Good Afternoon Wilderness... I hope this finds you feeling well. The college hockey season is in full swing. This weekend, in the State of Hockey, the top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-1-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) take on the 19th ranked University of Minnesota Duluth (5-4-1, 2-2-0 NCHC) in nonconference action.
Setting the table:
This will be one of the better college hockey series to watch this weekend in college hockey. The Gophers are a high flying, high octane offense - they get up and move.
From watching the Bulldogs play last weekend. I can tell you that the Bulldogs are mean and nasty. They'll play with an edge - nothing comes easy against them. Last weekend, junior forward Adam Krause was a UND killer, scoring (3g-0a-3pts).
Last weekend: The Minnesota Gophers swept the Minnesota State Mavericks (4-1 and 3-0). The Bulldogs split with UND (2-4 L and 6-3 W).
This will be the first time that the Gophers have played the Bulldogs in a hockey as members of a different conference.
Friday, November 21, 2013 - 7:10 p.m.
Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 4:10 p.m.
TV: FSN+ (Friday), FSN (Sunday)
The series between the two teams began on December 1, 1952. All-time, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are (132-74-16) against Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. This includes a 73-31-10 mark against the Bulldogs on home ice. In the last 10 games against the Bulldogs, the Gophers hold a 5-2-3 record. The Gophers also have a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) against the Bulldogs. In their last five games against the Bulldogs, the Gophers hold a 3-1-1 record. The Gophers last lost (6-4) against the Bulldogs on February 5, 2011. Last season, Minnesota was 1-0-1 against Minnesota Duluth.
National Team Stats:
Minnesota is the second ranked offense in the nation scoring an eyeopening 4.2 goals per game. Defensively, Minnesota is ranked fifth defensively giving up 1.9 goals per game. Special teams for Minnesota need some work. Minnesota is ranked 48th in the nation on the power play (6/44, 13.6%). Minnesota is ranked 40th in the nation on the penalty kill (32/40, 80%). Minnesota is ranked 54th overall national for penalty minutes.
Minnesota Duluth is ranked 31st nationally in scoring offense, scoring 2.80 goals per game. The Bulldogs are a respectable 13th nationally on defense giving up 2.20 goals per game. Minnesota Duluth is ranked 47th in the nation on the power play (7/50, 14%). The Bulldogs are much better on the penalty kill, they're ranked fifth in the nation (51/57, 89.5%). Minnesota Duluth is ranked eighth in penalty minutes nationally [click for national stats]
Players to watch:
UMN Gophers Forwards: Sam Warning (5g-12a-17pts), Hudson Fasching (6g-7a-13pts), Justin Kloos (4g-8a-12pts), Kyle Rau (1g-9a-10pts). Defensemen: Mike Reilly (4g-3a-7pts), Jake Bischoff (3g-1a-4pts), Ben Marshall (2g-2a-4pts). Goaltenders: Michael Shibrowski 1-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.00 save percentage. Adam Wilcox 7-1-1, 1.99 GAA, .931 save percentage.
UMD Bulldogs: Forwards: Alex Iafallo (5g-5a-10pts), Joe Basaraba (3g-3a-6pts), Tony Cameranesi (1g-5a-6pts). Defense: Will Raskob (0g-6a-6pts), Carson Soucy (0g-04-4pts), Andy Welinski (1g-2a-3pts). Goaltenders: Matt McNeely 1-1-1, 1.64 GAA, .923 save percentage, Aaron Crandall 4-3-0, 2.16 GAA, .910 save percentage.
Series prediction: I am going to go with a split. The Bulldogs are better team than their record and the Gophers youth on the blue line could show up this weekend.