Showing posts with label Minnesota Gophers Hockey Team. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota Gophers Hockey Team. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Video of the Minnesota vs. Notre Dame highlights

Here are the highlights of tonight's game between the number one ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers and the number two ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It's a good win for the Minnesota Gophers because it's bumps their Pairwise ranking up. It's also the fifth win in the last six games for the Minnesota Gophers.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

John Hill out at UMN - Mike Guentzel back in at UMN.

There is some surprising news surfacing down in Rodentville. It would appear that the powers that be at the University of Minnesota have finally seen enough of John Hill’s antics; I am surprised Hill stayed on as long as he did. Seriously folks when Mike Guentzel left the University of Minnesota after the 2007 – 2008 season, I was shocked that the Gophers parted ways with a great coach like Guentzel and kept John Hill.

Jeff Oftos of Gopher Puck Live is reporting that Minnesota Golden Gopher assistant hockey coach John Hill is out as assistant coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and former Minnesota Assistant hockey coach Mike Guentzel is back in for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. I have found in the past that Gopher Puck Live is in tune and spot on in most of their predictions and stories so I have no reason to doubt it.

Had anyone out there predicted this scenario unfolding?

While no official announcement has been made, several sources, including @hammyhockey and @quickfacts via Twitter have reported a somewhat surprising change on the Gopher hockey staff. It appears as though Coach John Hill will not return for the 2011 – 2012 season, and a familiar face will be back in.

The first piece of this news is not surprising. For at least a couple of seasons now, there have been a lot of rumblings about what effectiveness Coach Hill was having on the team. Due to the theories that there was nobody on staff with any true defensive coaching experience, the team was losing some players early to the pro ranks and even losing out on some higher profile recruits, Coach Hill took the brunt of the blame not directly fired at Lucia.

Mike Guentzel In?
The surprise is coming in the return of former Gopher defenseman, captain and (long-time) assistant coach Mike Guentzel. Rumored to have been let-go by Coach Lucia after the 2007 – 2008 season, most figured the only way Guentzel would have returned was either as a head coach or with a different head coach/staff altogether.

Long known for his loyalty to the ‘M’, Guentzel, of course, the staunch assistant coach from 1994 – 2008 returns to, assumingly, take the reigns of a defense that has struggled in one aspect or another from time to time since he left. Be it puck movement on the power play, or tying up defenders in front of their own net, this is an area that should improve now that Guentzel is back.
First I want to preface this with; I don’t know John Hill nor do I have any idea what kind of person John Hill is in person, however, in what I have witnessed as a fan in his role as assistant coach of the University of Minnesota, John Hill comes off as a half cocked buffoon, or as a guy that has one caught in the chamber, especially when he is being interviewed during the Sioux and Gopher series. A few seasons a go when the Gophers were playing the Fighting Sioux, Hill made some puzzling statements on how he hated the Fighting Sioux hockey team. Not something you would expect an assistant coach to say.

To on lookers out side of the UMN hockey program; the fact that Mike Guentzel left the Gophers and John Hill got to stay was a puzzling move to many that I have talked to… I can also remember Johnny Pohl telling Paul Allen on KFAN 1130 that losing assistant coach Mike Guentzel was a major loss for the Gopher hockey program.

Looking back at the results of the last three season, it’s apparent that the loss of Mike Guentzel was a major loss for the Golden Gophers hockey program, the Gophers defense has looked like a bunch of orange road cones or pylons since; as the opposition teams have pretty much skated around the Gophers like a hot knife going through butter. Since Guentzel left the Gopher hockey team the have been mediocre at best going an unimpressive 51-46-15 missing the Final Five the last two years and the NCAA tourney the last three seasons in a row.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Maturi: 'I expect Lucia to be back'

It has been interesting watching the implosion 300+ miles to the south east of us in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Gopher hockey fans are in full melt down mode as another team from the University of Minnesota fails to meet the Gopher fans expectations (Tim Brewster's Football, Tuby Smith's Mens Basketball, Don Lucia's Mens Gopher Hockey). It’s not an understatement to say that the Golden Gopher fans have their pitch forks and rakes and they are marching on the University of Minnesota Athletic director’s office.
ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ, Star Tribune ---- Disgruntled Gophers men's hockey fans who want a coaching change this offseason are probably going to be disappointed.

"I expect Don Lucia to be back," Joel Maturi, the University of Minnesota's athletic director, said Sunday, a day after the Gophers were swept out of the WCHA first-round playoffs by Alaska Anchorage.

Lucia has one year left on his current contract. Next season would be his 13th as the Gophers coach.

"We will talk soon and discuss the future of Gopher hockey," Maturi said. "The most unhappy guy today is Don Lucia. Nobody likes to lose."

After Saturday night's loss, Lucia would not comment on his future.

Eighth-place Alaska Anchorage defeated the Gophers 4-3 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday, ending their season.

"This is not the place Gophers hockey belongs," Maturi said. "When you look at our program, we've got to find a way to get to the Xcel for the Final Five and not only get to NCAA tournament but to the NCAA championship game."

Under Lucia, the Gophers won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2002 and 2003 and advanced to another Frozen Four in 2005. But the team has struggled in the national tournament since, going 1-2 in three appearances, including a stunning first-round loss to Holy Cross in 2006.

