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A Preview of Round 2 – Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks – So we meet again

Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks in the 2nd round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

So we meet again…The Minnesota Wild play the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs for the 3rd straight season.

The Minnesota Wild meet the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 3rd straight season and the 2nd straight season in the 2nd round when the puck (or the ClutterPuck) drops tonight around 8:30pm. The last two seasons when these teams met, it was a foregone conclusion that the Blackhawks would defeat the Wild. It was just a matter of how many games it would take for Chicago to win the series.

In 2013, the Minnesota Wild were, basically, just happy to be in the postseason dance. They were that weird kid standing alone in the corner wondering why they were there and then they saw her. The Stanley Cup. They got the courage to go up and ask her to dance* but here came Mr. Popular, the Chicago Blackhawks, to steal their thunder and ruin their night. So they went home losing the series 4 games to 1 with that 1 win coming in overtime fashion. (Thank you, Mr. Zucker!) Not the results the Wild wanted but it was a step, the first step to becoming a champion. They saw up close how a championship team got it done in the playoffs. They learned how intense the playoffs are and how every possession and play is magnified!

*How do you dance with the Stanley Cup? Trust me, if the Minnesota Wild win Lord Stanley’s Cup, it will just happen. Everyone will be like, “Here, I’ll show you!” Everybody Loves Stan!!!

In 2014, we saw a team that figured out what it takes to win a series. They beat the Colorado Avalanche in a series that began looking like the Colorado would win the series pretty quickly. They figured out every game in a series is a different entity, something with distinct and independent existence and they could come back if they played the right way. They needed 7 games and overtime in Game 7 to do it. That Game 7 was almost a microcosm of the series, too. The Wild never led in the game until that final shot in OT. They came back from a 1-goal deficit 4 times. The only lead they had in the game and in the series was after the final shot! (PING! Thank you, Nino!)

Facing the Blackhawks in the 2nd round felt like they were ruining the dance again! They’d win game 1 & 2 by scores of 5-2 and 4-1, sending the Wild home, down 2 games. That 1st round experience showed them they could come back in a series and we saw a Wild team get that Home Ice Advantage, starting to play with confidence and really frustrate teams when they played at The X.* It was especially amazing to see how much they frustrated the reigning Stanley Cup Champions with their play on home ice. They would end up losing game 6 in overtime on a crazy bounce that went right to Patrick Kane and just like that, the Wild’s season came to an end.

*CRAWWWFORRRRRRD!!!

The 2014-15 version of the Minnesota Wild had such a crazy regular season. They’d have a sickness or two go through the locker room, deaths of the fathers of their assistant captains and, of course, the problems in the net that seemed to make this team lose confidence in their whole game. Leave it to the Brown Fox to fix the problem with a 3rd round pick in his pocket that he’d offer to the Arizona Coyotes for Devan Dubnyk. Devan Dubnyk! How many people saw Devan Dubnyk being the savior of the season?

Everyone thought he was the backup for the Coyotes and, for the most part, he was. But, in December, he started more games for Arizona than starter Mike Smith did and to that point, DUUUBS had played very well, going 5-1-1 in the 8 games he started in with a 2.48 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Those are pretty good numbers for a team that only had 16 wins in 42 games. The Coyotes only had 8 wins in the 40 games after they traded Devan Dubnyk.

We all know how Devan Dubnyk has changed this team! Before Dubnyk (BD), the Wild were in a tailspin. They didn’t seem to have a clue what to do to win battles, win shifts or win periods let win a game. Once Dubnyk showed up, it was a different team. He’d start 38 consecutive games, only getting a game off after the Wild clinched a playoff spot. The Wild finished the last 40 games with a record of 28-9-3.

The 1st round started with Devan Dubnyk getting his first experience in the postseason. Save for a bad Game 4, where the Wild must have forgotten there was a game and lost 6-1, he would play his consistent great game and he may have gotten better after those bad 2 periods in Game 4.

The Wild A.D. (After Dubnyk) went 2-0 versus the Blackhawks, winning 3-0 at home in February and 2-1 in Chicago in April in the game that clinched a spot in the playoffs. The Wild B.D. (Before Dubnyk) lost all 3 of their games against Chicago before that, 5-3, 4-2 and 4-1. 13 goals against in 3 games to 1 goal against in 2 games is a pretty big difference.

The Wild had some struggles against the Blues but they seemed to “wake up” after getting blown out on their home ice in Game 4. They played better defensively since that game, playing with less panic and more poise. The confidence in their game came back and this team may have learned how to play a consistent game in the playoffs. No panic in their overall game will serve them well in the 2nd round.

What are the main factors when it comes to winning a series in the playoffs? There’s the obvious – the play of the goalie and special teams. The Wild have Dubnyk who’s been great. Their power play came alive in round 1 scoring 4 goals in 12 power plays. They had the best penalty kill in the NHL in the regular season and shut down the Blues, only allowing 2 goals in 11 power plays. The Blackhawks went back and forth in the 1st round with their goalies, they had the worst penalty kill of any team in the playoffs and their power play was only 3 for 19.

Looking at stats can only tell you so much as each team played a different opponent so it’s difficult to say the results would be the same against everyone in the league or everyone in the playoffs.

We can look at the talent on each team. The majority of people will say the Blackhawks have more talent than the Wild. They have Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, etc… It’s hard to argue with their talent. The Wild do have Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, Ryan Suter, Jason Zucker and more so they’re no slouch in talent.. All the talent in the world doesn’t mean anything against a team playing their system the right way, playing with confidence and working their asses off all over the ice.

How about depth at forward and defense and the whole lineup? The Wild got ahead and stayed ahead, came back to win once, every win was more than one goal and they won two games on the road. The Blackhawks had to continually come from behind and couldn’t hold leads throughout the 1st round. They allowed the Predators to respond quickly time after time.

My bottom line is the Minnesota Wild seem to have the team with more depth, are playing better in all areas of the game. They could be the Blackhawks from 2010 or 2013. Everything seems to be clicking at the right time. This is a team on a mission and they are ready to get over the hump of beating the Chicago Blackhawks now. They are not in awe of them like 2013. They are playing confident in every area of their game.

It will be a great series regardless of who wins, that’s for sure.

My prediction is Wild in 6!!!

Here’s the Series Schedule:

Game 1: @Chicago Friday 5/1 8:30 PM NBCSN

Game 2: @Chicago Sunday 5/3 7:30 PM NBCSN

Game 3: @Minnesota Tuesday 5/5 7:00 PM NBCSN

Game 4: @Minnesota Thursday 5/7 8:30 PM NBCSN

Game 5: @Chicago Saturday 5/9 TBD*

Game 6: @Minnesota Monday 5/11 TBD*

Game 7: @Chicago Wednesday 5/13 TBD*

What are your thoughts on this 2nd round match-up? Who do you got winning and why?

Bring The Clutter in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook or Google+!

Gopher Hockey Notes vs Bemidji State Beavers – 10-24-2014

Gopher Hockey finally got to our televisions Friday night as they took on the Bemidji State Beavers for their home opener. Having not seen the Gophers play yet this season, because neither the exhibition game nor the two games from the Ice Breaker tourney were televised, we may have not known what to expect even if the Gophers were the top-ranked team in the nation. Rankings mean very little on the ice.

Throw in that they were playing an in-state rival in Bemidji State and you never know what can happen. Beavers’ Head Coach Tom Serratore always has his team ready to play and they’d love to topple the Gophers from that number one spot.

Here’s Friday night’s line charts:

Line Chart – Minnesota Golden Gophers
Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Leon Bristedt-18 – Kyle Rau-7 – Hudson Fasching-24
F-Sam Warning-11 – Justin Kloos-25 – Taylor Cammarata-13
Connor Reilly-21 – Travis Boyd-22 – Seth Ambroz-17
A.J. Michaelson-15 – Christian Isackson-26 – Vinni Lettieri-19
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Jake Bischoff-28 – Mike Reilly-5
Ben Marshall-10 – Michael Brodzinski-20
Brady Skjei-2 – Ryan Collins-6
Goalie
Adam Wilcox-32

Scratches: G-Nick Lehr-34 (back-up), G-Ryan Coyne-31, D-Jack Glover-3, D-Steve Johnson-4, D-Nick Seeler-12 (Transfer), F-Ryan Reilly-9, F-Mitch Rogge-27, F-Robin Hoglund-29

Line Chart – Bemidji State Beavers
Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Markus Gerbrandt-23 – Nate Arentz-11 – Brendan Harms-18
Phillip Marinaccio-9 – Corey Ward-13 – John Parker-8
Kyle Bauman-14 – Gerry Fitzgerald-21 – Myles Fitzgerald-26
Charlie O’Connor-22 – Mitch Cain-27 – Phil Brewer-19
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Brett Beauvais-28 – Sam Windle-4
Sam Rendle-20 – Matt Prapavessis-7
Ruslan Pedan-25 – Graeme McCormack-12
Goalie
Michael Bitzer-1

Scratches/Injured: G-Andrew Walsh-30, G-Reid Mimmack-33, G-Jesse Wilkins-35, D-James Hansen-3, D-Carter Struthers-6, F-Jay Dickman-6, F-Jordan Heller-15, F-Bob Kinne-16, F-Leo Fitzgerald-17

Of course, being the home opener at Mariucci Arena and having 16 players from last season’s team coming back, including Kyle Rau, Adam Wilcox and Hudson Fasching, you knew the Gophers would come out flying on Friday night. They did not disappoint!

