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brookyone
09-23-2015, 04:36 PM
Yeah...about time.

Edit: I was initially concerned with the quality of the Whitecaps exhibition game with such a dearth of information regarding the team...a few weeks ago. Now with more / current info regarding the roster and who might lineup vs. the 2015-2016 Gophers...well, it impresses me as one of the better opponents they could have to get things started.

ne7minder
09-23-2015, 06:11 PM
Yeah...about time.

Edit: I was initially concerned with the quality of the Whitecaps exhibition game with such a dearth of information regarding the team...a few weeks ago. Now with more / current info regarding the roster and who might lineup vs. the 2015-2016 Gophers...well, it impresses me as one of the better opponents they could have to get things started.

Word is Nora Ratty will be in net so it will be the toughest challenge to score they will see this year. A lot of other D-I studs so not a pushover. The only concern is for the Gophers safety as the Lamers will be on the ice so injuries are a potential

pokechecker
09-23-2015, 09:02 PM
Word is Nora Ratty will be in net so it will be the toughest challenge to score they will see this year. A lot of other D-I studs so not a pushover. The only concern is for the Gophers safety as the Lamers will be on the ice so injuries are a potential

I count 4 Olympians among the blueliners on the roster, plus some with stellar college careers

the forwards ain't bad either

D2D
09-23-2015, 09:46 PM
I count 4 Olympians among the blueliners on the roster, plus some with stellar college careers

the forwards ain't bad either
This exhibition game promises to be very interesting. Based on talent and experience alone, you would think the Whitecaps would have the edge. But as I postulated in another post, the key to the outcome might be what kind of "skating shape" those older and more experienced players are in. That, and how many practices have they had with the same players/line combinations that will suit up for this game?

In any case, I'm looking forward to getting back to Ridder! :)

pokechecker
09-24-2015, 07:44 AM
For those of you who have speculated on Gopher line combinations, Frost tipped his hand in the news conference. When a coach uses the words “creative” & “sees the ice well” that’s an indicator of a center. In addition, in answer to a question, Potomak and Brandt will not be on the same line, a further indicator that Potomak will be a center for the Gophers. He has used the same words to describe Pannek, and besides, Piazza looked like a potential All-American forward at center last year, I’m guessing we will see Potomak bookended by Piazza & Schipper (a speed line and potential force offensively), with Pannek centering the other line. I have never seen Williamson play, but he mentioned her as contributing right away so she sounds like one of the other forwards, and my guess for the other is Garzone who has been Frost’s go-fer Gopher for 3 seasons. She would add the experience and defense to the other two.

Further, Frost mentioned Potomak playing with Brandt in situations other than even strength. Will Pannek, like Cameranesi, be "demoted" to the 2nd PP unit after her freshman season with Potomak on the 1st unit or will McMillen be “demoted” to the second unit as the quarterback/point? Perhaps both. If you guys can reference the “Who” then it should be OK for me to also use an old reference as well. Sandy Koufax had the stuff of greatness but lacked control of it. Once he gained control he became perhaps the most dominant pitcher in the history of baseball. I’ve always felt that Milica could easily be a 20 goal scorer if she had complete control of her wikid slap shot. Of all the Gophers, she’s the one I’d most like to see turn pro. She could be the darling of the home team, scoring goals and lining up the other team’s star for a hit, and delivering. And be booed by the opposing team’s fans as the “bad boy”. The pros need a player like her to add some fan drama & excitement.

TonyTheTiger20
09-24-2015, 08:40 AM
Ha -- quality thread title

ARM
09-24-2015, 09:43 AM
Will Pannek, like Cameranesi, be "demoted" to the 2nd PP unit after her freshman season with Potomak on the 1st unit or will McMillen be “demoted” to the second unit as the quarterback/point?My guess would be that Pannek stays with Brandt. That PP unit isn't too different than the one Darwitz ran 10+ years ago or Kessel did more recently, and it has had a second right-handed shot down low in the spot Pannek was last year. Ramsey has to be replaced on top, and as you say, that figures to be either McMillen or Stecklein (I think it makes sense to keep Lee on the second unit where she can be the steadying influence that Brandt provides on the top PP), with Baldwin getting added to the PP mix this year. The other unit has a greater presence of left-handed forwards, and Bona needs to be replaced. That is where I'd put Potomak, with Cameranesi in the equivalent spot that Pannek holds in the Brandt unit.

