Sunday, January 21, 2018

Game Story: Brent Gates Jr. makes it in New York, leading Gophers to Madison Square Garden win (Zone Coverage)

NEW YORK CITY- Start spreading the news. Minnesota is leaving New York, New York Saturday with a season sweep over Michigan State.

The Gophers went to Madison Square Garden as part of the third annual Big Ten “Super Saturday” hockey-hoops doubleheader. While the men’s basketball team fell 67-49 to Ohio State earlier in the day, the men’s hockey team bounced back to skate away with a 2-1 win over the Spartans.

“It was a great experience for our players and our staff to come out here and play at such a historic venue, but as we told our players it’s only fun when you win,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “We had to grind out a win tonight. It wasn’t easy. I kept talking to our players that sometimes when you don’t have your legs or your hands that you need to find a backup game and find a way to win.”

Minnesota (15-12-1, 6-9-1-1 Big Ten) junior forward Brent Gates Jr. proved he can make it both here in New York and anywhere, scoring the game-winning goal with 3:29 remaining in regulation. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native, who grew up going to Spartans games, continued a hot weekend that began with two assists in East Lansing Thursday.

His goal came off of a bouncing pass by teammate Jack Ramsey that was able to be batted past Michigan State (9-16-1, 3-12-1-1 Big Ten) goaltender John Lethemon, who made 20 saves.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pregame Blog: Minnesota vs. Michigan State Super Saturday Line Combinations & More

Greetings from Madison Square Garden!

I'm here for the Big Ten's Super Saturday where the Gophers (5-4 winners Thursday in the opening game) will face Michigan State (technically the home team) later tonight in the second game of a hockey-hoops doubleheader. Minnesota basketball already played, losing 67-49 to Ohio State.

That's right. On Hockey Day Minnesota, I was in New York covering my first college basketball game.

Records: #13/14 Minnesota (14-12-1, 5-9-1-1 Big Ten), Michigan State (9-15-1, 3-11-1-1 Big Ten)
Date: Saturday January 20th
Time: 7:00 pm CT
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1130 KTLK AM in Twin Cities
Stream: BTN2Go/Fox Sports Go/TSN Go
Nate is covering for tonight: Zone Coverage/The Athletic

Thursday, January 18, 2018

That Gopher Hockey Puckcast Episode 15 (with Amy Moritz)

On episode 15 of That Gopher Hockey Puckcast we do talk Gopher hockey...eventually.

With Nate calling in from New York City, Drew, producer Tom Schreier and him spend the first 10-15 minutes on traveling, the Vikings and Minneapolis Miracle (which Nate covered in person).

They then turn attention to Minnesota being swept by Michigan and the resulting fallout. The players-only meeting, the lack of offense, lack of Big Ten success this season and lack of direction, among other topics. Where does the team go from here? They also preview the weekend's unique series against Michigan State and Minnesota's NCAA Tournament chances.

In between (33:00 mark) Amy Moritz of The Buffalo News comes on to give her perspective on the World Juniors, covering an outdoor game, Buffalo's fascination with Casey Mittelstadt and what it's like to write a book.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Game Story: Gophers hold players-only meeting after being swept (Zone Coverage)

MINNEAPOLIS- Minnesota needed two goals to come back against Michigan in the third period.

Instead, the Gophers finished with two shots.

Defeated, distraught and looking for answers, frustration boiled over Saturday. The mood inside the Minnesota locker room was quite different than six days earlier when the team emerged with a shutout win over the No. 1 team in the nation.

Michigan (10-10-2, 5-7-2-1 Big Ten) left 3M Arena at Mariucci with a 3-1 win and the first-ever Big Ten sweep over the Gophers by a visiting team. Early goals doomed the home team once again. The Wolverines scored twice in the opening 3:06, digging a hole too deep for Minnesota (13-12-1, 4-9-1-1 Big Ten).

Believing what they’re doing is not working and needing to get on the same page, Gopher players held a 15-minute meeting postgame once the coaches left.

“We addressed each other. We have to hold each other accountable and hold ourselves accountable,” said Minnesota captain Tyler Sheehy.

A night after the Gophers gave up a goal on the very first shift, Michigan’s Brendan Warren scored on the second. Josh Norris wasted no time on a Jake Slaker pass to beat Eric Schierhorn on the power play.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pregame Blog: Minnesota-Michigan Saturday Line Combinations, Gophers Lose Trophy & More

Michigan (9-10-2, 4-7-2-1 Big Ten) at #9 Minnesota (13-11-1, 4-8-1-1 Big Ten)

Date: Saturday January 13th
Time: 7:00 pm CT
Location: 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis, MN
TV: Fox Sports North PLUS
Radio: 1130 KTLK AM in Twin Cities
Stream: BTN2Go/Fox Sports Go/TSN Go
Nate is covering for tonight: Zone Coverage/The Athletic

Last night's recap: Minnesota falls to Michigan (Zone Coverage)

Friday's loss ensures the Gophers will be handing off the Renfrew-Mariucci trophy for the first time since Michigan and Minnesota joined the Big Ten.

Game Story: Minnesota falls to Michigan (Zone Coverage)

MINNEAPOLIS- Fourteen seconds into Friday’s game, the Gophers trailed Michigan.

Playing catch-up at home from the opening shot to the final minute, No. 9 Minnesota fell to the Wolverines 5-3 and extended a four-game conference losing streak. The Gophers are 1-7-1 in their last nine Big Ten conference games.

“We don’t want to start the game the first shift and get scored on,” said Brannon McManus, one of three Gopher freshmen forwards to score on Friday. “We have to start fast and obviously we didn’t. It set up behind a little bit.”

Minnesota (13-11-1, 4-8-1-1 Big Ten) did have a chance to tie the game with 41.4 seconds remaining on a power play. Setting up for an offensive zone faceoff, the Gophers — having already used their timeout on a failed offsides challenge — could not control the puck.

Michigan’s Brendan Warren took advantage to get the puck and easily scored on an empty net, turnovers and struggling defensemen bookending Minnesota’s night.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gopher Hockey Notebook: Potomak plans, Lindgren speech, Novak status & more

Heralded freshman forward Amy Potomak has enrolled at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately for Gopher fans, they will have to a while longer to see #16 skate in a game.

Potomak will take classes and practice with fifth-ranked Minnesota while continuing to redshirt, The Gopher Hockey Blog has learned. This allows her to keep a full four years of playing eligibility and get an extra semester of school. The 18 year-old will be a redshirt freshman in 2018-19 provided she doesn't skate in a game.

Potomak missed the first semester as one of 28 players centralized in Calgary with the Canadian Olympic team. Cut from the team in November, the Aldergrove, British Columbia native took her time with Gophers head coach Brad Frost making a decision. In the interim, she skated with teammate Lindsay Agnew on Canada's National Women's Development Team in the Nations Cup.

A side effect of the decision is that she will spend a semester with the team without older sister Sarah. The older Potomak, also cut from the Canadian Olympic team, will continue to redshirt by spending the semester in her native Canada.

Sarah will be a redshirt junior next season.