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Fighting Sioux 23
01-13-2013, 11:16 AM
As for this series, it is definitely one of the top 3-4 series of the year for me. This year, these two squads are both loaded with talent and championship contenders. Home ice will be big for Minnesota, as North Dakota has struggled on the big ice sheet this season, losing to Alaska, SCSU, Notre Dame (200x90), and CC, going 3-4-0 on the road on the big ice. Conversely, the Gophers are 15-2-3 on the big ice (Vermont 200x90) and 11-1-1 at home. Minnesota also appears to be playing better hockey than North Dakota at the moment, especially after destroying Notre Dame and BC in the last couple weeks. North Dakota has struggled in their last 3 games, but did manage to win 2 of them. I would imagine a very physical series, yet clean series, as both teams are in the bottom half in penalty minutes, but have plenty of bruisers throughout each lineup.

My breakdown:

Offense: Push

North Dakota has the better top end scoring, featuring Danny Kristo and Corban Knight, each of whom are in the top 3 nationally scoring. However, Minnesota has more depth, and can certainly match North Dakota's talent player for player and line for line. Minnesota currently has the top goals/game in college hockey at 3.82, but North Dakota is no slouch there either, putting up an average of 3.45 goals/game. In conference, North Dakota averages a league best 3.71 goals/game, while Minnesota notches a solid 3.36 goals/game against WCHA foes.

Defense: Slight Edge Minnesota

The Gophers have a very strong blue line, featuring a mix of 8 players that can start on any given day. Their depth and quality have paid dividends, as Minnesota has allowed only 1.82 goals/game. North Dakota has a strong group as well, featuring 7 players that can start on any given day. However, UND has allowed an average of 2.50 goals/game. Both teams are susceptible to getting caught up ice and making defensive miscues. In WCHA play, Minnesota allows only 2.42 goals/game, while North Dakota allows only 2.64 goals/game. Both teams have very strong blue lines, and both teams' blue lines are capable of lighting the lamp. Minnesota's 8 blue liners have combined for 59 points (10-49-59), while North Dakota's 7 blue liners have combined for 60 points (13-47-60). All together, it is a very close matchup, but I give the slight edge to Minnesota for their overall numbers.

Goaltending: Slight Edge Minnesota

Adam Wilcox has been phenomenal thus far this season. Overall, he leads the WCHA with a 1.65 GAA. However, he has been far more human in conference play, posting a 2.13 GAA. Meanwhile, Clarke Saunders has done a solid job in net for North Dakota, posting a 2.28 GAA overall and 2.69 GAA in conference games. It might seem that Minnesota has a clear edge here, but when comparing Save % numbers (arguably more indicative of how good a goalie is than GAA), Saunders has a .911 save % in WCHA play compared to Wilcox's .903. Overall, Wilcox has a .925 save % compared to Saunders .919. However, it can be argued that Saunders has faced more difficult competition than Wilcox (North Dakota has the 12th most difficult SOS compared to the Gophers 26th according to KRACH). Both goalies have been prone to the occasional softie, but at this point in the season, I feel that Wilcox has been just slightly more consistent in net than Saunders, thus the slight edge to the Gophers.

Special Teams: Edge Minnesota

The Gophers have the 2nd best Powerplay (25%) and 6th best PK (90.5%). North Dakota has the 13th best Powerplay (21.11%) and 37th ranked PK (81.7%). While UND's powerplay numbers have improved over the past two weekends, Minnesota has arguably the best special teams in all of college hockey. In this area, the Gophers have a decided advantage. The caveat here is that neither team takes all that many penalties. However, in what should be a tight game, special teams will likely make a big difference.

Intangibles: Edge Minnesota

As stated above, Minnesota dominates on the big ice, while North Dakota struggles. If this series were in Grand Forks as opposed to Mariucci, I would be inclined to say a big edge exists for North Dakota (the Gophers have only played 2 games on NHL ice going 1-1-0 against Michigan Tech). It will certainly be a big series for both teams, as each looks to gain ground on the other in the race for the MacNaughton, but it is difficult to come to any other conclusion than Minnesota has a big edge at home over North Dakota. Further, Minnesota has played very well of late (minus the game on Friday), and has beaten some very difficult competition in the last few weeks.

Series Prediction:

The games will be close. I certainly don't see either game getting out of control. Both teams are very talented, and if the series were played at the Ralph, I might be inclined to give North Dakota the edge. However, it is at Mariucci, and this just might be the Gophers year to win a whole lot of hardware. Minnesota sweeps 4-3, 5-3.

