The WCHA final five begins tonight at the Xcel. Tonights play-in game features the Gophers vs St. Cloud State. The winner of tonights game moves on to Friday's semi-finals to play #1 seed Colorado College. The other semi-final will feature the University of we hate native americans vs the Denver Pioneers.
The Gophers head to the Final Five after possibly the longest 3 game series in the history of the WCHA. The Gophers lost 1-0 in double OT, won 2-1 in OT and won 3-2 in double OT to advance. There are three keys to tonights game for the Gophers. 1) Kangas, 2) score 3+ goals and 3) stay out of the penalty box. They follow my keys and I guarantee victory.
Next years Hoby Baker winner needs to continue playing like he did last weekend. That might be a bit much to ask, but I have never been one to shy away from asking for to much. Kangas either gets shutouts all weekend or I write him off faster than Frazee! Seriously, if the Gophers want any chance of advancing this weekend Kangas can not allow more than two goals a game. Sad, but true.
Next to the Play of Kangas goal scoring is the next biggest factor for the gophers. I know that sounds like the dip shit analyst who says "whoever scores more goals will most likely win the game", but the Gophers need to find a way to score 3 goals without playing 100 minutes of hockey. Last Sundays game was a perfect example of what I am talking about. The Gophers had numerous chances to score goals right in front of the net and instead of putting the puck in the corner of the net the forwards would rush shots and hit the Mavericks goalie in the chest. The Mavericks goalie (Zacharias) played well last weekend, but the Gophers made him look better than he is. Mouth breather Jase Weslosky is not the goalie Zacharias is, so 3 goals isn't like asking for the moon.
ATTENTION TO THE BEARS GUY PELTIER!!!! The 3rd key to tonights game for the Gophers is staying out of the penalty box. St. Cloud basically lives by it's power play. Their #1 unit of Roe, Lasch and Nodl is possibly the best power play unit in the country. As a team, St. Cloud leads the WCHA in PP efficiency at 21.9%. That means the Gophers can only take necessary penalties. Note to Peltier, we don't need any Cross Checking, Roughing, Boarding or whatever other dumb penalty you decide take 60 feet behind the play. Those are the penalties that will get the Gophers beat tonight. Maybe the gophers should just sit Peltier all weekend? Hey Bear, nice player!
Predictions for the weekend.
Play-in game MN 4 St. Cloud 2. The Gophers will be to tired to skate all over the rink which is a good thing for this team. They will sit back and play "system" hockey and rely on Kangas to make saves. How much does it suck that the Gophers have turned into the Wisconsin Badgers of college hockey? God I can't wait for some actual talent to get back in the program next year! Also, keep your eyes out for the Todd slinging his shit on the ice if the gophers happen to lose. I am on record as saying The Todd doesn't have the arm to get it over the glass.
Semi-final #1 Denver 3 UND 2. Upset of the weekend. UND has been playing to good for to long. The also looked very poor last weekend. On top of that, Denver will be looking forward to this game after the cheap crap UND pulled up in Grand Forks last month. Yet another banner slips through the fingers of Neanderthal Hakstol.
Semi-final #2 CC 3 MN 1. Gophers have nothing left and even if they did Colorado would still beat them. I still think CC is the class of the WCHA.
3rd Place Game. Who really cares other than the Sioux fans who will still act like winning this game is a big deal, f'ing losers!
Championship- CC 5 Denver 2. Denver can't skate with CC. CC locks up a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Tom Pohl update from the University of Minnesota. Gophers Pohl in Intensive Care Following Surgery at Rochester Hospital. University of Minnesota senior Tom Pohl is in intensive care following surgery resulting from an injury suffered in the Golden Gophers double overtime victory over Minnesota State on Sunday in Mankato . Pohl sustained a skull fracture when his head hit the boards in front of the teams bench at 6:09 of the second period. The injury resulted in bleeding on the brain and Pohl was airlifted to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester . Successful surgery was performed to stop the bleeding and stabilize the fracture. Pohl remains at the hospital for further observation.We are very fortunate that he has tremendous medical care, said Minnesota coach Don Lucia, who is in Rochester with Pohl and his family. Were looking forward to him returning to school at one hundred percent and our thoughts and prayers remain with Tom and the Pohl family.
Here is a link to the Gophers incoming recruits. Things are really looking up talent wise. Only two questions marks coming in over the next two years, Brandon Martell and Josh Birkholz. Martell just isn't that good and Birkolz comes off as a whiny kid who pouts when things aren't going his way....f'ing cake eater! http://gopherpuck.blogspot.com/2007/01/committed-gopher-recruits.html
Kyle Okposo played in his first NHL game Tuesday night for the New York Islanders. The Black Ginger played 14 minutes and registered two shots on net. It looks like two months of Minor league hockey got his development back on track. Good thing he got out while the getting was good.
Lastly, even though the smartest man in Grand Forks is on record as saying the Gophers won't make the NCAA tournament they are a lock. The worst team to make the NCAA tournament in Gophers history....without a doubt, but I will still take a game or two in the NCAA after the season this team has had.
Lastly, Lastly....WWWWWW, nice NCAA picks! I thought you where suppose to be the hoops guy on this blog? The Sports Guy knows more about college hoops!