Sunday, February 18, 2018

Game Story: Gopher Senior Day ends in tied goaltender duel (Zone Coverage)

MINNEAPOLIS- Neither goalie would budge, even when the game was officially over.

Minnesota goaltender Mat Robson and Ohio State goaltender Sean Romeo matched one another for 65 minutes. Each allowed one goal as the two top-10 teams finished Saturday afternoon tied 1-1.

OSU (19-8-5, 12-8-2-1 Big Ten) earned an extra point in the Big Ten standings by winning an eight-round shootout 2-1 between the two teams.

Making his seventh consecutive start in net, Robson tied his career high with 38 saves Saturday. In 11 games this season, the Minnesota (19-13-2, 10-10-2-1 Big Ten) sophomore has allowed two goals or fewer in nine and has a .945 save percentage.

“He was great. He’s been really good since he’s been able to join us,” said Brent Gates Jr. after the game. “You can’t blame him for that. He played an amazing game. He played great in overtime and did amazing in the shootout. One beat him, but he played a phenomenal game.”

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pregame Blog: Gophers learning from mistakes, Senior Day line combinations vs Ohio State, TV, Radio & More

Records: No. 10/9 Minnesota (19-13-1, 10-10-1-1 Big Ten), No. 6 Ohio State (19-8-4, 12-8-1-0 Big Ten)
Date: Saturday February 17, 2018
Time: 4:00 pm CT
Location: 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis, MN
TV: ESPNU (John Buccigross and Sean Ritchlin)
Radio: 1130 KTLK AM in Twin Cities (Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco)
Stream: Watch ESPN/TSN Go
Nate is covering for tonight: Zone Coverage/The Athletic
Last night's recap: Minnesota defeats #6 OSU 2-1

Winning six of seven games, Brent Gates Jr. believes some of the puzzle pieces are starting to come together on the Gopher offense.

"We've put in a lot of hard work. It's been a bit of an up and down season and I think everyone knows that," he said. "Everyone else knows we have the firepower and it's about playing good hockey at the right time. That's what we're starting to do."

Game Story: Sadek sweep, Glover goal help No. 9 Minnesota defeat No. 6 Ohio State (Zone Coverage)

MINNEAPOLIS- By his own admission, it wasn’t the best clear Jack Sadek had.

With No. 6 Ohio State (19-8-4, 12-8-1-0 Big Ten) pulling goaltender Sean Romeo and looking for a last-minute game-tying goal, the Minnesota junior defenseman gave a helping hand to his goaltender. Matthew Weis’ shot beat Gopher goaltender Mat Robson, going off the post.

Sadek was right there, however.

He sent the puck down the length of the ice and nearly scored on an empty net with 32 seconds remaining to stymie OSU’s best and last chance. No. 9 Minnesota held on to beat the Buckeyes 2-1 for its sixth win in the team’s last seven games.

“I was lucky enough to clear it,” he said. “Probably not the best clear up the middle, but it worked out.”

While the Gopher offense, coming off an 11-goal weekend in Madison, continued to click and create chances, the defense once again came through. Playing with the mentality that the playoffs began last week Minnesota (19-13-1, 10-10-1-1 Big Ten) limited the number of Buckeyes odd-man rushes and opportunities.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Pregame Blog: Minnesota vs. Ohio State Friday Line Combinations, TV, Radio & More

Records: #10/9 Minnesota (18-13-1, 9-10-1-1 Big Ten), No. 6 Ohio State (19-7-4, 12-7-1-0 Big Ten)
Date: Friday February 16, 2018
Time: 8:00 pm CT
Location: 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis, MN
TV: Big Ten Network (Dan Kelly and Ben Clymer)
Radio: 1130 KTLK AM in Twin Cities (Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco)
Stream: BTN2Go/Fox Sports Go/
Nate is covering for tonight: Zone Coverage/The Athletic

It's mid-February, but with the new Big Ten conference tournament format this weekend marks the final two home games of the regular season. The Gophers host Ohio State in a battle of top-ten teams.

