Gopher hockey begins their last WCHA Final Five and matches up against a Colorado College Tigers team that seems to have found the glass slipper since the playoffs started. They upset Denver in the first round taking the series to a decisive 3rd game and winning 4-3. Then they upset a North Dakota team that always plays their best hockey at this time of the season winning 4-3 in overtime! Can they keep it going tonight against a Gopher hockey team that struggled a bit to beat Bemidji State? Will the Gophers come out hard and get some Xcel Energy from the crowd? Will the Tigers be able to stay in the game like they did against UND? Tigers goalie Joe Howe will have to keep up his great play of late to steal another one to get to the championship game and keep the Tigers NCAA tournament hopes alive!
Previous Match-ups in the 2012-13 season:
- December 7th, 2012 – at Colorado College – Gophers 4, Tigers 2
- December 8th, 2012 – at Colorado Collage – Gophers 4, Tigers 4
Line Chart – Minnesota Golden Gophers
Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Kyle Rau-7 – Nick Bjugstad-27 – Christian Isackson-26
Sam Warning-11 – Erik Haula-19 – Zach Budish-24
AJ Michaelson-15 – Nate Condon-16 – Justin Holl-12
Tom Serratore-14 – Travis Boyd-22 – Seth Ambroz-17
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Jake Parenteau-6 – Nate Schmidt-29
Seth Helgeson-4 – Ben Marshall-10
Mike Reilly-5 – Mark Alt-20
Scratches: G-Matt LaPrade-30, D-Brady Skjei-2, F-Ryan Reilly-9, F-Christian Horn-18, F-Jared Larson-23
Injured: F-Connor Reilly-21, G-Ryan Coyne-31
Line Chart – Colorado College Tigers
Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Alexander Krushelnyski-16 – Rylan Schwartz-13 – Charlie Taft-17
Archie Skalbeck-12 – Scott Winkler-25 – William Rapuzzi-27
Hunter Fejes-11 – F-Jordan Digiando – Andrew Hamburg-15
Peter Maric-22 – Jeff Collett-21 – Jared Hanson-24
Left Defenseman – Right Defenseman
Peter Stoykewych-6 – Mike Boivin-28
Aaron Harstad-5 – Eamonn McDermott-7
Ian Young-20 – Joe Marciano-4
Scratches/Injured: G-Courtney Lockwood-29, D-Russell Finch-2, D-Micheal King-3, F-Scott Wamsganz, F-Cody Bradley-10, F-Michael Morin-19
Some changes to the lineups for the Gophers and the Tigers since the last time these teams played each other. Sam Warning gets back in the lineup and Brady Skjei gets scratched as The Don goes with Jake Parenteau with Nate Schmidt in the #1 defensive pairing. That also moves Nate Condon back to centering the 3rd line between AJ Michaelson & Justin Holl making the 4th line Travis Boyd centering Tom Serratore & Seth Ambroz.
The Tigers have moved Alexander Krushelnyski and Charlie Taft up to the 1st line and Archie Skalbeck and William Rapuzzi down to the 2nd line since the Gophers played them way back in early December.
Let’s DROP THE CLUTTERPUCK!!!
- The Gophers have good energy to begin the game but it will take a lot to get this confident Colorado College team to break.
- At 4:22 of the 1st period – A shot from the point from Mark Alt is stopped in front of the net by Tigers defenseman Mike Boivin. Charlie Taft was going out to defend Alt so he breaks through the neutral zone for a breakaway pass but Mike Reilly gets a piece of it and Alexander Krushelnyski picks up the loose puck, moves to the outside around Mark Alt and heads in the left center of the Gopher zone. Alt turns and is still in position to defend Krushelnyski but he poke checks and lunges to the outside and Krushelnyski holds the puck back to avoid the poke check then puts the puck between Alt’s legs and takes a shot. Adam Wilcox makes the save but that’s a great move by Krushelnyski!
- At 6:22 – Scott Winkler gets a pass in the neutral zone right as he’s entering the Gopher zone and takes a shot on goal. Jake Parenteau went down to one knee to block the shot. The shot gets through, Adam Wilcox makes the save but leaves a rebound and Winkler has the step on Parenteau to get to it first but Parenteau dives and knocks the puck away with his stick. Great play to get to that second shot and deflect it away!
