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Thread: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    I would be shocked if UM swept ...
    Minnesota has swept better Wisconsin teams than that one that it will host this weekend. The Badgers have swept better Gopher teams than the one they'll see this weekend. Because UM looks ready to beat itself at any time, and Bucky hasn't learned how to lose yet this season, I'll say that the latter is more likely this time than the former, but the smart money is on some kind of split.
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    As for Agnew, I don't know what to think. Is she another like Nina Rodgers who isn't a natural fit for UM's systems? I hope she finds a niche soon, or I don't seen how she winds up on the top three lines next year.

    Agree with Eeyore on #12. Listening to Friday's audio, she was mostly absent, and yesterday, I could see why. It's tough being a freshman in the WCHA. When Keller or Schammel get the puck, it seems like they are always a zone ahead of their linemates, and the backcheck catches up before puck support does.
    For whatever line combinations have been tried this year there has been very little that have had chemistry. I don't recall seeing it but maybe I have just missed it but has Wente been put on a line with Zoom Boom? Skarzinki on the other wing? Wente and Zoom Boom have played together on the U18 team.

  3. #263
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by upfromtheminors View Post
    Well aware the schedule is different, UW has 38 goals through 10 games this year as opposed to 34 last year. By the way that "firepower" got UW one point in the Frozen Four last year!
    All I ever want is to get to the FF and the chips will fall where they will fall. All that firepower didn't struggle mightily to get flow going against Kato and BSU for 3 1/2 periods. That was some scary stuff to watch.

    I do really like your measuring stick comment in regards to next year. Neat way to look at it.
    Wisconsin Hockey: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 WE WANT MORE!
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    Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    This weekend was the first time that Grace Zumwinkle looked like a freshman, which is a way of saying that she's been very good to date.
    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    Agree with Eeyore on #12. Listening to Friday's audio, she was mostly absent, and yesterday, I could see why. It's tough being a freshman in the WCHA. When Keller or Schammel get the puck, it seems like they are always a zone ahead of their linemates, and the backcheck catches up before puck support does.
    Double second to both of these.

    She has very, very obviously apparent potential.

    But she is currently a long way from being a good WCHA player.

    I am in the camp of those that think that there is absolutely no way that she will not become that good WCHA player. She just is not there yet.
    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FiveHoleFrenzy View Post
    I don't recall seeing it but maybe I have just missed it but has Wente been put on a line with Zoom Boom?
    Wasn’t Wente centering her last Friday, at least part of the game? Keller on the other wing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    You didn't look me up and say hi? I always did behind the opposing team bench right on the glass
    For some reason I thought you sit behind the goalie, there were a few guys there yelling sieve once the Badgers scored, thought one might be you, but no
    Really folks, we should forgive Al Franken, that is one hot babe, how could he resist grabbin' her? .... maybe if he'd have remembered he's married?

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pokechecker View Post
    Wasn’t Wente centering her last Friday, at least part of the game? Keller on the other wing?
    Didn't witness the games in Duluth if that's what you referring to so I'd have to rely on what others saw.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pokechecker View Post
    Wasn’t Wente centering her last Friday, at least part of the game? Keller on the other wing?
    You are correct, one of the lines Friday was Wente centering Zumwinkle and Keller.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Not a whole lot to be encouraged about from today's game. Peters had one of her bad days; the third goal was really soft, and she had trouble controlling and freezing the puck all game. The defense continues to look lost in transition, in defensive zone coverage, and trying to breakout. Most of the forwards did little to stand out.

    Kippen Keller was fabulous, creating the first goal with hustle to negate an icing and then finding Agnew with a pass from below the goal line (though the Badger defense probably won't want to watch the film either of Keller working free down there or of Agnew finding so much empty space). They kept trying to repeat the play of finding her behind the defense with a long breakout pass well past the point of overuse, generally resulting in handing the puck back to Wisconsin in the neutral zone. Keller remains one of the few diligent backcheckers.

