Sunday, November 19, 2017

Game Story: Tyler Sheehy scores in OT as Gophers sweep Harvard (Zone Coverage)

On shot No. 44, Merrick Madsen made his first mistake.

He didn’t make many Saturday night in a game where Minnesota continuously tested the Crimson defense. Unfortunately for Madsen, Rem Pitlick made him pay for it on shot No. 45.

Minnesota outshot the 13th-ranked Crimson 50-16 at 3M Arena at Mariucci. The Gophers needed all 50 shots to solve the Harvard goaltender, who made few mistakes Saturday. Junior captain Tyler Sheehy set off the home crowd with his game-winning goal 35 seconds into overtime in a 2-1 win and series sweep.

“That one felt good. That was one of my favorite goals I’ve scored just because we deserved to win tonight and so coming out with anything less than a win would have been unacceptable,” said Sheehy.

Madsen stopped a Tommy Novak redirection early in the first period to set the tone for Saturday’s game. No. 7 Minnesota (9-4-1, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten) outshot the Crimson 16-7 in the first period, but neither team was able to score a goal.

“It was one of those games where sometimes the goaltender has something to say about who is going to win the game,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said about Madsen, who finished with a career-high 48 saves. “He’s an elite goalie. He’s been that his whole career.”

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Game Story: Gopher Women Jump for Joy in Sweeping St. Cloud State (Zone Coverage)

MINNEAPOLIS- She jumped for joy. Sixteen games into her freshman season, Minnesota defender Emily Brown had her first collegiate goal.

Coming 6:04 into the third period, Brown’s goal opened the offensive floodgates Saturday at Ridder Arena. Teammate Nicole Schammel scored twice and the Gophers defeated St. Cloud State 4-3 for its first home sweep of the season.

“Any time you can get six points, especially in the WCHA, in one weekend is a huge deal. To walk away and go into this next week with six points under our belt is definitely important,” said Brown.

Despite a perfect 8-0 road record, the Gophers (11-4-1, 8-3-1-0 WCHA) had struggled at Ridder Arena.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pregame Blog: Minnesota-Harvard Saturday Line Combinations, TV, Radio & More

Harvard (2-4-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) at #7 Minnesota (8-4-1, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten)

Date: November 18, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm CT
Place: 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis, MN
TV: Fox Sports North PLUS
Stream: BTN2Go/Fox Sports Go/TSN Go
Radio: 1130 KTLK-AM (Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco)
Nate is covering for tonight: The Athletic/Zone Coverage/Wellsociated Press

Last night's recap: Casey Mittelstadt & Minnesota Get Highlight-Reel Win Over #13 Harvard (Zone Coverage)

Winners of six straight at home, Minnesota is finding comfort in the friendly confines of Mariucci Arena.

While Harvard head coach Ted Donato did not make an excuse, he did believe it took his team some time to get used to the Olympic-sized ice sheet.

"(Minnesota's) a good hockey team, but hopefully we'll be a little better tomorrow," he said. "I think there's an adjustment for any team who comes to the big ice surface and they certainly have guys who can get around the ice well and get you out of your zone skating. That's not something that is surprising to us."

Adjustment or not, everything clicked Friday for Minnesota through forty minutes. The Gophers left the ice leading 4-0 and kept a speedy Harvard team in check.

"I don't know if it was the best, but we did a pretty good job other than if we turned the puck over and some vulnerable errors that could get us in trouble. Harvard's got such good speed that they are going to come back at you," said Minnesota head coach Don Lucia. "We did a good job at getting sticks on pucks and blocking shots."

Now in Saturday's rematch, both teams believe they can improve upon last night's results. Donato would like to see his team get off to a better start and be better on both ends of special teams. Harvard went 0-4 on the power play Friday night and didn't test Gopher goaltender Eric Schierhorn.

As for Minnesota?

"We need to do the same tomorrow and not even let them get a couple goals in there and close a little better," Rem Pitlick said Friday.

Line Combinations:

For the fourth time this season, Minnesota goes with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Nate Knoepke makes his second appearance of the season while Ryan Norman sits to make room. (Jack Glover was healthy when I asked Wednesday.)

"From a defensive standpoint, (7D) allows us to get one of the freshmen involved in the game with the comfort of knowing that one of the veterans is still availble to us," Lucia said. "From a forward standpoint it allows us to mix and match.

"We've scored the most goals when we've played 11 instead of 12. It allows us to get our top guys out a little more."

Although the Gophers twice scored six goals when utilizing 11 forwards, the third time saw Minnesota shut out against North Dakota.

Harvard makes one change wth Mitchell Perrault replacing Ferederic Gregoire on the fourth line.

