Friday, February 1, 2008

Weekend Series Prep: North Dakota at Minnesota

Series: Minnesota leads the all-time series 137-121-11 in a rivalry that dates to 1930.
Drop of the puck: Both games are at 7:07 p.m central time
Television: Both games can be seen on Fox Sports Net North (live)

Announcers: Frank Mazzocco and Doug Woog
PTFG Prediction: The Gophers are hoping for a split - I say one point.

Rankings:

Pairwise: North Dakota 6, Minnesota 17
USCHO.com: North Dakota 3, Minnesota 18
USA Today: North Dakota 3, Minnesota 15
Krach: North Dakota 5, Minnesota 12

Articles:

Star Tribune: Roman Augustoviz profiles Blake Wheeler, who scored the game-winner over the Sioux in the Final Five last March.

Star Tribune: Traffic around the U could be a mess tonight.

Pioneer Press: Bruce Brothers talks about the tough road ahead.

Minnesota Daily: Brian Deutsch talks about the three freshman defensenman.

Weekend outlook:

Gophers at a glance: Freshman Alex Kangas will start his fifth consecutive game tonight. He is third among Division I goalies in his class with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Minnesota (12-11-5, 6-9-3 WCHA) will have to score more than two goals a game this weekend to win. The magic number seems to be three right now, but Minnesota has hit that only once in three weekends.

Minnesota needs at least a split this weekend - a tie for the fourth straight weekend just won't cut it.

Did you know? Over its last 14 games during the month of February, Minnesota owns an 11-2-1 record. In Don Lucia’s eight previous seasons, the Gophers are 39-16-3 during the month.

North Dakota at a glance: The third-ranked Fighting Sioux have climbed to second in the WCHA standings with a seven-game winning streak. North Dakota (16-8-1, 13-7) has held its opponent to one goal in five of the past six games. Goalie Jean Philippe-Lamoureux has been solid all season, posting a goals against average of less than two.

While the Sioux lost top line centerman Jonathan Toews and star defenseman Brian Lee from a season ago, top scorers Ryan Duncan (10 goals, 16 assists, 26 points) and T.J. Oshie (12-14-26) are still on the roster. Duncan is the defending Hobey Baker winner.

Did you know? There are six Minnesotans on the Sioux's roster, while only four from North Dakota.

The two teams split at North Dakota in early December, losing 4-2 and winning 4-1.

4 comments:

the sports guy said...

Don Lucia on last night's 2-1 loss:

"We scored one [goal] in the first and we can't score again," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "It's just the inability to score goals -- you can't win."

"We got into overtime and we didn't attempt a shot," Lucia said. "Somebody has to step forward and lead the team. Take charge out there."

Clearly, one frustrated man right now. The winner in OT was SportsCenter's No. 1 play.

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