Friday, February 10, 2017

Story: Gophers hockey on a roll with PK (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

University of Minnesota sophomore forwards Jack Ramsey and Darian Romanko share a line that goes by several nicknames.

“Blue,” for both the jersey color worn in practice and collar style of play. And “trench line,” a name preferred by Ramsey, carried over from his time in junior hockey; it represents digging in and shutting down the top offensive line.

On special teams the 6-foot-1, 204-pound Romanko and the 6-3, 196-pound Ramsey have plenty of help — from scoring forward Justin Kloos to shot-blocking defenseman Jake Bischoff and stingy goalie Eric Schierhorn, among others — to dig in on a penalty kill that has played a major role in the Gophers’ No. 5 national ranking.

“It’s that consistency factor. We work on it a lot in practice,” said Ramsey. “I think a huge thing is we usually have six forwards killing. We have our pairs, so you know who your partner is all the time.”

After sweeping Penn State last weekend, the Gophers (17-7-2, 8-2-0 Big Ten) are a nation-best 10-2-0 since they last faced this weekend’s opponent, Ohio State (13-7-6, 4-5-1). That was at Mariucci Arena on Dec. 2-3 when the teams split a pair of games.

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