Siouxfaninseattle
01-13-2013, 11:38 AM
JFC, its January and Hak is still trying to figure out line combinations, what goalie to play, and moving defensemen to forward. I think getting out of town without any injuries is the best we can hope for. 8-0 Friday and 12-1 on Saturday for minny.

Armadillo
01-13-2013, 11:46 AM
Gophers 14-0 Friday, 26-2 Saturday. The two goals are scored when Lucia decides not to risk injury, and sends out six ACTUAL gophers with little sticks taped to them.

GopherFan89
01-13-2013, 12:12 PM
Gophers 14-0 Friday, 26-2 Saturday. The two goals are scored when Lucia decides not to risk injury, and sends out six ACTUAL gophers with little sticks taped to them.

Just got a dirty look from some guy in Barnes and Noble for laughing loudly at this.

cross cheque
01-13-2013, 12:15 PM
tArrogance is swelling in here.

burd
01-13-2013, 12:35 PM
As for this series, it is definitely one of the top 3-4 series of the year for me. This year, these two squads are both loaded with talent and championship contenders. Home ice will be big for Minnesota, as North Dakota has struggled on the big ice sheet this season, losing to Alaska, SCSU, Notre Dame (200x90), and CC, going 3-4-0 on the road on the big ice. Conversely, the Gophers are 15-2-3 on the big ice (Vermont 200x90) and 11-1-1 at home. Minnesota also appears to be playing better hockey than North Dakota at the moment, especially after destroying Notre Dame and BC in the last couple weeks. North Dakota has struggled in their last 3 games, but did manage to win 2 of them. I would imagine a very physical series, yet clean series, as both teams are in the bottom half in penalty minutes, but have plenty of bruisers throughout each lineup.

My breakdown:

Offense: Push

North Dakota has the better top end scoring, featuring Danny Kristo and Corban Knight, each of whom are in the top 3 nationally scoring. However, Minnesota has more depth, and can certainly match North Dakota's talent player for player and line for line. Minnesota currently has the top goals/game in college hockey at 3.82, but North Dakota is no slouch there either, putting up an average of 3.45 goals/game. In conference, North Dakota averages a league best 3.71 goals/game, while Minnesota notches a solid 3.36 goals/game against WCHA foes.

Defense: Slight Edge Minnesota

The Gophers have a very strong blue line, featuring a mix of 8 players that can start on any given day. Their depth and quality have paid dividends, as Minnesota has allowed only 1.82 goals/game. North Dakota has a strong group as well, featuring 7 players that can start on any given day. However, UND has allowed an average of 2.50 goals/game. Both teams are susceptible to getting caught up ice and making defensive miscues. In WCHA play, Minnesota allows only 2.42 goals/game, while North Dakota allows only 2.64 goals/game. Both teams have very strong blue lines, and both teams' blue lines are capable of lighting the lamp. Minnesota's 8 blue liners have combined for 59 points (10-49-59), while North Dakota's 7 blue liners have combined for 60 points (13-47-60). All together, it is a very close matchup, but I give the slight edge to Minnesota for their overall numbers.

Goaltending: Slight Edge Minnesota

Adam Wilcox has been phenomenal thus far this season. Overall, he leads the WCHA with a 1.65 GAA. However, he has been far more human in conference play, posting a 2.13 GAA. Meanwhile, Clarke Saunders has done a solid job in net for North Dakota, posting a 2.28 GAA overall and 2.69 GAA in conference games. It might seem that Minnesota has a clear edge here, but when comparing Save % numbers (arguably more indicative of how good a goalie is than GAA), Saunders has a .911 save % in WCHA play compared to Wilcox's .903. Overall, Wilcox has a .925 save % compared to Saunders .919. However, it can be argued that Saunders has faced more difficult competition than Wilcox (North Dakota has the 12th most difficult SOS compared to the Gophers 26th according to KRACH). Both goalies have been prone to the occasional softie, but at this point in the season, I feel that Wilcox has been just slightly more consistent in net than Saunders, thus the slight edge to the Gophers.

Special Teams: Edge Minnesota

The Gophers have the 2nd best Powerplay (25%) and 6th best PK (90.5%). North Dakota has the 13th best Powerplay (21.11%) and 37th ranked PK (81.7%). While UND's powerplay numbers have improved over the past two weekends, Minnesota has arguably the best special teams in all of college hockey. In this area, the Gophers have a decided advantage. The caveat here is that neither team takes all that many penalties. However, in what should be a tight game, special teams will likely make a big difference.