Friday Night Rodents On Ice!!!
The Beavers had a tough spot playing the Gophers in their home opener and seeing a banner unveiled (1st ever B1G TEN CHAMPS) but they did a good job making sure to keep it a game for a while.

At 8:41 of the 1st period, Justin Kloos drove up the left side of the ice with speed. Taylor Cammarata trailed him a little bit going up the left center lane with Sam Warning trailing the play. Two Beavers went to Kloos so he curled towards the boards just before the half wall and hit a trailing Sam Warning coming up center ice.

Justin Kloos starts the play that ends in a Taylor Cammarata goal for the Gophers!

Speed kills when you’ve got Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata and Sam Warning on the same line.

Warning received the puck and one-timed a pass to Taylor Cammarata, who turned towards the net just after the face-off dot of the left circle and he was able to stick handle around Beavers goalie Michael Bitzer and put an easy backhand into the open net. That play was all about speed.

  • Kloos used his speed to quickly gain the zone than curled back to make a pass to Warning.
  • Warning made a quick pass to Cammarata
  • Cammarata used his speed to keep the defense honest by driving towards the net.

THAT is a BEAUTIFUL GOAL!!! 1-0 GOPHERS!

The 1st period would end with only the one goal scored. Early in the 2nd period, Kyle Rau would make a nifty little toe drag move while Leon Bristedt drove the net allowing Rau to go to his backhand for his 2nd goal of the season. Bristedt would pick up his 1st career Gopher assist and point on the play. You could argue that he should get two assists on the play because without him driving the net, that goal might not happen.

Kyle Rau Toe Drags to a Goal

Kyle Rau toe drags to get to the front of the net.

2-0 GOPHERS!

Breaking out of their own zone, a Gopher player tried to put a pass through a player, it hits a stick and because they were breaking out, Beavers forward Mitch Cain is behind the defense, receives a pass in the slot and fires one upper right over Adam Wilcox to cut the lead in half.

BEAVERS SCORE! 2-1 Gophers!

The Beavers had the momentum and Mike Reilly received an interference penalty to put them on the power play. The Beavers had a chance to tie the game but 15 seconds into the penalty kill, Brady Skjei ended up with a 2-on-1 with Travis Boyd on his left. Skjei opted to shoot the puck with Boyd going hard to the net.

Travis Boyd scores a short-handed goal vs Bemidji State on 10-24-2014

Travis Boyd drives the net on a shorthanded 2-on-1.

As you can see, Boyd had a step on getting to the loose puck first and he ended up burying it, scoring a short-handed goal. Drive the net, boys. It will change the game. Boyd doesn’t score there if he doesn’t drive to the net.

3-1 GOPHERS!

The Gophers killed off the rest of the penalty and got back to work, getting a power play off a Mitch Cain boarding penalty. Kyle Rau received a pass from Taylor Cammarata in the right corner just below the circle but in front of the goal line to the right of the net, facing the corner and he made a no-look pass on his backhand that found Travis Boyd backdoor.

Kyle Rau has eyes in the back of his head.

Kyle Rau makes a no-look pass behind his back to Travis Boyd for a power play goal.

Boyd had to reach for it but still got enough on the shot to hit the upper right corner and make it…

4-1 GOPHERS!

We can’t forget about Adam Wilcox now, can we? He has a way of making us not forget about him. Adam made a ridiculous stick save having to twist back to his right and reach to make a save with the paddle of his goalie stick.

Adam Wilcox uses the paddle of his stick to save a goal!

Adam Wilcox reaches back to his right to make a save with the paddle of his stick.

STICK to what you know!

The Gophers would get another power play goal in the 3rd from Hudson Fasching after Mike Reilly faked a shot and faked a pass then let off a quick, low shot to the front of the net. Hudson Fasching was set up in front of the net with his stick ready to tip a shot from the point but Reilly faking a slapper AND faking the pass then quickly firing it to the front of the net probably fooled the tendy and the penalty killers.

Hudson Fasching - PPG vs Beavers - 10-24Look how Mike Reilly is looking to make the pass to the left dot. He ends up not passing the puck and #24, Hudson Fasching is set up for the tip. Reilly fakes the pass then shoots it quick and low making it easy for Fasching to get his stick on the puck.

GOAL! 5-1 GOPHERS!

Cory Ward would score on the power play with 5:40 left in the 3rd to make the score 5-2 but the Gophers took over the game in the 2nd period and never looked back.

We’ll see how different tomorrow night’s game is.

THANKS for reading!

Let us know what you think by commenting below or on Facebook, twitter and/or google+ and remember…

Bring The Clutter EVERY DAY In EVERY WAY!

2014 Hockey City Classic Notes – Minnesota Gophers vs Ohio State Buckeyes – January 17th, 2014

The 2014 Hockey City Classic once again includes Minnesota Gopher Hockey but this time the outdoor college hockey event has the Minnesota Gophers on home ice or, at least, ice at their home. Of course, being outdoors, I’m not sure if there is a home ice advantage as both the Gophers and their opponent, the Ohio State Buckeyes, probably received the same amount of ice time on the outdoor ice at TCF Bank stadium. There should be more Gopher Hockey fans there though so hopefully that will give the Gophers some “home ice” advantage.

I heard earlier this week that this is the first time in 80 years (1922) that the Minnesota Gophers have had a hockey game at home in the fabulous outdoor weather of a Minnesota winter. Now, it seems there’s outdoor hockey games once a week during the season of Winter. The Winter Classic didn’t start it all but it certainly brought the idea of the outdoor hockey game back to the forefront and got people enthusiastic about outdoor hockey again. I just hope they haven’t overdone it with the Stadium Series but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

So, heading into the Hockey City Classic, Gopher hockey is still ranked #1 with an overall record of  15-2-3 with losses at Notre Dame and vs Minnesota-Duluth. Their Big Ten record is 5-0-1 with a tie (shootout loss) to Michigan State back on December 6th.

Ohio State comes in with an overall record of 11-6-1 and a conference record of 1-2-1 but their losses have both been by one goal losing in overtime to Michigan 4-3 and losing in a shootout to Michigan State in a 1-1 game. So they look like a team that should not be overlooked.

Here’s your line charts:

Line Chart – Minnesota Golden Gophers

Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Taylor Cammarata – 13 – Kyle Rau-7 – Hudson Fasching-24
Sam Warning-11 – Nate Condon-16 – Justin Kloos-25
Tom Serratore-14 – Travis Boyd-22 – Seth Ambroz-17
Connor Reilly-21 – Vinni Lettieri-19 – Christian Isackson-26
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Brady Skjei-2 – Justin Holl-12
Mike Reilly-5 – Michael Brodzinski-20
Jake Bischoff-28 – Ben Marshall-10
Goalie
Adam Wilcox-32
Mike Shibrowski-1

Scratches: G-Ryan Coyne-31, D-Jake Parenteau-6, F-Ryan Reilly-9, F-AJ Michaelson-15, F-Christian Horn-18, F-Gabe Guertler-27
Injured:

Line Chart – Ohio State Buckeyes

Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Anthony Greco-14 – Tanner Fritz-16 – Alex Szczechura-28
Ryan Dzingel-18 – Nick Oddo-15 – Nick Schilkey-37
Max McCormick-17 – Tyler Lundey-23 – Darik Angeli-10
Alex Lippincott-11 – Chad Niddery-19 – Matt Johnson-26
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Curtis Gedig-8 – Josh Healey-47
Sam Jardine-21 – Craig Dalrymple-24
Justin Dasilva-25 – Drew Brevig-4
Goalie
Matt Tomkins-31
Christian Frey-30

Scratches/Injured: G-Logan Davis-1, G-Aaron Kahn-34, D-Clark Cristifoli-6, D-Al McLean-7, D-Blake Doerring-27, F-David Gust-9, F-Travis Statchuk-12

Alright, let’s DROP THE CLUTTERPUCK and get to the game!!!