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

Brent Gates Jr. (#10) - Tommy Novak (#17) - Tyler Sheehy (#22)
Rem Pitlick (#15) - Casey Mittelstadt (#21) -  Brannon McManus (#7)
Leon Bristedt (#18) - Mike Szmatula (#9) - Scott Reedy (#19)
 Darian Romanko (#26) - Jack Ramsey (#16)

Ryan Lindgren (#5) - Jack Sadek (#2)
Steve Johnson (#4) - Tyler Nanne (#29)
Sam Rossini (#28) - Ryan Zuhlsdorf (#20)
Nate Knoepke (#24)

Eric Schierhorn (#37)
Brock Kautz (#1)
Nick Lehr (#34)

Harvard University Crimson

Henry Bowlby (#28) - Ryan Donato (#16) - Lewis Zerter-Gossage (#77)
Seb Lloyd (#15) - Jake Horton (#19) - Michael Floodstrand (#44)
Ty Pelton-Byce (#17) - Jack Badini (#33) - Nathan Krusko (#13)
Benjamin Solin (#11) - Eddie Ellis (#7) - Mitchell Perrault (#9)

Wiley Sherman (#25) - John Marino (#12)
Jacob Olson (#26) - Adam Fox (#18)
Adam Baughman (#20) - Reilly Walsh (#2)

Merrick Madsen (#31)
Michael Lackey (#35)
Cameron Gornet (#32)

Game Story: Casey Mittelstadt, Minnesota Get Highlight-Reel Win Over #13 Harvard (Zone Coverage)

MINNEAPOLIS- Casey Mittelstadt bounced right back from a rough weekend. So did the Gophers.

Minnesota scored four times in the first two periods Friday, and held on for a 4-2 victory over No. 13 Harvard to get back in the win column. Mittelstadt, held off the scoresheet last weekend versus Michigan, finished with two points and a highlight-reel goal in the second period against Crimson goaltender Merrick Madsen.

“Obviously, there’s going to be times where you don’t play your best, and for us that might have been last weekend,” said Mittelstadt. “We came out and tried to play with pace, make plays and when we do that we play pretty well.”

Facing a Harvard team (2-4-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) that made the 2017 Frozen Four, the seventh-ranked Gophers (8-4-1, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten) put together one of its best performances of the season during the first two periods.

Minnesota’s defense was able to hold a speedy Crimson attack at bay while limiting turnovers. Eric Schierhorn made 26 saves in goal for the Gophers. Meanwhile, the team’s penalty kill went 4-4.

“I thought Eric played well tonight,” said head coach Don Lucia. “Our penalty kill has been good. They were dialed in and, if we had to make a save, Eric made it.”

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Pregame Blog: Minnesota-Harvard Friday Line Combinations, TV, Radio & More

Harvard (2-3-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) at #7 Minnesota (7-4-1, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten)

Date: November 17, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm CT
Place: 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis, MN
TV: Fox Sports North PLUS/TSN5 in Canada
Stream: BTN2Go/Fox Sports Go
Radio: 1130 KTLK-AM (Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco)
Nate is covering for tonight: The Athletic/Zone Coverage/Wellsociated Press

"That's the million dollar question."

Said by Don Lucia earlier this week, the Gopher head coach was responding to the question "how do you pull the positives all together?" Minnesota has found success on defense, allowing 2 and 1 goals against in back-to-back weekends, as well as offense, scoring 10 goals in 2 games.

However, the two have yet to go together in the same weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Jared Moe commits to Minnesota

New Prauge, MN's Jared Moe verbally committed Wednesday (November 15, 2017) to Minnesota.

The 1999 born Moe, currently playing goaltender for Waterloo of the USHL where he's teammates with commits Sam Huff and Garrett Wait, fills a need in the Gopher pipeline. Prior to Wednesday, Minnesota did not have a goalie verbally committed for the future.

Listed at 6'3", 205 lbs, Moe is splitting time in net with Philadelphia Flyers draft pick and former UND goaltender Matej Tomek. When he plays, he has been one of the USHL's top goaltenders in the opening two months of the season. (One scout I spoke with called him a "top-three goalie in the league this season.") Moe is second in the league behind Tri-City's Filip Larsson in both save percentage (.946%) and GAA (1.44 goals per game). He has two shutouts for the Black Hawks in seven appearances.

Moe played high school hockey at Holy Family prior to Waterloo. He is expected on campus in fall 2019 once current starting goaltender Eric Schierhorn graduates.

Recent Gopher men's hockey verbal commitments:
-Joe Miller - Minneapolis
-Noah Tussey - Stillwater
-Nick Williams - Edina
-Rhett Pitlick - Chaska
-Jake Braccini - Buffalo
-Chaz and Cruz Lucius

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Podcast: That Gopher Hockey Puckcast Episode 8

On this week's That Gopher Hockey Puckcast, "Daily Sports Reporter" Drew Cove signs a newspaper for producer Tom Schreier. They also discuss hockey.

Nate returns from Ann Arbor where he witnessed Minnesota's disappointing weekend against Michigan. Along with Drew and Tom, they touch on the Gophers being unable to hold on to 3-0 and 4-0 leads, along with what went wrong and some positives to take away from the OT loss and tie to the Wolverines.

They also answer your questions, discuss commits and preview this weekend's series against Harvard.

Those wondering what 90's jersey Giles was wearing can directly download here.

As a reminder, if you subscribed to our old podcast, that feed will no longer work. You need to subscribe to the 'Cast In Gold feed wherever you listen to podcasts. Here it is on iTunes. While you're at it, please leave a review and give us five stars.

Plugs and stuff

-Drew can be found on Twitter @covedrew and covers Minnesota men's hockey and football for the Minnesota Daily.

-Nate can be found here on this website and at The Athletic (as well as every other website if the various links here don't make clear). You can follow him on Twitter @gopherstate and like/subscribe to his Facebook page.