It's the latest series for Minnesota against a top-tier opponent, which has been beneficial for NCAA Tournament chances. Entering tonight the Gophers are ninth in the Pairwise, which mimics the criteria used to determine the NCAA Tournament field. A win this weekend against the Buckeyes or next weekend at Penn State would help secure a spot, however, the Gophers need eight points over the last four games to secure home ice in the first round of the Big Ten conference tournament.

A pair of Minnesota players, junior forward Jack Ramsey and senior defenseman Jack Glovers, will appear in their 100th career game Friday.

BLOG: Don Lucia on Gopher Alums Making NHL Debuts

On Tuesday, Nick Seeler became the fifth Gopher alum in 2017-18 to make his NHL debut when he skated for the Minnesota Wild. He also played in Thursday's 5-2 loss to Washington at Xcel Energy Center.

A fifth round pick drafted by the Wild out of Eden Prairie HS, he joins a growing list of Minnesota players in the NHL. Seeler is the 23rd alum to play in an NHL game this season. No NCAA team has had more.

"I thought we didn't develop anyone in our program. That's the word," head coach Don Lucia said sarcastically when a reporter brought up that fact.

Along with Seeler, alums Justin Kloos, Travis Boyd, Justin Holl and Vinni Lettieri, who was on the ice with the New York Rangers against Seeler's Wild, have all debuted.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Podcast: That Gopher Hockey Puckcast Episode 19

On Episode 19, the Gopher offense comes alive in Madison.

Nate Wells, Drew Cove and producer Tom Schreier discuss all of Minnesota's road sweep over Wisconsin. Offense gets a lot of discussion - well deserved with the Gophers winning 7-1 Saturday and seeing several scoring droughts snapped - but Mat Robson and the Minnesota blue line get their fair shake, as well. So does Nick Seeler making his NHL debut, the latest Gopher alum to do so.

They then turn their attention to this weekend's opponent, Ohio State. Plus: The Big Ten race for home ice and Minnesota's NCAA Tournament standing (spoiler: it's good) are topics of discussion before opening the mailbag.

Those trying to move around in the Joe Louis Arena press box without running into anyone 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. It helps out the podcast.

Plugs and stuff

-Drew can be found on Twitter @covedrew and covers Minnesota men's hockey and football for the Minnesota Daily. His latest story is on forwards Darian Romanko and Jack Ramsey thriving in their defensive roles.

-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.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

BLOG: Tyler Sheehy named Big Ten first star & NCAA second star

Tyler Sheehy's weekend earned the Minnesota captain some national honors.

Sheehy earned the Big Ten first star of the week and NCAA second star of the week for his performance in Minnesota's road sweep over Wisconsin. The Burnsville, MN native led the conference over the weekend with five points (3G-2A) in two wins. Sheehy twice put the Gophers ahead in Friday's 4-2 win before getting a goal and two assists Saturday. His 12 goals now lead the Gophers, who entered the weekend without a player in double digits.

Still, Sheehy's 23 points are off the pace of last season's sophomore campaign where his 53 were the most by any Gopher in over a decade.

One of the oddities this year is that the junior has found success in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin and struggled elsewhere. In five games in those two states Sheehy has 14 points (7G-7A) and five multi-point games. In every other state he has 9 points (5G-4A) in 25 games and is without a multi-point performance.

To compare, he had 19 multi-point games as a sophomore.

The Gophers do not play in Michigan or Wisconsin for the rest of the season, which means Sheehy will have to add a new state to the total. The Gophers host Ohio State this weekend, a team that in four games last season Sheehy had 10 points (5G-5A).

In addition, goaltender Mat Robson was named the Big Ten third star of the week. The sophomore stopped 61 of 64 shots on the weekend, including a career-high 38 in Saturday's 7-1 victory.