1st Period

  • I really like those Gopher Hockey jerseys. They look “Classic!” I wonder if the Gophers will wear them again any time soon OR add them to their other options of jersey to wear at home games from now on.
  • The weather to start the game is at a temperature of 6 degrees with humidity at 60%, winds coming from the southwest at 5 miles per hour with a forecast of mostly clear and brisk wind gusts!
    • That sounds like outdoor hockey weather to me! Let’s do this, boys!
  • LET’S PLAY….HOCKEY!!!!
  • The starters are:
    • Gopher Hockey – #14 Tom Serratore at Left Wing, #22 Travis Boyd at Center, #17 Seth Ambroz at Right Wing, #2 Brady Skjei at Left Defense, #12 Justin Holl at Right Defense AND starting in goal, #32 Adam Wilcox!
    • Ohio State Buckeyes – #18 RyanDzingel at Left Wing, #15 NickOddo at Center, #37 NickSchilkey at Right Wing, #47 Josh Healey at Left Defense, #8 CurtisGedig at Right Defense and #31 Matt Tomkins starting in the cage.
      • Do you think the coaches struggle with who to start in these outdoor games or just do it like any other game?
      • It looks like both coaches went with the senior lineup to me, getting those guys something they can look back on as starters in the Hockey City Classic.
  • Travis Boyd wins the opening face-off back to Justin Holl who gets to the red line and dumps the puck in and we are underway!
  • Nice toe save by Mike Tomkins on a chance by Hudson Fasching at 10:05 of the 1st period!
  • PENALTY – Justin Kloos for Cross-Checking Max McCormick at 15:04 of the 1st period –  Justin Kloos takes a dumb penalty in the offensive zone by cross-checking Max McCormick instead of trying to get in a better position to defend and/or steal the puck.
  • PENALTY – Darek Angeli for Tripping Ben Marshall at 17:05 of the 1st period – As Ben Marshall clears the zone on the penalty kill, Darik Angeli tries to poke check the puck away from him and ends up tripping him and NOW, he’ll get some time alone in the penalty box to think about what he’s done!
  • BIG SAVE by Adam Wilcox on Ryan Dzingel at 18:40 of the 1st period – A bouncing puck gets through about 3 players as the Gophers try to enter the Buckeye zone and a clearing attempt gets through Michael Brodzinski giving RyanDzingel a breakaway on the PK. Comingin to Adam Wilcox’s right,Dzingel makes a few stick fakes and shoots low blocker but Wilcox is up to the task and keeps the game scoreless!
    • Tough to fault much on that play as a bouncing puck could go either way.
      • Should Michael Brodzinski or Ben Marshall get back a little more sinceDzingel is playing so high near the blue linein between them?
        • I would say probably and especially on a loose puck. Brodzinski was on the strong side so the weak side player should get back in my opinion.
  • The first period ends with no goals being scored but both teams getting a few solid chances.
    • Probably takes a period to get used to the ice and the elements and the opponent since they haven’t faced each other since 2007!

2nd Period

  • Sam Warning gets a scoring chance on a great pass by Mike Reilly and he does a turnaround shot to his backhand. You don’t see that very often!
    • You see the turnaround shot to the forehand all the time because players love their snap or wrist shots.
      • I really think it shows a weakness of a bad backhand shot.
      • A turnaround shot to a forehand is rarely going to fool anyone and it gives the defense and goalie time to prepare for the shot but if you learn how to shoot a quick backhand shot and get something on it, it will change your game AND help you get more space to shoot on your forehand because they opponent has to look for either shot!
  • GOAL – Taylor Cammarata from Kyle Rau and Justin Holl at 4:20 of the 2nd period – A simple little pass up the right boards by Justin Holl gets Kyle Rau the puck coming in the right side of the Buckeye zone with Taylor Cammarata coming up the middle. Hudson Fasching actually goes for a change so it’s really just a 2-on-2 with no back pressure from Ohio State. Rau has some space so brings the puck to his forehand for a shot through Ohio State d-man Josh Healey but Healey gets his stick in front of the shot deflecting the puck through his legs where Taylor Cammarata just tries to deflect it towards the net. Those quick deflections makes the puck barely get through the legs of goalie Mike Tomkins and the puck trickles towards the goal line. Rau cuts behind the net, sees the puck lying there and quickly gets around the net to poke it in so the goal will probably change to Kyle Rau from Taylor Cammarata and Justin Holl! 1-0 GOPHERS!!!
    • Defenseman CurtisGedig gave way too much space to Taylor Cammarata coming down the middle.
      • Hudson Fasching changed on the play so there’s no reason and no Gopher to cover in any other part of the zone.
      • Tanner Fritz didn’t apply any back pressure on the play either and that would’ve changed that play.
        • Playersshould be aware of what’s going on and when they can take advantage of situations offensively AND defensively.
          • Everybody on the ice and the bench can help with that by talking to each other and yelling when to go to the player with the puck and countless other things going on during the game.
    • Kyle Rau makes that play with his compete level! He sees the loose puck on the goal line and dives around the net lunging at it with his stick!

3rd Period

  • Rough start to the 3rd period as the Gophers are having some trouble getting out of their zone and making passes through the neutral zone.
  • PENALTY – Nick Schilkey for Tripping Same Warning at 2:18 of the 3rd period – Sam Warning gets to a loose puck in the Buckeye zone and Nick Schilkey tries to reach Warning’s stick with his stick coming down over the top but he misses and hit’s Warning’s feet tripping him and gets a free ticket to the penalty box!
  • PENALTIES – Coincidental Minors – Derek Angeli for Tripping Kyle Rau and Kyle Rau for Unsportsmanlike Conduct Embellishment at 6:07 of the 3rd period – Behind the Gopher net, Kyle Rau, JakeBischoff, Derek Angeli & Max McCormick battle for a loose puck. The puck comes off the wall and Kyle Rau is the first to go to it but Derek Angeli hooks Rau by his left glove. Kyle Rau falls but apparently appears to the official that he tried to embellish being tripped to get the call.
    • I disagree with the call on Kyle Rau and here’s why. He’s getting hooked on the glove and my guess is that, from the way we see Kyle Rau battle, he not assuming the official is calling the hook (or trip since that’s what the official called) so he’s trying to battle out of it and once his hand comes loose, he loses his balance.
      • I’m sure people would see that as me being a biased Gopher fan. That’s not it at all. That’s how I see that play.
    • Many people get annoyed when an official will call a trip and a dive on the same play thinking it can’t be both. Their argument is, if the playerwas tripped then how can it be a dive/embellishment? Or if the player dove/embellished then how can it be a trip?
      • Why would you try to fool the official? As if you have some idea when they are going to or not going to call a penalty!
    • I like when the official calls a penalty but calls the wrong penalty. Like this case for instance. That should a hooking penalty because Derek Angeli hooked Kyle Rau. He didn’t trip him.
      • Should we be happy the official at least knew there was a penalty and not care that he got the call right?
        • “Hey, he knew something didn’t look right there so he just figured he’d call it a trip and be done with it.”
          • “#10 for breaking the rules! I don’t know what specific rule but it was one of them. It was an illegal play! Yeah, that’s it! 2 minutes for Illegal Play!”…”What’s the signal for that?”…”Uhhh….the shame on you sign!”
    • I will say this. I respect what linesman and officials do. It’s not an easy job and not something I want to do.
    • I do love how announcers or color analysts always say how they “understand trying to draw penalties” because I don’t understand it.
      • Battle through everything because you don’t know what the official will or won’t call and it’s stupid to give up a chance to score on the off-chance that the official will call the penalty!
      • Plus…You’re a hockey player, not an actor!!!
    • Sorry! I rambled a little there!
  • The Buckeyes pulled their goalie but never really got a real good chance to tie the game as this one ends at 1-0 in favor of the home team Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey team!
  • Adam Wilcox gets the shutout stopping all 21 Ohio State Buckeye shots for his second shutout of the season!

Final Score
Minnesota Gophers 1, Ohio State Buckeyes 0

It was an interesting game. Outdoor games often are more spectacle than excitement as it takes the teams involved a while to figure out the ice and if the weather will cause the game to change. So teams play a more defensive style until they’ve gotten used to the ice and/or the opponent. They’re definitely still fun for the players and the fans but it’ll be interesting if the outdoor hockey phenomenon stays as big as it has been.

