Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Beaver Recap and a Chance to Shut Boston Up

Kyle Rau scores against BC last season at Mariucci
Welcome back to week three of your recap on everything Gopher Hockey, and a look ahead to this weekend.  The Gophers did not find much resistance in sliding past the Beavers of Bemidji State last weekend.  This weekend the Gopher will have their toughest test of the season as they will host the fifth ranked Eagles of Boston College.

The Gophers continued their successful start to their season with a series sweep of the Beavers in Bemidji.  The Gophers had to deal with a physical Beaver squad to pull away late in the third period to win 6-3 Friday night, and then had a bit easier of a time in winning 5-1 Saturday.

Bemidji jumped out in front less than four minutes into the game Friday night as Danny Mattson scored on the power play. However, the Gophers did not waste any time as Travis Boyd scored 61 seconds later to knot the game at 1.  Ben Marshall added a power play goal for the Gophers later in the first and they took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.  The two teams traded goals in the second period with Sam Warning tallying for the Gophers as they took a 3-2 lead into the third period.  After freshman Hudson Fasching banged home a rebound for his second goal of the season to put Minnesota up 4-2 less than a minute into the third, it appeared like the Gophers were going to ease into a victory.  However, Bemidji had other thoughts, as all-name team member Radoslav Illo ripped a power play shot from the point to once again bring the Beavers within one goal.  Once again, the Gophers immediately responded, as Senior captain Nate Condon scored his first goal of the season 52 seconds later to put Minnesota up 5-3.  Connor Reilly would add an empty netter late and Minnesota took a hard fought 6-3 victory.

In Saturday night's rematch once again the Beavers struck first.  Jeff Jubinville struck just 2:37 into the game staking Bemidji to a 1-0 lead.  The Gophers took almost a period to respond to a much more physical Beaver squad in the second game of the weekend.  Warning scored his second of the weekend late in the first to send the game to the first intermission knotted at 1.  The Gophers would add two more in the second period as Taylor Cammarata scored his first collegiate goal on a rebound of a wide shot off the back boards and right onto his stick midway through the period.  Three minutes later Warning added his third of the weekend to make the score 3-1.  Mike Reilly and Justin Kloos would add goals in the third, and the Gophers cruised to a 5-1 victory and the sweep.

Sam Warning whose three goals and two assists on the weekend led the way was named the Big Ten's #1 Star of the Week.  He is tied for the NCAA lead in points so far this season with 9.  In two career games against Boston College Warning is tied for the team lead with Kyle Rau with 3 points each, and both will have to play very well this weekend in what will be by far the toughest task for the Gophers so far this season. Kloos was also rewarded by the Big Ten for his five point weekend with the #3 Star of the Week.  

In non game related news this week, Christian Horn, a Junior forward from Benilde St Margaret's,  who had yet to play for the Gophers in his first two seasons left the program to go play in the USHL.  There is a possibility Horn could rejoin the team next year, but it is more likely he will go to a different team similar to what Max Gardner did when he left the Gopher program four years ago to go back to the USHL for the season.  Gardner will see his former teammates later this season as he is now the Senior captain for Penn State.

On to this weeks series: Take Boston Down a Peg!

The national poll voters once again were impressed with the Gophers performance (and coupled with previous #1 Miami of Ohio splitting with the evil Whioux, and #2 Wisconsin getting absolutely slaughtered in Boston by BC Friday night 9-2 and BU Saturday night 7-3)  Minnesota moved from #3 to #1 in both national polls this week.  They welcome in the #5 ranked Boston College Eagles to Mariucci Arena for a two game series this weekend Friday night, and Sunday afternoon after taking Saturday off for the MN/Nebraska football game.

The Gophers played Boston College once last season in the Championship Game of the Mariucci Classic.  The Gophers came into that game ranked #4 in the nation and BC was #1.  The Gophers jumped all over the Eagles scoring three goals in the first period and cruising to a 8-1 victory.  Kyle Rau and Nick Bjugstad both had two goals for the Gophers. The Gophers were enacting a bit of revenge on BC who ended Minnesota's season in 2012 with a 6-1 thrashing of the Gophers in the NCAA Frozen Four Semifinals.  BC would go on to win the National Championship that season. 

Boston College last weekend only played one game, hosting Wisconsin Friday night.  The Eagles absolutely destroyed the Badgers.  BC scored four goals in the first period in a span of four an a half minutes enroute to a 9-2 victory.  Junior Johnny Gaudreau added three points to go over the 100 career point milestone.  He is the biggest threat for the Eagles.  Fast, small, and able to score at will Gaudreau will be a tough task for a Gopher defense that has looked penetrable at times to keep contained this weekend.  Boston College will play two goalies this weekend, as it appears Freshman Thatcher Demko will play Friday night, and Junior Brian Billett will play on Sunday.  Demko is 1-0 after getting the win over RPI during the first weekend of the season. Billett is 1-1 after the victory over Wisconsin and was in goal for BC's lone loss of the season in their season opener at Michigan.  The Wolverines won 3-1 beginning a string of games in the Inaugural Big Ten/ Hockey East Challenge.  Eleven different teams are playing in thirteen games to determine the conference winner.  Unfortunately for the Big Ten with only the MN/BC series remaining, Hockey East is winning 9-4. 

The Gophers will look to build off of last season's thrashing of the Eagles this weekend.  While Minnesota leads the all-time series 15-12-2, Boston College is 6-1 in their last seven games against the Gophers. However, the Gophers have an all-time record of 9-1 against BC in Mariucci Arena, so something will have to give this weekend.  It is going to be a true test for a young Gopher squad.  Adam Wilcox will have to have a great weekend for the Gophers in goal to get a sweep.  Unfortunately, I don't see it all coming together ads BC is a very good team, and the Gophers are due for a not so good performance. I see the Gophers winning 5-4 Friday night and losing 5-2 on Sunday. Friday night's game will begin at 7:00 and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.  Sunday afternoon's game will start at 1:10 and be on FSN.

Boston College Notable Names:

#9 Brendon Silk (Son of 1980 Olympian Dave Silk) So-F
#14 Adam Gilmour (Son of NHL player Doug Gilmour) FR-F
#17 Destry Straight Jr-F
#30 Thatcher Demko FR-G

Here's What They Are Saying on Twitter:

Pretty slow week with everyone in Boston watching the Red Sox and not the Eagles...
Yes...why didn't you think of that??


Something tells me these rodents will put up more of a fight...


  The Girls of BC:


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