 UMN 4

UND had a 3-1 lead  in this game and let it slip away. The Minnesota Golden Gophers would charge back and score two unanswered goals to get the tie. This was the last series that UND played against the Gophers. One of those games that was fun to watch.
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Monday, March 31, 2014

UMN vs. UND (throwing out a few numbers)

The University of North Dakota (25-13-3) meets the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (27-6-6) in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal game.

Date: April 10 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, Pa.

Breaking down the historic series: The two teams haven’t met on the ice this season. Minnesota had a 1-0-1 record against North Dakota last season.  Minnesota is 6-3-1 in the last 10 games against North Dakota. In his 10 seasons, UND head coach Dave Hakstol has a 17-14-4 record against Don Lucia’s Golden Gophers. All-time playoff record against Minnesota: UND has a 22-19 record against Minnesota in the NCAA and WCHA playoffs.

Common opponents: UND (6-4-1), UMN (7-3-0)

UND vs. Bemidji State 1-0-1, Minnesota-Duluth 3-1-0, SCSU 1-3-0, Wisconsin 1-0-0

UMN vs. Bemidji State 2-0-0, Minnesota-Duluth 1-1-0, SCSU 2-0-0, Wisconsin 2-2-0

There is some discrepancy in the records

According the Minnesota: Minnesota leads the all-time series 145-130-15

According to North Dakota: Minnesota leads the all-time series 130-138-15

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Rivalry

Next Thursday, April 10th, 2014 is the day every NCAA hockey fan in the upper Midwest had hoped for since the addition of the NCHC and Big 10 this season, a MN vs. UND match-up. On the line is a trip to the national title game.

This is a rivalry that dates way back, but I am going to highlight some of the more exciting games in recent history, and a couple of older events between the two schools as well.

We will start back in 1979 in the national championship game. The then Fighting Sioux would match-up against the Gophers in a national title game for the first time in school history. The game, who many thought UND should have won, went into overtime and Minnesota native Neal Broten would score the game winner to earn Minnesota their third national championship.

Moving along to more recent times, one can't forget their many battles in the Final Five or even just in the regular season. We first go back to 2007 at Mariucci Arena. There is just over a minute left in the first period and the Sioux are down 3-2. Defenseman Robbie Bina clears the puck from the bottom of the circles, and 180 feet later, the puck is sitting behind Gopher goalie Jeff Frazee. I do believe that this is still the longest goal scored in NCAA history still, correct me if I am wrong.

Later in 2007 at the Final Five, Minnesota would counter this fluky Sioux goal with an overtime victory over the Sioux in the championship game. Trying to avoid an icing call, now Winnipeg Jets player, Blake Wheeler, would do a Superman like dive and chip the puck over the shoulder of JP Lamoureux to win the game. This was also the very first UND Gopher game that I ever attended. Unfortunately for me, I was young and influential so with how big of a Gopher fan my dad is, I was cheering for the dark side, however lets just not talk about that part of my life.

UND would get the last laugh in 2007. It would come in the West Regional championship game, once again in overtime. This goal was no fluke either. Sioux forward would gather up a lose puck, take it behind the net and have the wraparound of his life, putting the puck behind Frazee and sending the Sioux to the Frozen Four.

Among the many memories of scuffles, triumphs, and defeats, my personal favorite would have to be my very first Sioux Gopher game at the Ralph my freshman year at UND. It was a chilly January Friday, and our first weekend back from Winter break. Like the great UND students always do, I would wait in line for six hours that day, losing feeling in my feet, to get a seat on the glass for this epic battle. Little did I know it would be a game to remember. This game had everything. A lot of big hits, scrums, and great game speed. Oh yeah and a UND victory. What made this game memorable for me though is, then junior defenseman Andrew MacWilliam scoring his very first collegiate goal in his 102nd game played for the Sioux. Being right on the glass right next to where he shot the puck from made it just that much better.

Finally, one can't talk this rivalry without talking the comeback of the decade at the 2012 Final Five. the first 30 minutes of their semi-final match-up was all Minnesota. Late in the second down 3-0, Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol calls the infamous timeout, and the floodgates opened. It would start with a quick goal off of a face-off from Derek Forbort and UND would go into the locker room down 3-1 with one period left. UND would strike quick when Michael Parks would find the twine to pull the Sioux within one goal. While the PA guy was announcing the goal, Brock Nelson would make it a tie game. Minnesota was now playing on their heels and half of the Xcel Energy Center was left stunned. The guy who scored the fourth goal, and game winner couldn't have been more fitting though. The captain, the Grand Forks native, a guy who bleeds green, Mario Lamoureux would make it 4-3 and the comeback would be officially complete. UND would score two more, including one more from Lamoureux to send UND to their third straight WCHA championship.