Well, same two teams tomorrow night at Mariucci for Hockey Day Minnesota 2014!

Links to the Box Score, Recaps from both schools and a Photo Gallery of the 2014 Hockey City Classic
Gopher Hockey Box Score from GopherSports.comHockey City Classic Box Score
Gopher Hockey Recap from GopherSports.comGophers Blank OSU in Hockey City Classic
Gopher Hockey Recap from OhioStateBuckeyes.comBuckeyes Drop 1-0 Game to No. 1 Minnesota in Hockey City Classic
Photo Gallery from GopherSports.comGopher Hockey vs Ohio State – 1/17/2014

In other B1G TEN College Hockey action tonight,
Home=”vs”, Away=”@”
Michigan State won vs Penn State 3-0

In other College Hockey action,
Home=”vs”, Away=”@”
Boston College won vs Boston University 6-4 – 2012 Minnesota Wild 4th round pick Adam Gilmour had a goal and an assist for Boston College in this game.
Notre Dame won vs Lake Superior 6-3 – 2011 Minnesota Wild 2nd-round pick Mario Lucia had a goal and an assist for Notre Dame in this game.

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Gopher Hockey Notes – vs Mercyhurst Lakers – 10/11/2013

Gopher Hockey starts a brand new season in a brand new league with a lot of brand new players and a lot of familiar expectations. Though losing 41% of their scoring with Nick Bjugstad, Erik Haula, Zach Budish, and Nate Schmidt, the Minnesota Gophers always recruit well. They should be able to replace a lot of that scoring with the likes of incoming recruits Taylor Cammarata, Justin Kloos and Hudson Fasching. Redshirt freshman Connor Reilly and 2nd year progress from Brady Skjei, Mike Reilly, AJ Michaelson and Ryan Reilly should improve. They still have some good leadership in new captains Kyle Rau and Nate Condon and expect a big year from Sam Warning especially if he’s on the top line!

On the back end, along with losing Nate Schmidt, they lost Seth Helgeson and it was a bit of a shock when Mark Alt went pro but there’s still a lot of experience on the blue line for the Gophs. Jake Parenteau will be able to fill a physicality role and bring solid defense with a touch of offense. Ben Marshall is steady and should get more opportunities on the power play and Justin Holl brings a solid game back to the blue line after playing forward all season last year. What will the Gophers get from incoming freshman Michael Brodzinski and Jake Bischoff who both have good size at around 6 feet and 195 pounds?

Brodzinski did score the most goals (16) and was top 5 in scoring (33 points in 61 games) among all defenseman while playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL in 2012-13. Jake Bischoff only played 22 games in two seasons with the Omaha Lancers so there’s not enough to know how he will produce for the Gophers. He did produce quite well in high school for Grand Rapids with 23 points (5G, 18A) in 24 games in 2010-11 and 38 points (11G, 27A) in 24 games in 2011-12 so the talent is there for both d-men. The question is how soon will we see that for the Gopher hockey team and will they be able to keep up on the defensive end to get time to show up on the offensive end?

The Gophers shouldn’t have a problem manning the crease with the return of the same goalies from last season in Adam Wilcox and Mike “The Big” Shibrowski. Adam Wilcox had a legendary freshman season so we know he can handle to workload but it’ll be hard to repeat that kind of season.

 Line Chart – Minnesota Golden GophersLeft Wing – Center – Right Wing
F-Sam Warning-11 – Kyle Rau-7 – Hudson Fasching-24
Nate Condon-16 – Justin Kloos-25 – Taylor Cammarata – 13
Christian Isackson-26 – Travis Boyd-22 – Vinni Lettieri-19
Tom Serratore-14 – AJ Michaelson-15 – Seth Ambroz-17
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Brady Skjei-2 – Justin Holl-12
Mike Reilly-5 – Jake Parenteau-6
Ben Marshall-10 – Michael Brodzinski-20
Goalie
Adam Wilcox-32
Mike Shibrowski-1

Scratches: G-Ryan Coyne-31, D-Jake Bischoff-28, F-Ryan Reilly-9, F-Christian Horn-18, F-Connor Reilly-21, F-Gabe Guertler-27
Injured:

Line Chart – Mercyhurst Lakers

Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Daniel O’Donoghue-18 – Daniel Bahntge-27 – Kyle Just-15
Zach Frischmon-12 – Kyle Cook-6 – Trent Frey-11
Ryan Misiak-26 – Matthew Zay-19 Chris Bodo-22
Jack Riley-3 – Stephen Hrehoriak-20 – Kyle Dutra-23
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Grant Gettinger-21 – Nick Jones-2
Randy Cure-7 – Mychal Montieth-5
Tyler Shiplo-4 – Anthony Mastrodicasa-14
Goalie
Jordan Tibbett-1

Scratches/Injured: G-Spencer Bacon-29, G-Jimmy Sarjeant-35, D-Justin Stevens-24, D-Philippe Drouin-25, F-John Mousso-8, F-Alec Shields-9, F-Nardo Nagtzaam-10, Edward DeWald-16, F-Kyle Johnson-28

It’s almost time to “Break The Ice” on another Gopher Hockey season with the IceBreaker Tourney so are you ready for another exciting season of Gopher Hockey?

Let’s DROP THE CLUTTERPUCK!!!

1st Period

  • PENALTY – #20 Michael Brodzinski for Hooking #11 Trent Frey at 2:19 of the 1st period – Off a face-off in the Gopher zone, Michael Brodzinski, playing the wing on the face-off, gets his stick in the midsection of Mercyhurst’s Trent Frey, holding him up and getting 2 minutes for his handiwork.
    • I’m not sure why Brodzinski felt the need to hold him up as he was turning towards the wall and back to the right point.
    • FSN is already in mid-season form, not showing who received the penalty or showing a replay of why he’s getting the penalty! Good start!!!
      • I’m sorry. They finally announced it after the ensuing face-off!
  • PENALTY – #22 Chris Bodo for Interference of #5 Mike Reilly at 2:47 of the 1st period – Chris Bodo basically set a pick of Mike Reilly and Reilly pushed him knocking him down but the official had the Interference call and Bodo sits for 2!
  • PENALTY – #7 Randy Cure for Tripping #14 Tom Serratore at 6:03 of the 1st period – Seth Ambroz had the puck behind the net and was pinned to the boards by Randy Cure* but was able to get the puck loose as Tom Serratore was coming around the net. Cure tried to make a poke check and missed the puck but got the feet of Serratore for an easy tripping call for the official.
      • *Randy Cure? Sounds like something you’d get for being a little too excited all the time. “Are you excited a lot? Does it get out of control sometimes? Maybe you need Randy Cure? for those times when you feel out of control!” Haha
      • GOAL (POWER PLAY) – Kyle Rau from Ben Marshall & Sam Warning at 6:25 of the 1st period – Kyle Rau plants himself at the right side of the net and waits for a rebound and gets one when Sam Warning feeds Ben Marshall at the middle of the blue line for a one-time blast that gets deflected on the way to the net then hits Jordan Tibbett and lands at Kyle Rau’s stick for an easy shot into the empty net! GOPHERS LEAD 1-0!!!
        • That goal took nothing but knowing where to be on the ice to score a goal. It had nothing to do with how good a shot he has, how physical he is or how well he can handle the puck. It was plain knowledge of the game of hockey and playing without the puck.
          • He just plants himself near the goal and waits but he knows to move around when the defense is watching the puck instead of him.
          • Knowing how to play without the puck and get open will get you the puck more and give you more chances to score because your teammates will look for you more.
      • PENALTY – Tom Serratore for High-Sticking Tyler Shiplo at 8:17 of the 1st period – Tom Serratore went in on the forecheck and got his stick up high on Tyler Shiplo and actually getting his stick underneath the cage a little.
        • The interesting thing about this penalty call is the official 8 feet from the play didn’t make the call, it was the ref in the neutral zone that made the call. I’m not sure how the official right there didn’t see that better but he did have kind of a bad angle on it so…
      • At the 14:05 mark of the 1st period – A rebound in the Mercyhurst zone goes to the right half-wall and Seth Ambroz gets to the puck first and carries it back towards the right point and tries to make a backhand pass to Brady Skjei at the other point but it hits Mercyhurst’s Stephen Hrehoriak, giving him a breakaway that is broken up by Skjei.
        • Tom Chorske tells it like it is saying, “Ambroz just makes a poor decision trying to backhand that through the zone.”
          • As a Junior, he should know that! Heck, as a hockey player who’s probably played hockey for a really long time, he should know that!
            • Backhand cross-ice pass = Bad things!
              • Turn and dump the puck back in and get back to work on the forecheck!
              • Give it to the right D who’s right next to you.
                • He can see the zone and make a play!
              • Fake that pass to get the defender to move, opening up other options:
                • Shoot the puck!
                • Take the puck to the net!
                • Now the pass to the left point should be open! Pass it and get in front of the net for a rebound opportunity!
              • Skate it out of the zone and dump it back in and start over.
      • PENALTY – Brady Skjei for holding Matthew Zay at 17:33 of the 1st period – Brady Skjei tries to make a pass up the middle from the left boards of the Gopher zone that’s deflected/intercepted by Chris Bodo. Matthew Zay ends up with the puck at the half-wall and heads to the net. Skjei is behind him and puts his stick in front of him and then tries to grab him and ends up pushing him down getting a holding penalty.
        • I don’t like how a holding call is up to the official’s discretion. They might be told to call them this way but, if a player puts his hand/glove on a player, that shouldn’t be holding. I feel like it penalizes players who are stronger than another player.
          • The rule reads:
            • 54.1 Holding – Any action by a player that retards the progress of an opposing player whether or not he is in possession of the puck.
              • Definition of retards:
                • delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment. – “his progress was retarded by his limp”
        • In this case, the live view of the play looks like Skjei just pushes him down but he actually does grab him and then pushes him down for the holding call.
 