FiveHoleFrenzy
09-24-2015, 09:51 AM
For those of you who have speculated on Gopher line combinations, Frost tipped his hand in the news conference. When a coach uses the words “creative” & “sees the ice well” that’s an indicator of a center. In addition, in answer to a question, Potomak and Brandt will not be on the same line, a further indicator that Potomak will be a center for the Gophers. He has used the same words to describe Pannek, and besides, Piazza looked like a potential All-American forward at center last year, I’m guessing we will see Potomak bookended by Piazza & Schipper (a speed line and potential force offensively), with Pannek centering the other line. I have never seen Williamson play, but he mentioned her as contributing right away so she sounds like one of the other forwards, and my guess for the other is Garzone who has been Frost’s go-fer Gopher for 3 seasons. She would add the experience and defense to the other two.

Further, Frost mentioned Potomak playing with Brandt in situations other than even strength. Will Pannek, like Cameranesi, be "demoted" to the 2nd PP unit after her freshman season with Potomak on the 1st unit or will McMillen be “demoted” to the second unit as the quarterback/point? Perhaps both. If you guys can reference the “Who” then it should be OK for me to also use an old reference as well. Sandy Koufax had the stuff of greatness but lacked control of it. Once he gained control he became perhaps the most dominant pitcher in the history of baseball. I’ve always felt that Milica could easily be a 20 goal scorer if she had complete control of her wikid slap shot. Of all the Gophers, she’s the one I’d most like to see turn pro. She could be the darling of the home team, scoring goals and lining up the other team’s star for a hit, and delivering. And be booed by the opposing team’s fans as the “bad boy”. The pros need a player like her to add some fan drama & excitement.

I think you will like what you see of Willamson. Minnesota has 8 (9 if Schammel was eligible) forwards capable of filling the top two lines. Nice problem to have. They also have a lot of lineup flexibility with players who can play either defense or forward.

pokechecker
09-24-2015, 11:44 AM
My guess would be that Pannek stays with Brandt. That PP unit isn't too different than the one Darwitz ran 10+ years ago or Kessel did more recently, and it has had a second right-handed shot down low in the spot Pannek was last year. Ramsey has to be replaced on top, and as you say, that figures to be either McMillen or Stecklein (I think it makes sense to keep Lee on the second unit where she can be the steadying influence that Brandt provides on the top PP), with Baldwin getting added to the PP mix this year. The other unit has a greater presence of left-handed forwards, and Bona needs to be replaced. That is where I'd put Potomak, with Cameranesi in the equivalent spot that Pannek holds in the Brandt unit.

You might be right about Stecklein/McMillan, and the possibility of Baldwin filling that position. But one thing to keep in mind is that Stecklein’s shot improved over the year and she took a greater role offensively as the season went on. Judging by the late season, it would be my guess we’ll see more of that this year. Her shot contrasts with McMillen’s greatly.

Stecklein’s and Baldwin’s shot are both straight and low (good to deflect) while McMillen’s is a high fast curve ball (more likely to be deflected with your upper body!). But while Baldwin’s is a hard fastball that seems to say “get out of the way, I’m going in” Stecklein’s seems to be wrapped in a ribbon as a gift to forwards that says “tip me”, or at least at the beginning of the year anyway. As the season went on it definitely grew in height and looked to have maybe picked up speed as well. Note that all of her goals came later in the year while earlier it was a bunch of assists. It would be plug and play to simply fill in the role Ramsey played with Stecklein. McMillen did a great job of converting from the offside down low but was underutilized as the season went on IMO. But I guess when you have so much talent, there are only so many opportunities and roles to fill. Baldwin up top with McMillen down low again, I could see that, although I'm hoping to see her slap shot more this year.

Menefee fills the classic PP role of being near the goal occupying one of the D while also screening the goalie and having a quick shot. Who plays on which unit in which role will be one of the more interesting things to watch early in the season. Last season the two leading PP goal scorers were both on the second unit, which although I have not checked, I am guessing had a higher conversion rate, so it’s not like being on the second unit means it is second class.

ARM
09-24-2015, 12:04 PM
Stecklein and Baldwin both favor a wrist shot over the one-time slappers that McMillen takes. When she connects, #13 has the most deadly shot, but there is a fairly high percentage of whiffs as well. Stecklein doesn't make the eye-popping plays, but you get the sense that nothing bad is likely to happen when she's out there. Her decision making would be an asset to either unit.

pokechecker
09-24-2015, 04:57 PM
My guess would be that Pannek stays with Brandt. The other unit has a greater presence of left-handed forwards, and Bona needs to be replaced. That is where I'd put Potomak, with Cameranesi in the equivalent spot that Pannek holds in the Brandt unit.

Except that it appears Frost was saying Brandt & Potomak will be on the PP together. I guess that doesn’t preclude Pannek from staying with Brandt on the PP. It may mean that Potomak takes McMillen’s spot from last year which would free Milica up to take the point on the second unit, where she played 2 years ago.