- At the 8:00 mark, Ben Marshall goes back to get a dumped in puck and Alexander Krushelnyski gets to him as he’s getting to the puck and Marshall hits the boards pretty hard. Seth Helgeson picks up the puck, goes around his own net and skates up the right side of the ice through the neutral zone, moves to the right around Mike Boivin and goes to the net. He has a bad angle going to the net but he makes a nice little backhand pass to AJ Michaelson for a one-time try. Joe Howe makes the save but that was a heck of a play from Helgeson.
- That’s the most impressive play I’ve even seen Seth Helgeson make! WOW!
- He went coast-to-coast and made a nice pass creating a scoring chance! What the…?
- At 10:08 - Kyle Rau dumps the puck into the left corner and skates in with speed on the forecheck to throw a body check on Aaron Harstad. Harstad is able to play the puck around the left corner but Christian Isackson is the first one there. He cycles to Nick Bjugstad who goes beneath the goal line then passes to Kyle Rau for a one-timer to Isackson in the slot but Rylan Schwartz is there to block the shot!
- Seth Ambroz just had a shift where he couldn’t complete a pass to save his life. He tried like 4 passes and all of them were off-target or hard to handle.
- PENALTY – Peter Stoykewych for Hooking on Christian Isackson at 16:37 of the 1st period - Christian Isackson takes the puck in the left of the Tiger zone and carries it all the way around the boards with Peter Stoykewych trailing him the whole way. He’s leaning on him and sticking his stick in front of him and hooked him a couple times and finally makes Isackson go down and will sit for a couple minutes because of it!
- He probably hooked him twice. The 1st time the official let it go but not the 2nd.
- He also has his arm on him the whole way.
- I don’t think that matters but I think officials do.
- Not sure if its bad ice or how much its been used the last couple days but the puck is bouncing all over the place! It won’t settle down, bouncing over stick and having an affect on the game!
- Doug McLeod says, “If you’re not familiar Minnesota’s style…Kyle Rau has a cannon from long range and he’s not afraid to use it. He’s going to maybe tone it down a little in the playoffs, I don’t know, but he loves to unload that thing and it creates the problem that even when he gets ready and looks like he’s going slap it, will he or won’t he, you gotta be ready both ways if you’re the defending team!” What?
- The man is losing it! I will assume he means Nate Schmidt but I don’t want to try to understand what he’s thinking! That seems dangerous!
- GOAL! – Rylan Schwartz from Peter Stoykewych & Eamonn McDermott at 0:59 of the 2nd period - Peter Stoykewych gets a d-to-d pass from Eamonn McDermott at the right of the Tiger zone to get around Nick Bjugstad and he skates it up the right boards. Christian Isackson comes to him near the red line so he passes to his left to Rylan Schwartz coming up the right center of the neutral zone. Schwartz skates into the Gopher zone and in on Jake Parenteau. Parenteau gives a little too much gap so he’s able to pull the puck back into a good shooting position and fire a shot into the upper left corner of the net past Adam Wilcox. TIGERS 1-0!!!
- Parenteau gave him too much space and went down to block the shot.
- That also blocks his goalie’s view of the shot.
- Gap control is huge for defense!
- Forwards need time and space to be effective! Take that away from them by closing in on them.
- You should be able to reach them with your stick at the blue line!
- Use the blue line as another defender!
- A lot of defenseman worry about getting beat and that’s why they give such a big gap! That doesn’t work!
- You should still be able to get in his way or at least angle him off so his shooting/passing angle is tough
- Schwartz doesn’t even follow through all the way with his shot and it hits the upper left corner!
- Also, when Parenteau goes down, Schwartz pulls the puck back using him as a screen and changing the angle of the shot!
- That was a Snipe!