2nd Period
      • GOAL – Seth Ambroz Unassisted at 3:37 of the 2nd period – Off a face-off in the Gopher zone, it appears Mercyhurst wins the draw but its pulled back towards defenseman Nick Jones but as he skates in to get the puck, the center, who won the face-off, was falling and lunged to poke the puck back to his d-man quicker and ended up poking it out of his reach, creating a 2-on-1 with Seth Ambroz and Tom Serratore with Ambroz coming up the right side and Serratore on the left. Ambroz picks up the puck and heads in on defenseman Grant Gettinger. Gettinger takes away the pass leaving the goalie to stop the shot by Ambroz. Seth fires a snapper that beats the goalie but hits the left post and bounces right back to Ambroz, who gloves it, throws it down and backhands it through his legs sending the puck back in front of the goal. The puck ends up hitting Nick Jones in the right skate and deflects into the net for a 2-0 GOPHER LEAD!!!
        • Grant Gettinger played the 2-on-1 OK for the most part taking away the pass but, at some point, you need to get to the shooter and attempt to get your stick in front of the puck or, at the very least, make the shooter hesitate or you’re basically allowing a breakaway on your goalie while having the best view of it. Might as well just buy a ticket then!
          • So, instead of taking away the pass the whole way and falling down, you can go to the shooter while trying to stay in the passing lane and make the offensive player move, think about his options longer or rush his shot.
          • Gap up! Close the gap between you and the man with the puck. Seth Ambroz was never worried about what he was going to do with the puck. He knew he was going to shoot right away.
        • Obviously this was a strange play with the shot hitting the post and rebounding back to Ambroz but it does show that if you don’t know where the puck is, you need to find someone to cover and not just look around for the puck.
          • Your teammates should be telling you where the puck is to help you out.
        • The rule is if you don’t know where you’re supposed to be or who you’re supposed to cover, you retreat back to the front of the net but if there’s nobody there, find someone to cover.
        • Yes this is a freak/fluke-ish play but you can still learn from it and play it better the next time it happens and have a plan the next time a shot hits the post.
      • A scrum in front of the Gopher net results in some coincidental penalties and we get some 4-on-4 hockey! More space for more speed and more chances to score!
      • GOAL – Sam Warning from Kyle Rau at 11:48 of the 2nd period – All it takes is 18 seconds of 4-on-4 for the Gophers to take advantage and go up 3-0 on the Lakers.
        • Off a face-off in the Gopher zone, I assume the Gophers won the face-off. I assume because FSN is great at NOT showing the face-offs. Anyways, the puck is cleared and loose in the neutral zone. Nick Jones picks it up for the Lakers at the red line and, for reason, tries to get around Kyle Rau instead of just dumping it into the Gopher zone. Rau causes him to mishandle the puck and Sam Warning swoops in to take it from him and head up the left side but Warning can’t control the puck either so it gets to Matthew Zay covering for the D-man. Zay tries to chip it back up the boards to Jones and he tries to play it up the boards too but Rau is there to take the puck from him and head to the net creating a short 2-on-1 with Warning. After Warning had the puck shot past him on the left boards, he curled to the right, in towards the goal to come back, then curled back to the left to get open for a pass once he saw Rau win the battle for the puck on the boards. Grant Gettinger was the only Laker defenseman back now and he moved towards Rau and went down to try to take away the pass but Warning was further back so the passing lane was open. Rau passed it to Warning, who looked like he was setting up for a one-timer, but the pass was too far forward so he deflected it forward with his right skate then took the puck to his backhand, forcing the goalie Jordan Tibbettt to keep moving, and then Sam Warning snuck it past Tibbett’s outstretched glove into an empty net. Gettinger was there to knock it out of the net but replay clearly shows the puck crossed the goal line! GOPHERS lead 3-0!!!
        • It’s amazing what you can see when you slow down the video.
          • First you see Nick Jones fail to get the puck deep, then he loses not one, but two puck battles.
            • He doesn’t try to protect the puck with his body either.
              • If you can’t corral the puck, get your body in front of it to keep the opposing player from getting to it or at least to slow them down.
          • Then you see Grant Gettinger make a poor decision to go towards the shooter Rau on the 2-on-1, then compound that bad decision by going down taking himself out of the play completely.
          • Last, you see the Laker forwards coasting and reaching as they try to back check to catch Sam Warning who’s alone in front of their net.
        • There’s usually a reason for every goal, a bad decision, bad read, bad position and/or losing a puck battle. It could be one of those or all of those on the same play. This one appears to have every one of those reasons. Learn from it and don’t let it happen again.
          • Talent doesn’t win puck battles! Compete level and determination do! You can have all the talent in the world but if you aren’t willing to get in there and battle for the puck, it doesn’t matter how much talent you have!
            • “Gentleman! You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone!”
            • “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!”
        • So, on the ice the official waved the goal off but after a stoppage of play, they looked at the replay and called it a good goal BUT they never put the time back on the clock. It was only 4 seconds and it doesn’t look like it’s going to matter in this game but I’m curious as to if the official forgot about that or what happened there?
      • Penalty – Mercyhurst – Tyler Shiplo for Delay of Game at 13:41 of the 2nd period – Mercyhurst is just trying to hang on during a scramble in front of their net and Tyler Shiplo covers it up and gets to sit for a couple minutes while his team is shorthanded.
      • GOAL (POWER PLAY) – Justin Kloos from Nate Condon & Mike Reilly at 15:20 of the 2nd period – Off an attempted cross-ice pass, the puck goes into the right corner (to Jordan Tibbett’s left) and eventually Taylor Cammarata comes out with it just in front of the right half wall and sends a pass back to Mike Reilly at the right point. Reilly skates in, fakes a shot, moves to the middle and takes a shot aiming for the upper right corner and misses the net. The puck bounces off the back boards back to Nate Condon, who’s at the right of the net. Condon curls around the bottom of the circle looking for a pass and sees Justin Kloos on the back door and sauces him a pass. Justin Kloos catches the pass and has time to control the puck and rip a wrist shot to the upper left corner for a 4-0 GOPHER Lead!!!
        • The Gophers are usually good on the power play and that’s the case here.
        • Can you complain about letting a cross-ice pass through to a guy sitting on the backdoor? Maybe, but it was right after a shot went wide so were they able to regroup into good position. Condon fired the pass pretty quick after getting the rebound off the wall.
        • The rebound happens to bounce right to Condon instead of staying behind the net or bouncing to one of the Laker players.
      • PENALTY – Mercyhurst – Kyle Dutra for Hooking at 17:52 of the 2nd period – Reaching instead of moving your feet will get you time in the box and a minus on the ice.

