Gophers @ Michigan: 12/8/20 & 12/9/20

Ignatius L Hoops

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Gopher Sports Notes:

A matchup of top-five teams is on deck as the No. 4 Gopher men's hockey program closes out the first half at No. 5 Michigan this week in Ann Arbor. The 100th season of Gopher Hockey continues on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m. CT before the series concludes on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Both games in the series will air on the Big Ten Network and streamed on the FOX Sports App while the radio broadcast will be available on 1130 KTLK-AM/103.5FM.

REEDY TO GO
Senior Scott Reedy leads Minnesota with seven points and five goals this season while the forward is one goal off the NCAA lead this year. The San Jose Sharks prospect leads the nation with three game-winning goals (Reedy has contributed to the deciding goal four times this year) and has found the net in five of Minnesota's six games this season. The senior is coming off back-to-back multi-point games with a goal and an assist in both wins at Michigan State last week.

LAFF-ING ALL THE WAY
The national Goaltender of the Month for November, Jack LaFontaine improved to 6-0-0 on the season and extended his winning streak to eight-straight games after guiding Minnesota to its third-straight Big Ten sweep last week at Michigan State. The first goalie in the nation to win six games this year, the senior ranks first in the nation in save percentage (.956) and GAA (1.17) among NCAA goalies with more than two starts this year. The alternate captain has started 14-straight games and has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last 11 starts.

IT'S CALLED A WINNING STREAK *
The Gophers have now won eight-straight games dating back to last season -- the last time Minnesota owned an eight-game winning streak was from Oct. 13, 2006-Nov. 4, 2006 (starting a 22-game unbeaten streak (19-0- 3) after losing the season opener to Maine on Oct. 6). The last time Minnesota had a longer winning streak was 11-straight games from Dec. 16, 1995-Jan. 27, 1996 (capping off a 19-game unbeaten streak (18-0-1) and a 23-1-1 run). The two unbeaten streaks are the longest in program history. Minnesota's 6-0-0 start this year is the program's best since the 2001-02 campaign (unbeaten 11-0-2 in first 13 contests that year) and the program's best since starting the 1987-88 season 8-0-0.

WORTH NOTING
Minnesota's No. 4 ranking is its highest position in the national polls since Nov. 6, 2007...this will be the first two meetings between Minnesota and Michigan with both teams being ranked in the top-five since a 5-1 win for No. 3 Minnesota over No. 1 Michigan on Nov. 26, 2004 (the two teams also met as top-five opponents during the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Frozen Fours). All told the Gophers are 10-0-0 against Michigan since the start of the 2000-01 season when both teams are ranked in the top 10...Minnesota is tied for the best penalty kill in the nation at 15-for-15 (1.00) and one of only three unblemished teams to have killed more than 10 penalties...the Gophers rank third nationally in scoring defense at 1.17 goals allowed per game and have played at least twice as many games as the teams ahead of them...per BTN research, Minnesota has allowed two goals or fewer in each of its first six games for the first time since 1939-40 (the Gophers allowed two goals or fewer for the first 16 games before going 18-0-0 for the year).

AGAINST THE WOLVERINES
Minnesota is 144-129-18 all-time against Michigan in a rivalry that goes back to 1923 and includes the Mariucci-Renfrew Trophy. The Gophers have earned the trophy in nine of the last 10 years.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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I'm really looking forward to this series. I always love watching the Gophers battle the Wolverines. Usually fast paced, tightly contested games. Add to it both teams are ranked in the top 5. Ought to be a terrific match up even with all the talent taken off of both rosters for the WJC.
 

bonin21

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The Gophers will go into the break at worst tied for the Big Ten lead, and the only way that tie will occur is with two regulation losses to Michigan and Notre Dame going 4-0 with four regulation wins.
 

Taji34

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I don't want to jinx anything, but it seems fitting that the team seems to be hitting their stride really well this year, given that it's the 100 season of Gopher hockey.
 

bonin21

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Jinxes from some random fans like us don't exist. They're a good team. They should win the conference, as predicted by many including the coaches. But if there is a tournament of some form they'll still have to get through the NCHC powers and they will be an underdog in those games.
 

bonin21

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Solid W. 7-0.

The Michigan B team was better than any team the Gophers have played so far. That means the Minnesota B team is also better than those teams. Any point tomorrow is a bonus given the variables this weekend.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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Best game I've seen them play so far. This has the look of a team that can legitimately challenge for a national title. As previously mentioned by others, goalie is our biggest question mark and it took ONE HECK of an individual effort to beat him.

I might be crazy, so please chime in if I'm way off, but Ben Meyers' game reminds me a lot of Tyler Hirsch's. The speed and especially the shifty puck handling. The facilitating and finishing ability, too.
 

PMWinSTP

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Jinxes from some random fans like us don't exist. They're a good team. They should win the conference, as predicted by many including the coaches. But if there is a tournament of some form they'll still have to get through the NCHC powers and they will be an underdog in those games.
We'll see. UMD, NoDak and STC look unimpressive early.
 

MUgopher32

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This game was so much more fun to watch.

Don't get me wrong its nice when 80% of the time its us skating up and down the rink dominating play(easier way to win). But much more entertaining when its both teams moving the puck with speed consistently.

Let's get tomorrow's and put an exclamation on this early stretch of games.
 

MUgopher32

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We'll see. UMD, NoDak and STC look unimpressive early.

