Sunday, February 24, 2008

Right back in the mix

Following another exciting weekend of WCHA hockey, the standings are still a mess after the top three of Colorado College, North Dakota and Denver.

Team W-L-T Pts. GF GA
Colorado Coll. 18-5-1 37
North Dakota 16-7-1 33
Denver 15-8-1 31
Wisconsin 10-11-5 25
MSU-Mankato 10-10-4 24
St. Cloud State 11-11-2 24
Minn.-Duluth 8-11-5 21
Minnesota 7-11-6 20
Michigan Tech 7-13-4 18
AK Anchorage 3-18-5 11

That's right, the Gophers, after taking three points from Wisconsin this weekend trails fourth place by five points with two weekends to go. The three points elevates the Gophers to eighth, but a sweep next weekend at last-place Anchorage should move them up to seventh.

Here is how I see things after next weekend:
4. Wisconsin 27 (split with St. Cloud)
5. St. Cloud State 26
6. MSU-Mankato 24 (swept at CC)
7. Minnesota 23 (three points at UAA)
8. MN-Duluth 23 (split with North Dakota)

The one other thing to think about is that Wisconsin has a bye in the final week, so they could fall if the teams below them win.

So, what was the difference this weekend, in which the Gophers scored eight goals on the heels of 10 goals in eight games?

Balance.

Minnesota got goals from everyone - two from freshman Patrick White (he entered with two), another from offense-challenged defenseman Derek Peltier and slumping Jay Barriball. The result was a 4-2 Friday win and a 4-4 tie Saturday, in which the Gophers had four one-goal leads.

Maybe the team needed a week off to regroup and to work on some things, including resurrecting a power play that was darn right bad. Minnesota will need to play like they did this weekend to score four wins during the next two weekends and maybe have a chance at a home playoff series. You never know with the Gophers.

I didn't catch a minute of action from the weekend (first time in at least 5+ years) because of high school section stournaments in girls' basketball, boys swimming, boys hockey and wrestling. It was a busy weekend.

But, Roman A from the Trib did:

Friday
Saturday

3 comments:

lonebadger said...

So, what was the difference this weekend, in which the Gophers scored eight goals on the heels of 10 goals in eight games?


Playing Wisconsin, of course. Minny has Bucky's number, always has, always will.

Eric said...

We didn't have your number the last weekend of January, and I was told that by nearly every single person in Madison.

It is such a fun series because it seems that it can go either way. I wouldn't be surprised to see Minnie end up going to Wisconsin in three weeks.

I'm not sure if my liver can handle two trips there.

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