3rd Period

      • GOAL – Mike Reilly from Hudson Fasching & Sam Warning at 11:10 of the 3rd period – Mike Reilly starts this play by getting the puck at his own blue line, skating it back behind his own net and coming around the left side. As he gets to his own blue line again, he passes it across to the right boards to Sam Warning. The puck was a little hard to control as Warning crosses the Lakers blue line and Grant Gettinger hesitated going over to defend him so Warning had time to get control of the puck, pull a stop move bringing the puck back towards him and away from the defender letting Gettinger and his poke check go by him and giving him time to survey his options. He finally sees Hudson Fasching coming up the left side. Fasching gets the puck on his backhand, moves it away from the defender and as he gets to the bottom of the circle, he’s falling down but still gets the puck to the front of the net. Mike Reilly kept skating and actually went all the way into the right corner of the Laker zone, curling back to be a backdoor option. That didn’t work out so he was just skating back up the middle to retake his position on the defense and the puck comes to him for a one-timer that goes in off Jordan Tibbett and in the right of the net.
        • Man, it’s fun watching Mike Reilly skate and make plays. He makes it look effortless. He has speed, can handle the puck and has great vision and puck-moving ability. He may need to improve some on the defensive side and keep getting stronger but the kid’s going to be a stud!
        • Gettinger is not having the best game tonight. He’s a junior so he I can’t really give him any slack for adjusting to the Division I game.
          • On this goal, as soon as he sees the puck bouncing and Sam Warning having a problem controlling it, he needs to jump on that chance to go get him and do it fast.
          • I also think, as a defenseman, you need to make any player go wide and not give up the middle or let him do what he did by pulling the pull-back stop move so he has time to survey the ice.
          • At the end when Mike Reilly gets the puck for the one-timer, you can clearly see every Laker player watching the puck and not covering a man.
            • You don’t have time to get to a man after you realize the puck was just passed to him. By that time, the player may have already moved while you were watching the puck.
      • GOAL – Michael Brodzinski from Sam Warning & Kyle Rau at 18:21 of the 3rd period – A face-off at the right dot (to Jordan Tibbett’s left) is won by Kyle Rau back to Brady Skjei at the middle of the blue line. It looks like the Gophers ran a play off the face-off because they were all moving to spots after the face-off was won. Fasching (RW) and Rau (C) go to the front of the net and camp themselves in front of the goalie. Sam Warning, from the LW spot on the inner hash mark, skates back around the top of the circle towards the right boards, curling around to the front of the net. Brady Skjei moves to the right point while Michael Brodzinski goes behind him moving to the top of the left circle. Skjei gets to the right point, waiting for Rau & Fasching to ge to the front of the net and shoots the puck. He shoots it kind of high and it hits Rau up high and drops to the ice in front of him. Sam Warning had curled around and was there to pick up the rebound and pass it to Brodzinski at the top of the left circle. Brodzinski catches the pass and, still moving to the left, snaps off a shot that goes through the oncoming forward’s legs and just above Tibbett’s right pad and just below his catching glove and the GOPHERS Lead 6-0!!!
        • That is the definition of  a snipe right there and exactly where you want a shot from the point to go, low and just above an outstretched leg pad!
          • That makes it a hard shot to stop because the goalie has to go down and stretch out to get to it.
          • The defending forward coming out to block the shot has to get down to block the shot but Brodzinski moving to his left causes him to open up so the shot can get between his legs.
            • This makes it difficult for the goalie to pick up the puck coming because he’s being screened by his own player trying to block the shot.

 

Final Score

Minnesota Gophers 6, Mercyhurst Lakers 0

This game looked like it was never in doubt as Gopher hockey moves on to the Championship Game tomorrow night. We saw the talent of some of the new recruits and just how good Sam Warning will be this season as a Junior. Adam Wilcox was never really tested in this game. Maybe tomorrow night will be a more competitive game.

Gopher Hockey Recap from GopherSports.com – Gophers Blank Mercyhurst 6-0 in Opener
Gopher Hockey Box Score from GopherSports.com – Minnesota-Mercyhurst Stats (Downloadable PDF)
Gopher Hockey Recap from HurstAthletics.com  – Men’s Hockey Blanked by #5 Minnesota at Ice Breaker Tourney

In other B1G Ten College Hockey action tonight,
Home=”vs”, Away=”@”
Wisconsin won vs Northern Michigan 5-2
Penn State won vs Army 4-1
and
Ohio State lost vs Miami 6-2

In other College Hockey action,
Home=”vs”, Away=”@”
Denver won vs Merrimack 1-0
Notre Dame won vs Western Michigan 4-0
St. Cloud State won vs Bemidji State 3-2
UMD won vs Michigan Tech 2-1
and
North Dakota won vs Vermont 5-3

 

Bring The CLUTTER in the comments, on Google+ on Twitter and on Facebook

You’ve Been ClutterPUCKED!!!

Gopher Hockey Notes vs Boston College Eagles – 10-25-2013

Gopher Hockey is ranked #1 four games into the season and have to face the #5 ranked Boston College Eagles, a team that beat Wisconsin 9-2  in their first 3 games. Also, the Gophers ran over a Boston College team last season beating them 8 to 1. You can bank on Jerry York having his players ready for this game.

There’s a couple Minnesota boys on the BC roster and one with ties to Minnesota. Ian McCoshen, a freshman defenseman from Faribault, played with Shattuck St. Mary’s in his hometown before spending 3 seasons in the USHL with the Waterloo Blackhawks. In 2010-2011, as a 15-year-old, he went to the highest tier of Junior Hockey. In those three seasons, he went from 6 points (all assists) and a minus 9 in 42 games his first year to 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) and a plus 4 in 55 games his second year to putting up 44 points (11 goals, 33 assists) and a whopping plus 35 in 53 games his third season. I’d say he’s ready to take his game to division I as an 18-year-old and probably why he’s on the top pair and chosen early in the 2nd round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers.

Boston College also has Michael Sit, an Edina native and a junior playing as a forward, centering the 4th line. Being a 4th liner, he hasn’t lit up the stat sheet so far but you don’t just look at stats with those 3rd & 4th lines because a lot of what they do is just plain hard work and getting in on the forecheck and shutting down the other team’s top lines. As a junior though, Michael Sit scored his first collegiate in the most recent game against Wisconsin. Both Sit and McCoshen played with current freshman Gopher Hockey players Justin Kloos and Taylor Cammarata with Waterloo the last two seasons, Kloos sparingly for all 3 and Cammarata for basically all of the last two seasons.

The final player with ties to Minnesota would be 2012 4th round pick (98th overall) of the Minnesota Wild, freshman Adam Gilmour. He’s a big kid at 6’3” and 194 pounds and was picked out the Massachusetts high school ranks and last season, he played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and had 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists) and was a plus 17 in 64 games. He’s playing on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold so he should put up some points playing with those two! Always nice to be able to see the future of the Minnesota Wild and see what they have coming down the line.

Here’s your line charts:

Line Chart – Minnesota Golden Gophers

Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
F-Sam Warning-11 – Kyle Rau-7 – Hudson Fasching-24
Nate Condon-16 – Justin Kloos-25 – Taylor Cammarata – 13
Connor Reilly-21 – Travis Boyd-22 – Vinni Lettieri-19
Tom Serratore-14 – AJ Michaelson-15 – Seth Ambroz-17
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Brady Skjei-2 – Justin Holl-12
Mike Reilly-5 – Jake Parenteau-6
Ben Marshall-10 – Michael Brodzinski-20
Goalie
Adam Wilcox-32
Mike Shibrowski-1

Scratches: G-Ryan Coyne-31, D-Jake Bischoff-28, F-Ryan Reilly-9, F-Christian Horn-18, F-Christian Isackson-26, F-Gabe Guertler-27
Injured:

Line Chart – Boston College Eagles

Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Ryan Fitzgerald-19 – Kevin Hayes-12 – Austin Cangelosi-26
Johnny Gaudreau-13 – Bill Arnold-24 – Adam Gilmour-14
Quinn Smith-27 – Patrick Brown-23 – Chris Calnan-11
Destry Straight-17 – Michael Sit-18 – Brendan Silk-9
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Ian McCoshen-3 – Michael Matheson-5
Isaac MacLeod-7 – Danny Linell-10
Scott Savage-28 – Steve Santini-6
Goalie
Thatcher Demko-30

Scratches/Injured: G-Brian Billett-1, G-Brad Barone-29, D-Teddy Doherty-4, D-Travis Jeke-8, F-Cam Spiro-15, F-Peter McMullen-20, F-Matthew Gaudreau-21, F-Evan Richardson-22

This is one of those match-ups you kind of drool over with two top-5 ranked schools known for being Division I contenders every season. It should be a classic.

Alright, it’s time to DROP THE CLUTTERPUCK!!!

