Thursday, October 13, 2011
Bring on the Gophers
Well, well, well, a ragtag bunch of Bulldog rejects from the southern branch of our fine university is making their way north this weekend. Maybe we'll let them admire our new hardware. Maybe we can set up a scrimmage pitting our other defending champs (football) against their especially hapless excuse for a team. (Michigan 58, Minnesota 0 was the most pitiful football game I've ever watched)
In all seriousness though, this series screams split. We went 1-1-2 against the Gophers last year, outscoring them 12-11 in the process. Every game was close. Mike Connolly going off for five goals at Amsoil and Kent Patterson stopping 78 of 82 shots - including some absolute beauties in the clutch - in a series at Mariuchi stand out as the most memorable moments from our meetings last year.
Fresh off a Class 2A title at Eden Prarie, highly-touted freshman Kyle Rau teams up with Zach Budish and Nick Bjugstad on the Gophers' top line. In goal Patterson has always been good against the Bulldogs, posting a .936 save percentage and a 2.38 goals against, although he has only won one game in six tries.
This weekend is paramount in building UMD's budding reputation as a true Minnesota hockey power program, as well as setting the tone for a successful run in WCHA play this year. Let's go get it.