Intangibles: Edge Minnesota

As stated above, Minnesota dominates on the big ice, while North Dakota struggles. If this series were in Grand Forks as opposed to Mariucci, I would be inclined to say a big edge exists for North Dakota (the Gophers have only played 2 games on NHL ice going 1-1-0 against Michigan Tech). It will certainly be a big series for both teams, as each looks to gain ground on the other in the race for the MacNaughton, but it is difficult to come to any other conclusion than Minnesota has a big edge at home over North Dakota. Further, Minnesota has played very well of late (minus the game on Friday), and has beaten some very difficult competition in the last few weeks.

Series Prediction:

The games will be close. I certainly don't see either game getting out of control. Both teams are very talented, and if the series were played at the Ralph, I might be inclined to give North Dakota the edge. However, it is at Mariucci, and this just might be the Gophers year to win a whole lot of hardware. Minnesota sweeps 4-3, 5-3.

Tradition: Edge North Dakota

Fighting Sioux 23
01-13-2013, 12:37 PM
Tradition: Edge North Dakota

:p:D:D Oh boy...

state of hockey
01-13-2013, 12:37 PM
Tradition of Goonery: Edge North Dakota

Fyp.

Check mark!

cross cheque
01-13-2013, 12:48 PM
Tradition: Edge North Dakota

I'm pretty sure JDUMBBS is suspended(self imposed or otherwise) and thank god after that comment, talk about pulling the derail switch on the tracks sheeeeesh!

burd
01-13-2013, 12:49 PM
You call it goonery. We see guys who won't back down from a handshake.

Driftryder
01-13-2013, 12:59 PM
I think whether or not Haula is healthy and in the lineup will be the determining factor in who brings home the most pts this weekend.



Lucia wasn’t confident if Haula will be back in the lineup next weekend against North Dakota and the Finnish forward will likely test his injury in practice and may be a game-time decision.

Gophernation
01-13-2013, 01:11 PM
[QUOTE=burd;5597488]You call it goonery. We see guys who won't back down from a handshake.[
OK maybe if your goon wouldn't have pulled the smallest guy out, what a p#$<y. If he would have pulled out helgy, let's go.

icehawk
01-13-2013, 01:29 PM
[QUOTE=burd;5597488]You call it goonery. We see guys who won't back down from a handshake.[
OK maybe if your goon wouldn't have pulled the smallest guy out, what a p#$<y. If he would have pulled out helgy, let's go.Yes Rau is.;)

icehawk
01-13-2013, 01:31 PM
If your the Gophers just get your spilt and avoid any major injuries. Both teams are going to the NCAA's. I hate watching North Dakota play hockey. Dirtiest team in college hockey every year and its not even close. North Dakota fans will say its "old time hockey", but anytime you punch or slash after the whistle it should be a penalty - Period

PS: The Gophers should also be called for penalties if they chose to play that "after the whistle" North Dakota BSYou said the same crap on another site and this series is the only time you go there too.

willythekid
01-13-2013, 02:11 PM
Fyp.

Check mark!

do you need tissue also?

willythekid
01-13-2013, 02:12 PM
[QUOTE=burd;5597488]You call it goonery. We see guys who won't back down from a handshake.[
OK maybe if your goon wouldn't have pulled the smallest guy out, what a p#$<y. If he would have pulled out helgy, let's go.

you need a tissue...

state of hockey
01-13-2013, 02:23 PM
do you need tissue also?

Sure. My nose has been a bit runny lately. I think it just the rapid drop in temperature, as well as going in and out a lot over the last few days. Thanks for asking!

Fighting Sioux 23
01-13-2013, 02:41 PM
Sure. My nose has been a bit runny lately. I think it just the rapid drop in temperature, as well as going in and out a lot over the last few days. Thanks for asking!

North Dakota nice > Minnesota nice :p:D:D

vizoroo
01-13-2013, 03:01 PM
Gophers 14-0 Friday, 26-2 Saturday. The two goals are scored when Lucia decides not to risk injury, and sends out six ACTUAL gophers with little sticks taped to them.
:p:D

MavHockey14
01-13-2013, 04:08 PM
Take it to those stinkin' rodents. I am trying to make a trip to Minneapolis for Friday night.