The Gophers, who finished 16-14-6 and in fifth place in the WCHA this season, will miss the Final Five for the second year in a row, the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.
I don’t know if anyone has noticed this but the down fall of the Minnesota Gophers hockey team started when Bob Motzko and Mike Guentzel left the program and moved on to other positions. These two coaches were replaced with uber buffoon John Hill, who seems to lack any usable hockey knowledge of how to run a defensive corp, penalty kill or power play. If Lucia is able to keep his position one more season with the Minnesota Gophers it will be interesting to see if the Hill is still with the Gophers in the fall when the 2011-2012 season begins. Personally I think Don Lucia and John Hill are doing a great job in Minnesota and I hope they both stay on next season.

Joel Maturi in the cross hairs of Gopher fans

I think it would be an understatement to say that Minnesota Golden Gopher fans are upset with Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi as well. During Marturi’s reign of terror the University of Minnesota has had more head coaches than most fans could count, just off the top of my head the Gophers have had four football coaches, 1.) Jim Wacker, 2.) Glen Mason, 3.) Tim Brewster and now new head coach 4.) Jerry Kill. The Basketball program has been no better as the University of Minnesota and has had more than a few head coaches come and go as well, 1.) Clem Haskins 2.) Dan Monson and finally current head coach 3.) Tuby Smith. I don’t know if the University of Minnesota can afford to pay for another head coach’s buyout, there is only so much money to go around and the state of Minnesota has a budget deficit. Unless some big time alumni steps up and writes a check for 250,000.00 I think the Gophers are stuck with Don Lucia for another season.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

He said what?

First off, I enjoy Roman’s articles and his blog posts… As a regular reader I find his blog post to be amusing and I like his style. Roman writes in a style that I find easy to read and enjoy and he doesn’t talk down or use a bunch of fancy words no one can understand… I admit that I usually read Goal Gopher a few times each day because there are usually lots of juicy nuggets that make good conversation pieces and blog posts. This post caught my eye and I couldn’t resist.
Goal Gophers --- Senior Jacob Cepis said the Gophers have beaten most of the best teams in the WCHA -- North Dakota, Denver and UMD -- and the top teams from other leagues, too.

The U beat Michigan 3-1 in the final College Hockey Showcase and took Union to overtime before losing 3-2 in its holiday tournament.

Michigan won the CCHA title this past weekend while Union won the Cleary Cup, symbolic of its first ECAC title.

The Gophers, of course, had a good weekend, too, sweeping Michgian Tech 5-2 both games. It got chippy Saturday as the U built a lead
That being said, I think this Star and Tribune blog post is an illustration of how far the mighty have fallen from grace; the Minneapolis Star Tribune is taking quotes from Jacob Cepis, just a few short years ago you would’ve seen more polished all American like players, you can picture the Gopher players names in your head. More prolific names like Jordan Leopold, Johnny Pohl, Thomas Vanek, Paul Martin, Alex Goligoski, Danny Irmen, Matt Koalska, Grant Polulny and Ryan Potulny. These all American like players would would be feeding the local media printable quotes and the media and their fans from the Metro area would be eating it up.

There would have been interviews in which the home town players would be talking about how the Minnesota Gophers had just wrapped up another league title or secured a high seed in the WCHA tourney and were looking forward to their upcoming trip to the Final Five and the NCAA tourney... Now the Gophers and the local media and their fans are talking about how their team can hopefully finish in fifth or sixth place in the WCHA standings so they can secure home ice. Gone are the annual trips to the NCAA tourney and as the Gophers are sitting on the bubble of making the NCAA tourney… They more than likely are going to be sitting on the outside looking in again, or playing golf when April comes around. Most of us would be grumbling about how Minnesota is going to get the evening game again on Friday, they will be lucky to play on Thursday.

Now the local Minneapolis/Saint Paul media talk about moral victories and how they took Union to overtime before they lost in overtime, in years past the former Gopher team would have taken the Dutchmen to the wood shed and hung a five or six spot on them. Now Minnesota is hard pressed to score five goals on anyione. Ironically the same Union team then lost the next night to the BSU Beavers... The Bemidji Beavers also are the same team that has gone further than the Gophers in the NCAA tourney the last two seasons.

So fast forward to present time, am I the only one that finds it funny that senior Jacob Cepis has become the face of the Minnesota Gophers hockey team? With nineteen NHL draft choices on the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ hockey team roster, some of which were taken in the first round; instead the have an undrafted player from Parma, Ohio that seems to have become the preferred spokes man for the Gophers hockey team. Wow! How times have changed.

Slashing is now sticking up for a teammate...

I have been reading this article a few times and I find it more amusing each time I read it. First off what is the Stib’s definition of a brawl? Does anyone see a problem with this paragraph? Usually if you going to take exception with something that an opposition player has done on the ice, in my opinion slashing would be an inappropriate and gutless response. It's not sticking up for a teammate, and it might get you fined, suspended and or probably beat up in other leagues.
* On whether brawl the Gophers' 3-2 win at North Dakota on Jan. 14 was a bonding experience: "We've got a lot of bonding experiences this year. We see each other too much. Every second of the day. We've got some young guys who are not afraid to mix it up. Enough of that stuff where people are criticizing us for not being tough. We showed we can be tough. Same with North Dakota. You want to try to bully us, it's not going to work. We are going to back ourselves up."

After a big hit on Gophers defensemen Kevin Wehrs, the 5-8, 170-pound Cepis actually took exception and started the donnybrook at the end of the second period. He got called for slashing.

* On the roughing calls and fighting on Saturday: "If somebody is going to take a shot at you, we are going to take a shot back."