After winning 6-0 Friday, the Gophers lose the rematch Sunday. Alaska-Anchorage is on tap this weekend.
Results From Last Weekend:
Bemidji swept Tech
Wisconsin swept UND
Denver swept Mankato
Nebraska-Omaha swept Alaska-Anchorage
Last weekend penalties hurt Minnesota, along with not playing well in their own end.
Minnesota looks to have some really good firepower up front and they have really attacked the net. This team looks like they really want to score and play with some intensity and grit. Eric Haula is tied for first in the nation in scoring with 5 goals and 14 points. Senior Jake Hansen is tied for third with 11 points. Both have at least one point in each game this season. Freshman Kyle Rau is tied for first in freshman scoring in the nation with 9 points and looks to be one of the few Gophers who could hit 20 goals in their freshman season. Minnesota has the #1 offense in the nation, averaging 5.83 goals per game. Their 36% power play also leads the nation. Rau has 4 power play goals. The Gophers are putting up some numbers, although they have been against one team that hadn’t yet played, and another team that looked like they hadn’t yet played. Sophomore Nate Schmidt, who scored his first career goal on Sunday against Vermont, leads all defensemen in the nation in scoring with nine points. While Schmidt is contributing, overall the defense isn’t going to be looked upon as a major contributor to the offense. The defense will need to shore things up some, and that will mean the forwards need to continue to contribute defensively.
Minnesota has won just once in the last 5 games against the Seawolves, including being swept last season at home in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. St. Cloud’s Bob Motzko just returned from a tournament in Anchorage and says this is the best Alaska Anchorage team that he’s seen in years. Although Anchorage lost four of its top eight scorers from a year ago, they have received early-season production from junior Mickey Spencer (5g-2a), who missed a large chunk of 2010-11 due to injury. Fellow junior Daniel Naslund (2g-5a) shares the team lead in points with Spencer and sophomore Quinn Sproule has the most points among the team’s defensemen with three (2g-1a). Goaltenders Chris Kamal and Rob Gunderson have split the team’s six games between the pipes. Kamal is 2-1-0 with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage, while Gunderson owns a 1-1-1 record and .909 save percentage while allowing 2.29 goals per 60 minutes. Gunderson’s lone victory came in the form of a 23-save shutout against UNO.
Minnesota has more depth, speed and more talent up front. They will need to play good in tight spaces as they will see more traffic in front of the Anchorage net than what they have seen in the past couple of weeks.
THE CALL: Split
The Gophers return home next week for a highly anticipated series with the Sioux!
THE CALL: Split
On Tap This Weekend In The WCHA:
Denver at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET
Tech is playing well and drawing some fans. They swept Wisconsin who then went and swept UND. Denver has some high-end talent and if they get some goaltending they should sweep.
THE CALL: Denver Sweep
Bemidji State at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT
Bemidji always gives UMD trouble and if they can get goaltending they can win. UMD has some talented forwards and that should be the difference.
THE CALL: 3 points for UMD
Nebraska Omaha at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT
Wisconsin is a question mark, and Omaha has some good talent.
THE CALL: Split
St. Cloud State at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT
St. Cloud will face a hungry UND team who has a solid defensive core.
THE CALL: UND sweep
Colorado College at Rensselaer (NC), 7:00 pm ET
|7:45||Practice @ Mariucci|
|11:30||Flight to Anchorage|
|10:00||Post -game meal|
|Similar schedule to Friday|
|3:30 AM||Bus to airport|