    Sophie Skarzynski had another good game, though her goal was really a gift from Campbell. I'm being won over to the idea of her being a forward, which probably means that she'll be back playing defense next week.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    Not a whole lot to be encouraged about from today's game.
    Although after a very nervous and sluggish start the Gophers did start to play much better and actually outwork and outplay Wisconsin for much of the second and third periods. So for me that was encouraging. Going in to the game my expectations were relatively low, as compared to years' past. Overall talent-wise I think you have to give the Badgers a slight edge, but with a great effort I give the Gophers a good chance of getting a split in the rematch tomorrow.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    Kippen Keller was fabulous, creating the first goal with hustle to negate an icing and then finding Agnew with a pass from below the goal line (though the Badger defense probably won't want to watch the film either of Keller working free down there or of Agnew finding so much empty space).
    It was actually a shot off of Campbell's pads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    Sophie Skarzynski had another good game, though her goal was really a gift from Campbell.
    You're not being fair to Sophie or Campbell. It was a one-timed shot off of a pass across the ice that went in just under the bar. There's a reason teams try to get goalies moving side to side -- it's a lot harder for them to stop every shot when they aren't set. She also had to worry about another forward (Wente?) coming down the middle who could have conceivably received the pass. The surprise for me wasn't that Campbell didn't stop it, but that a converted D/F/D/F/D could put the shot where she did.
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    You're not being fair to Sophie or Campbell. It was a one-timed shot off of a pass across the ice that went in just under the bar. There's a reason teams try to get goalies moving side to side -- it's a lot harder for them to stop every shot when they aren't set. She also had to worry about another forward (Wente?) coming down the middle who could have conceivably received the pass. The surprise for me wasn't that Campbell didn't stop it, but that a converted D/F/D/F/D could put the shot where she did.
    I was at the other end of the ice, and didn't have as good a view of the shot, so I'll reassess. I thought Campbell reacted kind of strangely, with sort of a hop, which was the primary basis for my statement.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Well, on the plus side they now sell Drew's popcorn not only at Mariucci but at Ridder Arena as well. And even the hot chocolate seems to be improving.

    Despite losing both games I feel the Gophers are definitely improving from their first few games of the season. They played hard today, but some of the players seemed to run out of gas in the 3rd period. Didn't notice the 4th line out there at all.

    A fluky goal yesterday and one today in overtime were the difference. They were both fun games to watch. Hopefully, like the hot chocolate and the players the referees will also improve at least somewhat as the season progresses. They certainly have room for it.
    Last edited by bluffrinkrat; 10-29-2017 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Miss Langer's English class

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bluffrinkrat View Post
    A fluky goal yesterday and one today in overtime were the difference.
    Although when you're able to keep the puck in your opponent's end for such long stretches of time, "fluky goals" are sure to materialize eventually. But at least both winning goals for the Badgers today were pretty plays that would have been scored against most every team. I would, however, love to see a replay as to how each 2 on 1 materialized...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluffrinkrat View Post
    They were both fun games to watch.
    Not so much for me. Yes, the games were fast and exciting, but at the same time I found myself continually frustrated. Credit Wisconsin for their consistent and aggressive forecheck, which kept the Gophers pinned into their own zone for long stretches, forcing icing as the only option to relieve Wisconsin's pressure.

    If the Gophers hope to respond and compete for the WCHA title, major improvement in all facets of their game will be needed. If they are not able to rise to the challenge, we'll have to look forward to next year when talented help arrives.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    I would, however, love to see a replay as to how each 2 on 1 materialized...
    There are gifs at the Badger WH twitter page that show them, although they may not start as early as you might want.

    https://twitter.com/BadgerWHockey

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by robertearle View Post
    There are gifs at the Badger WH twitter page that show them, although they may not start as early as you might want.

    https://twitter.com/BadgerWHockey
    Sorry I asked...
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    I was a lot more pleased with the game today than the one yesterday. There were stretches where the Gophers demonstrated an ability to break the Wisconsin forecheck by keeping the puck moving with short, crisp passes. Yeah, there were other times when they brought the puck to a halt, allowing the Badgers to swarm, or just tried to fling the puck down the ice. A young team is going to have problems with that forecheck, but I liked that there was some progress from yesterday.

    There were long stretches where they couldn't get control of the puck in their own end, but they did a good job of not letting Wisconsin turn that possession into scoring chances. Some of that is due to the extremely risk averse way that Wisconsin plays, but they did the same thing in the first game last weekend in Duluth. Last year, a lot of the defensive zone coverage was prone to bad breakdowns, but there's less of that this year.

    The way Wisconsin scored their two goals obscures the fact that the transition defense was a lot better today that it frequently has been. The first goal was kind of a fluky play, where Agnew whiffed on an attempted pass back to the defense, springing Cogan and Mauermann to come in against Katie Robinson and her one good ankle. The second came in overtime of a game in which Minnesota played 4 1/2 defensemen, so it's not terribly surprising that something went wrong. The hustle to catch up to Wellhausen wasn't really there, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference.

    Caitlin Reilly was fantastic today. She backchecked hard. She had several good chances that she couldn't convert, including one right at the start of the second period. The one thing that I've noticed is that the puck ends up in her skates a lot. At least three times today, a good scoring chance failed to develop because she had to stop and try to recontrol the puck. I have no idea whether these are bad passes, whether she has an issue with how she tries to receive them, or are just bad luck. It has become noticeable, though.

    Skarzynski stood out in a positive way again. One thing she's very good at, and it's not something I would necessarily have expected out of a convert from defense, is that when the Gophers are in the middle of a change and she carries the puck in by herself, she is adept at keeping control of it and having it in a useful position when the rest of the line gets out there.

    We need to start chants of, "Go, Kippin, go!"