I will be sharing more of my favorite memories from this historic rivalry as we get closer to the game on April 10th. Feel free to share your favorite memories with me via Twitter @siouxhockey33.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

(Video) Former Gopher defenseman Erik Johnson looking at a Shanaban

Former Golden Gophers and current Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is facing supplemental discipline for this dirty/brutal slash on Islander New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen. It will be interesting to see what kind of punishment is given to Johnson. (Shanaban)
NHL.COM --- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson will have a phone hearing Tuesday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a third-period slash on New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen on Saturday night.

Nielsen was skating for a loose puck in the Avalanche's zone when Johnson slashed him on the wrists with 7:54 left in the third period. Johnson was given a two-minute penalty on the play.

The following grounds for the proposed supplemental discipline are being considered: slashing. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to these infractions accordingly upon further review
Thoughts on the slash? How many games will he be facing?
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Monday, September 02, 2013

Gophers Freshman Gabe Guertler arrested for DUI on a Moped

Minnesota Golden Gophers women's ice hockey
Minnesota Golden Gophers women's ice hockey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Minnesota Gophers hockey team is going to have to ban Mopeds for their athletes. You can bet, that Gopher head coach Don Lucia didn’t want to deal with this issue to start the season. Our friends to the south, at the NDSU, in the football program, could learn a lesson from the Gophers Hockey program on how to deal with off of the field issues.
Jason Gonzalez, Star TribuneHennepin County public records show that [Gabe] Guertler was arrested early Saturday morning by the University of Minnesota Police Department and charged with drunken driving. He was released later that morning. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on Oct. 11.

He faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

A university representative confirmed that Guertler was driving a moped when he was pulled over.

No other details about the incident were immediately available. University police said more details should be available after the holiday weekend

For those that were asking for a link, here’s the links to this story...

Western College Hockey: Minnesota Freshman Gabe Guertler Suspended Following DWI Arrest

CBS Minnesota: Gopher Hockey Player Suspended After DWI

Arrest Nation: University of Minnesota Forward Gabe Guertler Arrested

The College Daily: Freshman University of Minnesota Hockey Player Arrested For DWI

USCHO: Minnesota Suspends Guertler indefinitely: incoming freshman faces DWI charge

Bring me the news: Lucia suspends incoming freshman Guertler indefinitely
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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Gopher Freshman Gabe Guertler Suspended Indefinitely for DWI Arrest

Well what do we have here? Looks like incoming University of Minnesota Gopher freshman forward Gabe Guertler has been suspended indefinitely for a DWI arrest. You can see the court on-line record here. You can bet that the Gophers coaching staff didn't want to deal with this issue this fall.
USCHO -- The team suspension will be reevaluated in November, a school statement released Sunday said. “While we are still gathering information at this time, we take this matter seriously and feel a suspension is warranted,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said in the statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and will handle the matter internally.”
The former Fargo Force forward Guertler is the first player from Florida to commit to play hockey for the Minnesota Gophers. Guertler played two seasons for the Fargo Force of the USHL and scored (40g-39a—79 pts) in 117 regular season games.

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Erik Haula has signed with the Minnesota Wild

It's been a tough spring for the Minnesota Gophers as they have lost a ton of offensive scoring from last season's team that went 26-9-5 and finished tied for first in the WCHA.

The Gophers have now lost 5 juniors from their lineup that was the third ranked offense in the NCAA this past season. Nate Schmidt (9g-23a—32pts), Zach Budish (14g-22a—32pts), Nick Bjugstad (21g-15a—36pts), Erik Haula (16g-35a—51pts), Mark Alt (0g-7a—7pts). If math is correct that is 158 points from the Minnesota Gophers lineup.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CC's Joe Marciano hits Minnesota's Tom Serratore from behind

Colorado College Tiger defenseman Joe Marciano received a five minute major for this cross-check on Minnesota Gopher forward Tom Serratore. I think Marciano was lucky to remain in the game and I am not sure what he was upset with. These are the kind of hits that I would like to see gone from "all" levels of hockey.
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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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Gophers ruin Beavers senior night