- GOAL! – Charlie Taft from Alexander Krushelnyski & Eamonn McDermott at 4:24 of the 2nd period - A forecheck in the left corner of the Gopher zone results in Alexander Krushelnyski passing the puck back near the middle of the blue line. Eamonn McDermott has to skate in to get the puck and quickly turn around to his right on his backhand to avoid Kyle Rau. Christian Isackson is right there when he turns around so McDermott just makes a backhand pass up the middle to Krushelnyski, who has to turn to catch the pass and then turn a little more to shoot the puck. The shot is blocked by Mark Alt, drops to the ice and Alt picks it up and starts to skate up ice out of the zone but the puck is bouncing the whole way and gets away from Alt so Krushelnyski taps the puck away and up to Charlie Taft at the top of the slot. Taft gets it on his forehand as he’s turning around, makes a quick little move to the backhand and back to his forehand and skates to the outside of Mike Reilly, takes a shot from just to the inside of the right face-off dot and it goes through the five-hole of Adam Wilcox! TIGERS 2-0!!!
- A turnover in your own zone is a killer!
- Your team is breaking out and all heading one way and then a bouncing puck gets away from you and now everyone’s going the wrong way!
- Mike Reilly played the puck when he should’ve played the body!
- This caused him to be in a bad position to stop the play.
- Taft was turning around and was on his backhand so you have to figure that most players are going to favor their forehand in that situation.
- Plus, Taft had no speed as he was in the process of turning around because he had just gotten a loose puck so Reilly could very easily have just taken the body or used his body to get between Taft and the puck, taken the puck and cleared the zone.
- PENALTY – Seth Helgeson for Cross-Checking on Hunter Fejes at 5:00 of the 2nd period - Just Seth Helgeson being physical and going overboard by continually pushing.
- It wasn’t a cross-check as his stick wasn’t in both hands but it was easily a roughing call!
- GREAT SAVE! – Joe Howe on Nick Bjugstad at 5:15 of the 2nd period - Off a face-off to the right of Adam Wilcox, Nick Bjugstad wins the face-off back to Nate Schmidt coming off the half wall and Schmidt sends it around the boards. Kyle Rau is the first to the puck as it comes around the corner and he chips it up the middle as Bjugstad is breaking and with Bjugstad’s speed, he’s able to break away from Mike Boivin to come in on Joe Howe all alone. He makes a quick move and shoots low glove side buy Howe is there to make the save.
- The never really settled down again.
- I don’t know how much that played into Bjugstad’s shot though.
- Boivin got back and made it so Bjugstad had to make a quick decision and shot!
- GREAT SAVE! – Adam Wilcox on William Rapuzzi at 6:15 of the 2nd period - After a puck bounces over Mike Boivin’s stick to clear the zone, Tom Serratore forechecks him back into his own zone making him turn back then goes for a change. Problem is Jake Parenteau also went for a change and being its the 2nd period, it’s the far change so that leaves William Rapuzzi open for a blue line to blue line pass and he gets a mini-breakaway. Rapuzzi goes in and takes a shot basically into the chest of Adam Wilcox so he makes the save but leaves a rebound and Rapuzzi gets a 2nd chance but Wilcox makes that save and freezes the puck.
- Bad change on a penalty kill but I’m sure Parenteau didn’t know Serratore would peel off and change there.
- PENALTY – Eamonn McDermott for Interference on Sam Warning at 9:43 of the 2nd period - Sam Warning dumps the puck in and tries to get around Eamonn McDermott and McDermott gets in his way AND knocks him down and now he gets to sit in the Bin of Sin for a couple minutes and think about it!
- GREAT SAVE! – Adam Wilcox on Archie Skalbeck at 14:18 of the 2nd period - Off a face-off to Joe Howe’s left, Scott Winkler wins it back to Aaron Harstad in front of the net and he chips ‘er deep off the glass getting past Nate Schmidt at the right point. William Rapuzzi gets on his horse and beats out an icing call. Seth Helgeson was playing left defenseman and the puck went down Schmidt’s side. Archie Skalbeck is barely trailing the play behind Nate Schmidt so Helgeson pursues Rapuzzi in the corner and he decides to take the body allowing to make a blind centering pass right in front of the net to Archie Skalbeck for a one-timer that he just redirects at the middle of the net. Adam Wilcox read the play and made the save!
- Seth Helgeson makes the right read to go to the puck because he was going to get to Rapuzzi before Schmidt but he didn’t get his stick down towards the puck taking the body instead and the puck gets through.