Well thats a bit bold.

First off Cloud was unranked coming into the year and due to being 3-0 are now 13th. So if anything they are overachieving in a small sample

Dultuh is 4-0. Not the toughtest NCHC schedule yet but they did beat Denver.

UND. Blanked and thrashed the two shitty teams they played. Then split with Denver(the other big dog with them and Duluth).

I think we can play with anyone in the NCHC. But thats because I think we are really strong all around. Not because of anything negative the top of the NCHC has shown.
 

bonin21

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And UND lost to DU missing two top defensemen including a top 5 pick.
 

Taji34

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I guess this is what happens when your biggest question mark is your goalie who was the national Goaltender of the Month for November, is the first goalie in the nation to win six games this year, and ranks first in the nation in save percentage (.956) and GAA (1.17) among NCAA goalies with more than two starts this year.

Hope they can keep the train rolling!
 

PMWinSTP

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Well thats a bit bold.

First off Cloud was unranked coming into the year and due to being 3-0 are now 13th. So if anything they are overachieving in a small sample

Dultuh is 4-0. Not the toughtest NCHC schedule yet but they did beat Denver.

UND. Blanked and thrashed the two shitty teams they played. Then split with Denver(the other big dog with them and Duluth).

I think we can play with anyone in the NCHC. But thats because I think we are really strong all around. Not because of anything negative the top of the NCHC has shown.
"We'll see" is bold? It is my early hot take based on how much better Gophs look. I should have put Denver (1-3) in instead of StC...
 

MUgopher32

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"We'll see" is bold? It is my early hot take based on how much better Gophs look. I should have put Denver (1-3) in instead of StC...

No saying they "look unimpressive early" was a bit bold.

Figured that was kinda obvious when I then went on to explain how thus far none of the 3 have really been unimpressive.

Even if you swap Denver for St. Coud. They are 1-3(1 being a 1 pt overtime game) with those losses all coming to the 3 teams you listed.

So, I'll say it again apparently more definitively. While I have seen nothing from the Gophers that tells me we cannot compete with these teams that is strictly because I think we are really good. Not because the NCHC top teams are "unimpressive" or overrated or anything of the sort.
 

PMWinSTP

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No saying they "look unimpressive early" was a bit bold.

Figured that was kinda obvious when I then went on to explain how thus far none of the 3 have really been unimpressive.

Even if you swap Denver for St. Coud. They are 1-3(1 being a 1 pt overtime game) with those losses all coming to the 3 teams you listed.

So, I'll say it again apparently more definitively. While I have seen nothing from the Gophers that tells me we cannot compete with these teams that is strictly because I think we are really good. Not because the NCHC top teams are "unimpressive" or overrated or anything of the sort.
Maybe a clearer way for me to say it is nothing those teams have done so far (it's early) has impressed me. The Gophs have definitely impressed me.
 

bonin21

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The probability that UND would curb stomp the Gophers is still higher than vice versa. But that middle probability range where either team can win has gotten way bigger this season.
 

bonin21

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4 zip Gophers less than halfway through the game

Thank the lord we dumped Nanne and Zuhlsdorf for Koster and Faber
 

LesBolstad

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Anyone know the Gopher record for wins w/o a tie to start a season? Are we close?
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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4 zip Gophers less than halfway through the game

Thank the lord we dumped Nanne and Zuhlsdorf for Koster and Faber
I know that you know this, but I'll mention it for others that don't watch the games. There's more to it than addition by subtraction. Reedy is on a whole different level so far this year. Meyers, Nelson, Ranta, and LaCombe have made big strides IMO. The teams' intensity is noticably higher and appears to be infectious.

As good as it's been, I can't wait for Walker, Brodzinski, and McLaughlin to really take off. Maybe they've been really good, too, but I just haven't noticed if they have.
 

Gophers1992

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I know that you know this, but I'll mention it for others that don't watch the games. There's more to it than addition by subtraction. Reedy is on a whole different level so far this year. Meyers, Nelson, Ranta, and LaCombe have made big strides IMO. The teams' intensity is noticably higher and appears to be infectious.

As good as it's been, I can't wait for Walker, Brodzinski, and McLaughlin to really take off. Maybe they've been really good, too, but I just haven't noticed if they have.
Well said. Noticeable improvement from Perbix too IMO, as well as some already solid guys last year taking another step like Johnson.
 

bonin21

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Player improvement/development should be expected at any contending school. I'll stick to my assessment that trading those two D for the two we got is the biggest factor.
 

stocker08

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Well thats a bit bold.

First off Cloud was unranked coming into the year and due to being 3-0 are now 13th. So if anything they are overachieving in a small sample

Dultuh is 4-0. Not the toughtest NCHC schedule yet but they did beat Denver.

UND. Blanked and thrashed the two shitty teams they played. Then split with Denver(the other big dog with them and Duluth).

I think we can play with anyone in the NCHC. But thats because I think we are really strong all around. Not because of anything negative the top of the NCHC has shown.

St. Cloud beat Denver too.
 

bonin21

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8-0. First 8-0 start since 87-88.

10 game win streak back to last year. Longest since 95-96 (11 games). Have only trailed for less than FIVE MINUTES in ten games. Haven't trailed a second this year.
 

#2Gopher

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Nice to get that shut out tonight. Clearly could see that Gophers were making sure of that.
 
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