Bemidji State Beavers women's ice hockey
Bemidji State Beavers women's ice hockey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bemidji Minnesota—Last night, the Bemidji State Beavers came out of the gate and were a tough team to play against. The Beavers got in the shooting lanes and took away the Gophers time and space and made skating through the neutral zone difficult.
Last night I said, the Beavers were giving another team fits, this time that same tenacious fore-check was on display at the Sanford Center in Bemidji and the Beavers were getting in the Gophers shooting lanes and taking away their time and space. It was a beaut to watch as the Beavers were giving the highly touted Gophers forwards little room to roam.
Tonight, the roles were reversed; the Gophers were the team that was giving the Beavers fits. The Gophers were allowed to move through the neutral zone freely with speed and the Beavers had little room to roam.
The Gophers were behind the Beavers defenders all-night long and ruined the Bemidji Beavers senior night beating them 5-1 on their home ice securing a tie for first place in the WCHA and a share of  MacNaughton Cup.
As I mentioned above, it wasn’t a good night on the ice for the home team.
On two separate occasions, in the second period, the Gophers Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula were left alone in the slot and they took that opportunity to bury the puck behind the senior Beaver goalie Mathieu Dugas. The Gophers would take a 2-0 into the first intermission.
The Gophers would outshoot the Beavers 10-6 in the first period.
At the 01:55 mark of the second period the Beavers were finally able to put a puck in the twine with a blast from Beaver Defenseman Matt Prapavessiss, to make the score 2-1 Gophers. That was all of the scoring the Gophers would get on the night as the Gophers would continue to make plays.
The Gophers would push the lead to 3-1 with a nice goal by Zach Budish.
After the two periods of hockey, the Gophers outshot the Beavers 33-16.
The Gophers put the icing on the cake in the third period, putting two more goals past the Beaver’s goalie in the third period with goals from Jake Parenteau and Christian Isackson.
The Gophers would outshoot the Beavers 40-24 for the game and the game never really in any doubt after the second period, as the Gophers ran over, through and around the Beavers. For their efforts the Beavers get to play the Gophers in Minneapolis next weekend.
Bemidji State Beavers head coach Tom Serratore was asked about the prospect of playing against the Gopher again next weekend.
“I would be lying to you, to sit there and say that we’re doing kart wheels that we’re going over there.” Serratore said. “There’s nothing you can do. That’s the draw that we have. We come to the rink on Monday with our heart in our head and we have to prepare for Minnesota.”
In the visitor’s locker room the Gophers were posing with the  MacNaughton Cup that just happened to be in the building.
While we were waiting for the Beavers head coach Tom Serratore, there was a buzz in the arena that the Wisconsin Badgers had beaten the Saint State Huskies 3-2 giving the Minnesota Gophers a share of the MacNaughton Cup.

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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Gophers get past Beavers

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bemidji, Minnesota – This weekend, is the last time the Gophers will ever play the Bemidji State Beavers as members of the WCHA, ever.
Two summers ago, the college hockey landscape changed forever. That discussion, however, is for another day.
Next season, the Gophers will come back to play the Beavers at the Sanford Center as members of Big Ten Hockey Conference. The Beavers will remain in the new version of the WCHA.
Last weekend, the Beavers defensive style of play kept UND bottled up and gave them fits.
Fast forward to this weekend, the Beavers again were giving another team fits, this time that same tenacious fore-check was on display at the Sanford Center in Bemidji and the Beavers were getting in the Gophers shooting lanes and taking away their time and space. It was a beaut to watch as the Beavers were giving the highly touted Gophers forwards little room to roam.
Through one period of hockey, the Gophers and Beavers exchanged goals and played an evenly matched game of hockey. The Beavers outshot the Gophers 13-10 in the first period
The second period would prove to be rough sledding in the early going for the Beavers, as they had to a kill a five-on-three power play. Unfortunately, the Beavers luck would run out at the 02:21 mark of the second period as Nick Bjudstad would score his first of two goals on the power play.
The Beavers would continue to work hard and beat the Gophers to the puck and that hard work would finally pay off as the Beavers would eventually tie the score at the 18:17 mark of the second period with a goal from Beaver freshman Cory Ward. Ward’s goal was an example of what happens when you go hard to the net.
The Gophers would out shoot the Beavers in the second period 9-8.
The opportunistic Cory Ward, would score his second of the game at the 2:30 mark of the second period, to give the Beavers a momentary 3-2 lead.
Freshman Cory Ward (Las Vegas, Nevada) has been hot as of late and has points in four of his last five games (3g-3a—6pts).
“The last couple of weeks we’ve played like that, we’ve played really well,” Ward said.  “I feel like everything is coming together. Playing against teams like that we’ve stepped our game up and that’s really important going into the playoffs in our position.”
The Beavers would miss a golden opportunity go up 4-2, on a breakaway by senior forward Jordan George.  That was a key play that would come back to haunt the Beavers.
The Gophers would tie the game four minutes later with a goal by Justin Holl.
The game wouldn’t stay tied for long as the Golden Gophers would go on the power play at the 14:54 mark of the third period with untimely and bad penalty from sophomore defenseman Sam Rendle.
The Gophers would make the Beavers pay 0:31 seconds later when Nick Bjudstad would get his second power play goal of the night.
The Gophers (23-7-4, 15-7-5 WCHA) would score two third-period goals in about seven minutes and 27 seconds to lead the Gophers to a heart breaking 4-3 loss.
The Beavers (6-19-8, 5-15-7 WCHA) gave the Gophers everything they could handle and at times they were the better of the two teams, but untimely penalties by the Beavers did them in. You cannot give the Beavers power play too many chances.
Bemidji State Beavers head coach Tom Serratore on his team’s play.
“I thought we played a pretty good 60 minute game,” Serratore said. “I thought we had good possession time. I thought we went to the net well. I thought we had good scoring chances. Guys made plays. Obviously, again the thing that tough to swallow is that third period lead and you give it up.  We’ve done that too much this year.”
Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine... 

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