1st Period

  • GOAL – Hudson Fasching from Kyle Rau at the :30 of the 1st period – All it takes is 30 seconds for the Gophers to get on the board! WOW!!! A turnover (but not a bad one) let’s Brady Skjei pass to Hudson Fasching get the puck coming out of his own zone at the middle of the blue line and pass it up to Kyle Rau, who’s curling back from the forecheck, and Rau takes it in of BC defenseman, Ian McCoshen. Rau gets past the blue line and rips a snap shot in on Thatcher Demko, then gets to the rebound before McCoshen and, even though he misses it, the BC defenseman had to account for him and try to body him up, leaving the rebound for the oncoming Hudson Fasching to easily shoot the puck into the empty net and the GOPHERS LEAD 1-0!!!
    • On the replay you see that Boston College actually had two defenseman and a back checking forward to cover both Rau & Fasching so they should’ve been able to prevent that goal.
    • This is why you love a player like Kyle Rau. He has that off the charts compete level to get to the net and make something happen.
    • The problem that allowed the goal was JohnnyGaudreau coasting and watching while Hudson Fasching gets to the loose puck and scores the first goal!
      • As a back checking forward, you can’t just be within reach of the offensive player. You have to be even with him and have a stick on his stick preventing him from getting to the puck.
      • You also can’t assume it’s a harmless play. Get back EVERY TIME!!!
      • That is the beauty of video today, folks.
        • They talk of Johnny Gaudreau being the best player in college hockey and it’s all right there on video showing him making a big mistake.
      • Preventing a goal counts the same as scoring a goal! It’s now 1-0 and if the goal is prevented, that would be the same as making it 1-1!!! PLAY SOME DEFENSE!!!
  • GOAL (POWER PLAY) – Travis Boyd from Kyle Rau and Sam Warning at 4:30 of the 1st period – Sam Warning, on the right half-wall, passes the puck down to Kyle Rau at the right of the net on the goal line below the face-off dot and Rau quickly makes a move towards the net, sees the defenseman go down trying to poke check the puck away, moves the puck away from the poke check, sees Travis Boyd moving in for the backdoor pass and gets it to him for a one-timer into the upper part of the net for a 2-0 GOPHER Lead!!!
    • That’s just a great play by Kyle Rau to avoid the poke check and see Boyd moving in for the backdoor pass. He’s putting his stamp on this game early and often so far!!!
      • Maybe that’s why he is wearing The C!!! Captain, My Captain!!!
    • Do you fault the defenseman for being aggressive there? I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to fault him on that play because the aggressive PK was working for BC . Sure, he could’ve played it a little differently but I wouldn’t blame him for that goal.
      • Rau has a bad angle so I say just leave him there and take away the backdoor pass but I can see where you’d think he has a bad angle so force him, thinking his choices are limited.
      • That’s why it’s such a great play by Rau.
  • PENALTY – Patrick Brown for Interference with Jake Parenteau at 4:55 of the 1st period – Boston College gets a scoring chance and Patrick Brown coming in to the net, pushes Parenteau, knocking him down and he runs into his own net hitting his head on the post.
    • It doesn’t look like he hit the net that hard but he’s going off the ice to get looked at by the trainers.
  • PENALTY – Ben Marshall for Cross-Checking Michael Sit at 7:31 of the 1st period – Ben Marshall is his own zone in the corner and he hits Michael Sit a little from behind and the official calls him for cross-checking. It wasn’t cross-checking as Marshall only had one hand on his stick. It’s a questionable call but I can see it going either way.
  • GOAL (POWER PLAY) – Johnny Gaudreau from Michael Matheson at 8:31 of the 1st period – Johnny Gaudreau is skating the puck up the left side of the ice on the power play and sees Michael Matheson trailing the play at the right point. He passes him the puck and Matheson one-times it but misses the net wide to the right. The puck hits the boards behind the net and bounces right to Johnny Gaudreau, who kept skating in from the left side, and is now below the goal line on the left side of the net. He gets the puck off the back boards and shoots for the not and the puck ends up going off of Adam Wilcox’ skate into the net for a 1-2 Gopher Lead!!!
      • Great awareness byGaudreau to get the puck and immediately aim for the net or for someone near the net to deflect it in.
        • I’m not sure if he tried to aim for Wilcox’ skate or just threw it in front of the net looking for a good bounce.
        • Was that a planned play? I’m not sure. It may have just been a shot that went wide and happened to bounce right to Gaudreau. We’ll probably never know.
  • GOAL – Michael Sit from Destry Straight and Scott Savage at 9:42 of the 1st period – WOW!!! THREE GOALS in a span of 71 seconds! – The ensuing face-off is won by Boston College back to the left D. A pass goes D-to-D and Seth Ambroz is standing at the red line. He lets Destry Straight go and focuses on Scott Savage coming at him but with no speed Savage easily passes it through him up to Straight. AJ Michaelson is covering Michael Sit but is trailing him as he enters the offensive zone. Straight passes the puck up to Sit giving him a mini-breakaway on Adam Wilcox and he shoots it 5-hole for a 3-2 EAGLES LEAD!!!
    • I’m not a goalie coach but one thing that drives me crazy is how goalies lift their stick opening up the 5-hole. If Adam Wilcox has his stick on the ice, he makes a save. He probably creates a rebound but he has defense to clear that rebound or so it appears.
    • AJ Michaelson does the familiar reaching instead of skating to defend the pass. SKATE!!! MOVE YOUR FEET!!!
    • Michael Brodzinski played too far inside and not enough gap giving Destry Straight a step on him and a lane to get the pass behind him to Michael Sit!
    • It’d be interesting to hear what the bench was yelling on these goals.
      • Were they trying to get Brodzinski to back up? Were they telling Ambroz to go to the puck? Were they telling Michaelson to stay with his man?
      • In the last Boston College game, and Michael Sit’s 80th collegiate game, he scored his first collegiate goal. He didn’t wait that long to tickle the twine again and NOW, he has scored two goals in 11 seconds! Have a game, Michael Sit! WOW!!! SIT UP!!!
      • Five goals in the first 10 minutes of the game! This could get crazy!!!
  • PENALTY – Sam Warning for Interference on Adam Gilmour at 13:18 of the 1st period – Off a face-off in the BC zone, Sam Warning gets in the way of Adam Gilmour, keeping him from getting to the puck and the official calls him for interference.
  • Nate Condon knows how to use his speed! Off a turnover near the Gopher blue line, Condon picks up the puck and only has one defenseman between him and the goalie so he chips the puck by the defenseman and uses his speed to skate past him and get a shot on goal!
  • As the penalty expires, Travis Boyd gets the puck to Sam Warning just behind the defense. He can’t catch the pass on his backhand and his shotis deflected wide left by Steve Santini. Warning picks up the puck again as he goes around the back of the net. As he gets to the right half-wall, he sees Ben Marshall coming up the center of the zone and gets him the puck for a bigslapper that hits the post hard for a loud PING and a big reaction from the crowd! Metallurgy!!! So close!!!
    • Man, I hope Sam Warning can stay healthy all season! He makes things happen out there! Great Vision with and without the puck!
  • Adam Wilcox makes a great save moving to his left to stop a one-timer at the 18:00 mark of the 1st period!
  • GOAL – Michael Sit from Scott Savage and Isaac MacLeod at 9:31 of the 1st period – On a rush up ice, Taylor Cammarata has the puck and enters the Eagles zone on the right side. Justin Holl joins the rush trailing Cammarata, who makes a drop pass to him. Holl catches the pass and takes a look for a shot but that just gives the back checking forward time to get to him and get his stick on the puck and deflect it to the right corner where Scott Savage picks it up and goes up the boards. Savage sees Michael Sit open going up center ice and passes to him. Brendan Silk skates hard to make it a 2-on-1 forcing Ben Marshall to try to take away the pass and leaving Sit to shoot on Adam Wilcox. Sit shoots high blocker and the shot hits Adam Wilcox’ blocker or his stick and goes into the net and the game is TIED AT 2!!!
    • There’s a few things that make this play bad for the Gophers:
      • The Drop Pass!!!
        • I’ve never been a big fan of the drop pass!
        • Most of the time it’s a blind pass because  you don’t see it reach it’s intended target or, at least, the player who passed it doesn’t see the pass completed because they are going to the net or being hit or something.
        • It gives the goalie and the rest of the defense time to locate the puck and prepare for the shot. Consider it like a fastball a hitter can’t catch up to and the pitcher throwing a change-up giving the hitter a chance to hit the ball. Don’t help out the opponent by slowing down the play.
        • It rarely works.
      • Taylor Cammarata has speed so use that speed to get to the net and make a play, take a shot to score or a shot to create a rebound or just to create space to can see your options.
      • Justin Kloos should be driving the net forcing the weak side defenseman to account for him.
      • Hard to use the trailer if you don’t have an odd-man rush in your favor.
      • It was a 3-on-3 rush so really nobody was open meaning you have to take the play to the net and make something happen.
      • Since Justin Holl joined the rush, someone has to cover his defensive position.
      • I believe Nate Condon made the pass across the ice to Cammarata then changed and TomSerratore came on the ice.
        • Serratore makes a hit on Scott Savage but doesn’t get his stick down to effect the breakout pass and his hit gives up the 2-on-1 and changesthe whole play.
          • If he focuses on the play instead of making a hit, it may not end up in a 2-on-1 and then Michael Sit doesn’t get a free shot on net.
      • Ben Marshall played it ok but he should’ve forced Sit to do something earlier because it was an uneven 2-on-1 meaning Silk was behind Sit instead of even with him and he had to skate hard to create the 2-on-1.
        • He could’ve closed the gap between himself and Michael Sit more.
      • Of course, this is all easy to say after the play but that’s what coaching is, learning from mistakes and getting better from them or adjusting how you play a certain situation.