- I’m all for taking the body but if you can get your stick on the puck and at least knock it away, do it!
- You can continue and still throw a body check after you’ve knocked the puck away!
- Don’t have blinders on and just think about throwing a big hit!
- Schmidt doesn’t stay with Archie Skalbeck and doesn’t get down to block the pass from coming through!
- Get the puck or the man! One or the other! Neither doesn’t work very well!
- Give William Rapuzzi credit for looking back to see where his teammate was and where he was going so he could throw the puck to the front of the net!
- PENALTY – Christian Isackson for Interference on Rylan Schwartz at 19:00 of the 2nd period - The puck is chipped out to center ice and Seth Helgeson is there to catch it, drop it to the ice and dump it back in. He dumps the puck in but puts it on goal for some reason. Joe Howe saves it and it rebounds to Aaron Harstad and he chips it off the glass. The puck hits one of the stanchions holding the glass together and bounces out to center ice. Seth Helgeson stops, reacting to the deflected puck, but he’s too far away to get to it. This helps the Tigers break out and Rylan Schwartz sees the chance to go to the net on a 3-on-2. Christian Isackson follows him and as Schwartz gets to the net, he gets too much of him and knocks him down with the puck nowhere around them so he gets a 2-minute minor for Interference! Welcome to the Bin of Sin!!!
- Why do you shoot the puck on goal from center ice if your Seth Helgeson?
- Put it in the corner so your forwards a chance to get in on the forecheck and make something happen.
- The idea of dumping the puck is to make the other team go get it so don’t “give” it to the goalie so he can start the break out, even if it is with a rebound.
- Good job by Rylan Schwartz to go to the net hard!
- Force the opponent to defend you even if you don’t have the puck!!!
- GREAT SAVE – Adam Wilcox on Rylan Schwartz at 1:00 of the 3rd period - A one-timer on the power play from Rylan Schwartz at the top of the right face-off circle is tipped on the way to the net but Adam Wilcox makes a great reaction and gets the toe of his right leg on it! WOW!
- MAJOR PENALTY! – Joe Marciano for Cross-Checking on Tom Serratore at 4:50 of the 3rd period - Tom Serratore gets the puck from Seth Ambroz behind the Tigers net and skates around the right corner (Joe Howe’s left). He’s being pursued/defended by Joe Marciano. Serratore gets around the corner and delays or starts to stop to turn around and gets pummeled and goes head first into the boards!
- They call it a cross-check but again, he didn’t have both hands on his stick so it’s not a cross-check!
- It’s definitely a penalty and I agree with it being a major with the force Tom Serratore was sent into the boards! WOW!
- This could be the break* the Gophers need to get back into this game!
- The Tigers penalty kill has been good during their winning streak though.
- Nothing doing during the whole 5 minutes of the power play!
- The Gopher only had one shot on goal on a major penalty! Ouch!
- When a team doesn’t score on a 5-minute power play, they usually end up losing that game!
- The Gophers pull the goalie with 3:12 remaining in hopes of getting something going!
- One goal can change how a team plays so let’s see if they can get anything going here!
- Nope! Nothing! Great game by the Tigers and they will take on the Wisconsin Badgers in tomorrow night’s WCHA Final Five Championship Game!
Minnesota Gophers 0, Colorado College Tigers 2
The Gophers didn’t come out like a team that wanted to win tonight! They were outworked and just didn’t look ready for this game! Colorado College had nothing to lose knowing if they lose any game from here on out, they are done for the season! This is why the playoffs are hard! Nobody wants their season to end! or their career to end! Go out and play every game like it’s your last game because you never know what’s going to happen! The Gophers knew they were in the NCAA tournament already, being the #1 ranked team in the nation, but that means nothing if they don’t play like the #1 team in the nation! Disappointing effort from Gopher hockey!!! Hopefully they learn from it!
Gopher Hockey Recap from GopherSports.com – Minnes
Gopher Hockey Box Score from GopherSports.com – Minnes
Gopher Hockey Recap from CCTigers.com – Broadmoor Trophy one win away!
In other WCHA College Hockey action tonight,
- Wisconsin won vs St. Cloud State 4-1
You’ve Been ClutterPUCKED!!!