Friday, December 28, 2007

Mariucci Classic

The Gopher Hockey Team returns from their holiday/finals break this weekend to host the annual Mariucci Classic. For some reason the games are being played on Saturday and Sunday instead of the normal Friday/Saturday schedule. The Classic starts with Boston College playing Air Force followed by the Gophers vs something called RIT.

The Gophers will be extremely short handed this weekend with three players playing in the World Jr. Hockey Championships and Okposo ("sellout!" "quiter!") leaving the team. Okposo is also playing in the WJHC so his departure will have no effect on this weekends roster. The three current Gophers who will be missing this weekend are Carman, Flynn and Fairchild (baby dawger). Future Gopher Jordan Schroeder (08-09) is also playing in the WJHC. Justin Bostrom is suppose to be returning from his hand injury this weekend which will leave the Gophers 17 skaters for the weekend.

As long as the Gophers can play solid 5 v 5 hockey this weekend they will be O.K.. Their power play is going to struggle with their QB (fairchild) gone and Okposo no longer on the team. That isn't saying much since it has struggled all year with those two playing. I would guess you will see Wheeler, Barriball and Gordon on the 1st unit with a Peltier and Werhs running the point. The second unit will be some combination of Howe (mad dog's guy)/Lucia/White/Hoeffel up top with Fischer and Fischer running the point. The second unit wouldn't strike fear in a MIAC game. Where the Gophers can really get themselves in trouble is by playing short handed this weekend. Killing a bunch of penalties will kill their legs and that spells trouble with only 17 skaters.

We will most likely see a Kangas/Frazee split in goal this weekend unless Saturdays goalie plays lights out. I just checked and Frazee still sucks!

The Gophers should still manage to pull out a victory vs RIT on Saturday, but will most likely struggle vs Boston College on Sunday (that is assuming both teams win saturday). Boston College will be playing with a full roster as they lost no players to the WJHC team.
My prediction. Saturday, Gophers 4 - RIT 2 and BC 5- Air Force 1. Sunday, Air Force 4 - RIT 2 and BC 5 - Gophers 2.

Saturdays game versus RIT will be tape-delayed on FSN, and will air following the Wild game at around 10 p.m. Sundays game, either for the championship if they knock off RIT or for third place if they fall to the Tigers, will air live at 7 p.m. on FSN.

Here's looking forward to two weeks of crap hockey as the Gophers will be shorthanded vs mighty Wayne State next weekend also!

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