2nd Period

  • GREAT SAVE – Adam Wilcox on Bill Arnold 3o seconds into the 2nd period! – A turnover just over the Gophers blue line by Hudson Fasching results in an odd-man rush for BC with Johnny Gaudreau skating the puck up the left side with Bill Arnold skating up the middle. Gaudreau gets Arnold the puck for a 1-on-1 with Wilcox. He makes a move to his forehand but Wilcox gets over and makes a save with his outstretched right pad to keep the game within a goal for the Gophers.
  • PENALTY – Mike Reilly for Boarding on Quinn Smith at 11:27 of the 2nd period – Tough call for Mike Reilly asit appears he hit Quinn Smith more from the side than behind but it caused Smith to go into the boards hard and awkwardly and it “looked and sounded” like a penalty. I put that in quotes not because anyone said that but to show that it may have influenced a callrather than a no-call.
    • The official in the zone didn’t call it though which always intrigues me. The official in the neutral zone made the call.
    • I would say the only way to avoid making this hit is to skate and get even or ahead of the offensive player so you can change the angle of the hit and not hit him straight into the boards.
    • There’s not really a need to make that hit because Smith really has no place to go with the puck and now the Gophers are on the PK!
  • GOAL – Taylor Cammarata from Justin Kloos at 15:33 – Justin Kloos gets a loose puck in the Gopher zone at the right half-wall and uses his speed to pick it up and break out of the zone up the middle of the ice and create a 2-on-2 with Taylor Cammarata. BC defensman Steve Santini goes to Kloos but Kloos smartly keeps the puck away from him going to his right towards Cammarata. He ends up giving Cammarata the puck and goes to the net. Cammarata uses Ian McCoshen as a screen keeping Thatcher Demko from seeing the puck until it’s too late and he only gets a piece of it with his blocker and we are TIED AT 3!!!
    • That’s Taylor Cammarata’s first collegiate goal and, hopefully, the first of many!!! We want to see #ALottaCammarata!!!
    • So many times you see players try to go through a defenseman when on a rush. Keep the puck away from the defense.
    • Taylor Cammarata shoots a wrist shot not a snap shot. Usually a wrist shot will be more accurate than a snap shot. Snap shots are better for the quick release shot.
    • Steve Santini goes to Justin Kloos on the play but Ian McCoshen wasn’t on the same page as he didn’t close the gap on Cammarata allowing him to get the puck with time and space to shoot.
    • IanMcCoshen needs to get down and block that shot instead of blocking the view of his goaltender!
      • If you’re going to screen your goaltender, at least help him out by getting down to take away the low shot.
      • Another reason why he needs to gap up or shorten the gap between himself and the shooter Cammarata.

3rd Period

  • We miss 40 seconds at the beginning of the 3rd period for some reason. Maybe BTN is getting tips from FSN?Geez!
    • “Hey, is this supposed to be plugged in?”
    • “How long should we keep playing commercials?”
  • FSN and/or BTN (or anyone broadcasting college hockey really) should really have a camera on Mike Reilly at all times when he’s on the ice. It’d be pretty sweet to watch his shifts isolated and see what he does on a given shift. Obviously when he scores but to see when he joins an offensive rush or how he uses his speed and vision to effect the game and how he plays with and without the puck!!!
    • They could select a player from each team for each game to watch OR someone should create an app that does that for every player on the ice at all times, be it by position or jersey number or whatever!
    • The technology hasto be there to do this! Right?
      • Think of how this could teach the game to the players from the teams playing and the aspiring players watching the game!
      • What a teaching tool that could be!!!
  • With 20 seconds left in the 3rd period, Justin Holl sends a long pass from the left half-wall of his own zone to Sam Warning going up the middle of the BC blue line and Warning makes a move around Danny Linell to get a shot off while falling down. No goal but what a pass and what a move by Warning! #Warning #SamIsOnTheIce

OVERTIME

  • What’s the #1 rule in Overtime? SHOOT THE PUCK!!! From Anywhere! At Anytime!!! Anything can happen in OT!!!
  • With 2:06 left in Overtime, Johnny Gaudreau has the puck on a BC rush but it’s 3-on-4 and he makes a bad decision to pass the puck to the middle to Bill Arnold. The play is broken up and Kyle Rau picks up the loose puck and sees Taylor Cammarata behind the BC Defense hitting him for a breakaway. Cammarata makes a move to his backhand and tries to softly send it through Thatcher Demko’s 5-hole. Demko makes the save with his goalie stick but the puck bounces up into the air going over Demko and heading into the net but Ian McCoshen saves the day and the game by catching and throwing the puck back out at the same time.
    This causes a 2-on-1 the other way as play goes on. Thatis broken up by Brady Skjei.

    • WOW!!! What a crazy, awesome sequence that was!!!
    • Watching the replay, you wonder why the officials didn’t whistle down the play because of a hand pass but it doesn’t matter since the play was blown dead later.
    • It gave up a 2-on-1 and if Boston College scores on that, would it have been reviewed and reversed? THAT would’ve been interesting!
    • We get overtime with the Gophers having some momentum late in the 3rd period getting several scoring chances in the final couple minutes!
    • Would McCoshen have been able to stop that goal if he had his stick in his hands?
    • Possibly the craziest part of that play is Ian McCoshen trying to catch Cammarata, hitting him with his stick and losing his stick just before the puck bounces up in the air.

SHOOTOUT (Just for fun!)

  • The game officially ends in a tie as the shootout doesn’t count as part if the B1G -Hockey East Challenge!
  • Johnny Gaudreau on Adam Wilcox – NO GOAL!
  • Taylor Cammarata on Thatcher Demko – NO GOAL!
  • Bill Arnold on Adam Wilcox – GOAL! Nice move barely getting it past Wilcox! He actually lost control of the puck on the last move but the puck hit his stick then hits Wilcox’ skate and goes in.
  • Sam Warning on Thatcher Demko – NO GOAL!
  • Kevin Hayes on Adam Wilcox – NO GOAL! Keep the game alive for the Gophers!
  • Kyle Rau on Thatcher Demko – GOAL! Going 5-hole and giving the Gophers another chance to win!
  • Adam Gilmour on Adam Wilcox – NO GOAL!
  • Nate Condon on Thatcher Demko – NO GOAL!
  • Patrick Brown on Adam Wilcox – GOAL!!! Nice Move to quick snap shot to the upper right corner!
  • Hudson Fasching on Thatcher Demko – NO GOAL!!! BC Wins!

Final Score
Minnesota Gophers 3, Boston College Eagles 3

A game that had 5 goals in the first 10 minutes ends up in a 3-3 tie! You wouldn’t have guessed that but there were still plenty of chances. The Gophers almost won it in overtime save for a glove save from Faribault, Minnesota native Ian McCoshen! We’ll see what happens on Sunday afternoon as we get the rematch in this great match-up!

Gopher Hockey Recap from GopherSports.comNo. 1 Gophers, No. 5 Eagles Play to 3-3 Tie
Gopher Hockey Box Score from GopherSports.comMinnesota – Boston College Stats (Downloadable PDF)
Gopher Hockey Recap from BCEagles.comNo. 5 BC skates to 3-3 draw at No. 1 Minnesota

In other B1G TEN College Hockey action tonight,
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In other College Hockey action,
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