If Potomak replaced Pannek, they would just run it on the other side. I’m pretty sure Brandt can handle that :), plus I am not as sure as you that it matters if that player is a lefty or a righty. I was thinking Pannek might move to the second unit to take Bona’s role (or to groom her to take Brandt’s spot next year, however you want to look at it). Maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention but I thought Cameranesi was in the equivalent spot as Pannek in the second unit last year, with Lorence being in Menefee’s and Schipper in McMillen’s, essentially mirroring the first unit. But then watching them pass and skate on the PP was effective at disorientating me into a zombie state until the red light went on.
It is an interesting topic with many possibilities. I guess we’ll see in a little over 24 hours.

D2D
09-24-2015, 05:02 PM
I would imagine that Skarzynski will also be given some PP opportunities?

ARM
09-24-2015, 05:45 PM
... plus I am not as sure as you that it matters if that player is a lefty or a righty...I'm just going by history. The person in the Darwitz or Kessel or Brandt spot has always been right handed. When they want to use a lefty to run the PP from the side boards, they run it from the other side as Davis or Bona did. The person in the Pannek spot has always been righthanded. Before Pannek it was Terry, before her it was Brandt, before that it was Erickson, and back in the day it was Stephens. One factor is when that person carries the puck to the net, she is in a much better position to get a shot off with a forehand than a lefty would be. Consider the goal that Pannek scored versus UW in the FF; a lefty would have had to try to coral the rebound and jam it in with her backhand. I'm sure they could tweak things if need be, but I don't think the first step will be to change things that have worked so well over the years.

You are correct that the second unit is just a mirror for the first, with the exception that they haven't always had a certain shot at the top of the umbrella, and the shot doesn't seem to matter as much for the net-front person. Yes, Cameranesi ended the season in the mirror image of Pannek's spot; I stated that poorly. They could put Potomak in McMillen's role (that's where Wendell played), but they still need a Bona replacement (or Brandt equivalent) on the other unit. While someone like Cameranesi, Menefee, or Piazza could go there, I think Potomak is the best fit. There are others that could fill the McMillen spot. Baldwin is my first choice because that is the second person most likely to be in a position to defend when the puck is turned over. Cameranesi could go there as well, as evidenced by Schipper playing that spot on the mirror unit.


I would imagine that Skarzynski will also be given some PP opportunities?Maybe not immediately. Baldwin didn't get many PP looks last year, while a D like Schleper got the chance from her first game on. Based on how Wolfe has come on, she may get an expanded role.

Because they have practiced so little to date, freshmen may not be in places tomorrow that they will occupy later in the season.

ne7minder
09-24-2015, 05:54 PM
Ramsey has to be replaced on top, and as you say, that figures to be either McMillen or Stecklein (I think it makes sense to keep Lee on the second unit where she can be the steadying influence that Brandt provides on the top PP

Of course it depends on the forwards and what works best for the unit but I'd put Lee out against the top PK unit am McMillan second. Mainly because of those wiffs you noted and some weaker choices on the blue line. I think she is more attackable and would hope #2PK was a step slower. But if you attack it would be wise not to miss as she can make you pay.

CrazyDave
09-24-2015, 06:12 PM
There are pictures floating around on Facebook and Twitter showing off the team's renovated locker room. Did not know about that work going on, though Frosty had hinted that it was about time to do so.

pokechecker
09-24-2015, 06:16 PM
The person in the Darwitz or Kessel or Brandt spot has always been right handed.
don't you think they may still have played that position if they were lefties, it was/is more because of their skill level than their handedness?
it seems to me as you pointed out, it depends more on the person down low, you'd want a righty on the left side low, and a lefty on the right side
if you can match that up high because they often flip positions, great, but that doesn't typically last for long

ARM
09-24-2015, 07:13 PM
Even when Brandt is in her normal position by the edge of the circle, it helps that she shoots righthanded. She has a better shooting angle when she attacks the net, and it is easier to feed Pannek while doing so. Brandt has enough talent that she could do the job on the "wrong" side, but this is the way it has been coached for more than a decade. I don't remember who was where before the Darwitz/Wendell era, so I can't say what happened before that.

brookyone
09-25-2015, 06:06 PM
Ahhh...the comfortable, cool confines of Ridder! Go Gophers!

FiveHoleFrenzy
09-25-2015, 08:22 PM
Ahhh...the comfortable, cool confines of Ridder! Go Gophers!

It is nice indeed...Interesting to see Potomak on the first line.

brookyone
09-25-2015, 08:29 PM
It is nice indeed...Interesting to see Potomak on the first line.
Hate to say I told ya so...

No #14 on the line chart tonight...from what I recall after a brief look.