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    The way Wisconsin scored their two goals obscures the fact that the transition defense was a lot better today that it frequently has been. The first goal was kind of a fluky play, where Agnew whiffed on an attempted pass back to the defense, springing Cogan and Mauermann to come in against Katie Robinson and her one good ankle. The second came in overtime of a game in which Minnesota played 4 1/2 defensemen, so it's not terribly surprising that something went wrong. The hustle to catch up to Wellhausen wasn't really there, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference.
    Yeah, on the first goal Agnew tried to pass back to Marshall who wasn't there because Patti had just decided to skate after the puck herself. A typical play for this team being a little out of sync with each other. And I agree you can't really blame Agnew or Marshall.

    Neither Knowles nor Woken hustled back after Wellhausen on the game winner. Yesterday I was upset with Woken because I thought she had been particularly poor in the defensive zone the second half of the game if not all day. Lackadaisical and not working to convert opportunities to get the puck out of the zone. Today I've backed off a bit and decided to leave Woken to the coaches for now She's been looking promising lately.

    The whole team ended the day looking shell shocked by Wisconsin's relentlessness and forecheck. Eventually, they were afraid to make passes in their own zone that appeared to be there and it turned into a bit of a mess. Piazza finally got fed up and made some real hard digs in the corner to get the puck which was nice to see.

    But all in all I thought the Gophers worked hard and showed improvement as a team. We could have won either game. In addition to Reilly, Keller, and Skarzynski, I liked Marshall quite a bit and I'm really enjoying watching Emily Brown play. I thought Zumwinkle showed some spark yesterday beyond the goal she scored.

    We really need to go on a winning streak now so the team and the fans can feel like they really are getting better. And now that the competition lightens a little maybe we start alternating goalies again.

  18. #278
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KTDC View Post
    Eventually, they were afraid to make passes in their own zone that appeared to be there and it turned into a bit of a mess.
    At this stage of their evolution, they aren't a very good passing team. Part of that is playing Wisconsin, where the slightest bobble or hesitation can produce a turnover, but they haven't passed well all season. I thought that problem started to manifest last year, although they had their games, or at least shifts, where they could zip the puck around effectively.

    The other option is that the coaches may need to come up with a different scheme for breaking out against Wisconsin, because either the kids weren't executing it effectively in the second period, or it just wasn't going to work. There seemed to be a lot of reliance on the wing on the wall handling the puck perfectly just so that she could try to get it past the Badgers' point with no real option for a pass. If they passed into the middle and fumbled the puck, a prime scoring chance against was going to result. So Wisconsin was able to come really hard, and if Minnesota beat the pressure, Wisconsin still usually got possession at neutral ice.

    One bit of a relief from the series is that none of Wisconsin's freshmen were dominant. They were all good players, and I'm sure they'll cause us plenty of headaches over the next four years, but I didn't see a Knight, Duggan, or Decker type who really stood out. Much of the improvement looked to come from their sophomores.

    The best part about a weekend like this is the Gophers got better from the start of the series to the end. Apply the lessons correctly, and perhaps we'll have a chance to be a factor by WCHA Tournament time.
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    The other option is that the coaches may need to come up with a different scheme for breaking out against Wisconsin, because either the kids weren't executing it effectively in the second period, or it just wasn't going to work.
    Not a stat anyone keeps track of, but I wonder what the team record is for most icings in one game? With Wisconsin pinning them in for long stretches at a time, the Gophers seemed to have no other option but to ice the puck in order to relieve the pressure. To the Gophers credit they did do a good job of keeping the puck to the outside, and in the process keeping Wisconsin's prime scoring chances to a minimum. Both Badger goals came on perfectly executed 2 on 1's as opposed to those long stretches of offensive zone pressure.

    I do agree that the coaches need to come up with a couple of variations in their breakout. To my eyes it has become too predictable, so I hope it's something they really work on this week in practice.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gophers 2017-18 Season Thread

    Mankato this year has 9 players with a positive +/- and 9 players with a negative +/-. Not the usual stat from them this far into the season. And take away power plays they have given up only one more goal than they have scored. On power plays the only difference is shooting percentage. They have had 25 power plays and 25 attempted kills. They have scored on 2 of 32 PP shots, and been scored in 6 of 32 PK shots.
    So we need to be ready for these guys!

    Gophers are shooting over 10% And scoring at a higher percentage than their opponents. After last year that's a good sign. Our SOG per game margin is only 3.6. But that was obviously hurt by the last two weeks v UW and UMD. Lots of people are scoring and IMHO our passing in the offensive zone is actually showing signs of improvement. I would love to see Sydney Baldwin pass to somebody once she crosses center ice on one of her rushes at least one time before she graduates! Woken is shooting .029 (1 of 35). That's a big problem for the team. We need a little more from her. Zumwinkle as well. She is shooting .111 on 5 for 45 shots. But considering she has 5 power play goals that means she could use some even strength production! For me, I'm not as concerned with Grace as with Alex. So here's to Alex for her to start turning her chances into goals!!!

    Go Gophers!

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