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brookyone
09-28-2009, 07:15 PM
It's that time again...summer's over so it must be hockey season.

One unfortunate reality looms large for Minnesota IMO, after losing so many pts. to graduation and other circumstances beyond our control...Minnesota is without their top returning scorer (or one of, considering identical pts. for Emily West) in 2009-2010. A pretty significant hit to the team that I think I've mentioned a few times now, so I'll cease and desist with that remark. There's obviously opportunities for many on the roster to play larger roles this season...and a need for many to step into those roles successfully.

Up first is Syracuse. I'm really hoping there are no repeats of last seasons opener vs. another CHA team.

I don't recall a situation with three goaltenders in the past...when each / any of them could, and will battle for #1. A good situation for a team if everyone can be kept happy. Grogan was awesome as a frosh...Lura was solid each time out that I can recall...add Noora Räty to that duo, I think Gopher fans have to be happy with the potential at the goaltending position this season.

Anyway, I'm ready...and looking forward to see what Frosty has up his sleeve for lines...particularly at center, PP and PK units. Lotta new twists I'd expect. It'll be nice to see what Ludwigson, May, Horton do with the increased ice time. I thought they all played well when called upon last season.

I never saw Sam Downey play in high school. Anyone know if she centered a line?

Anyone catch the Maroon vs. Gold scrimmage? How'd that go?

GO GOPHERS!

ARM
09-28-2009, 10:59 PM
...and looking forward to see what Frosty has up his sleeve for lines...I expect that we'll see a few experiments before arriving at static line combinations, including a few auditions at center. Might take some trial and error to learn who handles all the requirements of the position (faceoffs, playmaking, defensive match ups, etc.) best.


Anyone catch the Maroon vs. Gold scrimmage? How'd that go?Gold won, 4-1. Players didn't necessarily play for the same color from period to period. Between that switching and no numbers on the jerseys, I could figure out who a given individual was, but it was tough to know who all 10 skaters were on the fly. We need some forwards to stand out. IMO, I thought a couple did last night, but we need more.

Remind me to be patient this season, because I think patience will be required.

Habs
09-29-2009, 03:10 AM
Gophers will be followed here in Finland now. You have two local players in roster and Gophers is not anymore just a funny name amomg others. Noora and Mira will join national team from 30th Oct to 7th Nov for 4Nations in Finland. They will fly back on 8th Nov. Next time they are with national team is MLP Nations Cup in Germany from 3rd to 11th Jan 2010. And finally Olympics 31 Jan to 25th Feb. They will be back in Minnesota for first qualification round in NCAA. Team Finland is having Olympic pre camp in Colorado Springs from 31 Jan to 7th Feb.

brookyone
09-29-2009, 04:37 AM
Gophers is not anymore just a funny name amomg others.

This shoulda been the thread title.

GHF
09-29-2009, 09:14 AM
Team Finland is having Olympic pre camp in Colorado Springs from 31 Jan to 7th Feb.

And playing Team USA at the Colorado Springs World Arena on Feb 4. I'll be there. :)

brookyone
09-30-2009, 05:38 AM
http://www.mndaily.com/2009/09/29/women%E2%80%99s-hockey-rely-new-talent

http://www.gophersports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=38864&SPID=3323&DB_OEM_ID=8400&ATCLID=204803852

gopher991
09-30-2009, 11:15 AM
From the Pioneer Press

http://www.twincities.com/gophers/ci_13446834?nclick_check=1

brookyone
09-30-2009, 05:43 PM
Series preview from Gophersports:

http://www.gophersports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=38864&SPID=3323&DB_OEM_ID=8400&ATCLID=204804479

A sudden flood of infotainment...must be getting close to game time.

D2D
09-30-2009, 06:13 PM
A sudden flood of infotainment...must be getting close to game time.

Yep, it's time to DROP THE PUCK!

ManBehindTheCurtain
09-30-2009, 09:07 PM
A sudden flood of infotainment...must be getting close to game time.Off season thread opened on April 19, 189 posts, approximately 1 per day.

New thread opened two days ago. Already, with this one, 10 posts.

Yup, must be getting close to game time.

Drop the puck.

oldfan
10-01-2009, 08:12 PM
Off season thread opened on April 19, 189 posts, approximately 1 per day.

New thread opened two days ago. Already, with this one, 10 posts.

Yup, must be getting close to game time.

Drop the puck.

23 hours and counting..... Couple speculations? Will we see all 3 goalies tomorrow or over the weekend? What will the lines look like. I predict West , Francis, and Erickson will start the game, after that, who knows. The Defense will hold the key to success. What say you?

D2D
10-01-2009, 09:27 PM
23 hours and counting..... Couple speculations? Will we see all 3 goalies tomorrow or over the weekend? What will the lines look like. I predict West , Francis, and Erickson will start the game, after that, who knows. The Defense will hold the key to success. What say you?

I would expect that he would give each gaolie, starting with Grogan, the opportunity to finish each of the first few games, barring the unusual (bad start, needing a change to motivate team, etc.). For the first few games, I would expect he would give each goalie an opportunity to show what they have, and then evaluate how each performed. If one of them starts out well but then falters, the other two will probably get their chance to shine.

I don't know about the starting forward line, but your guess is as good as any. All of his comments to date are focused on taking care of business in their defensive zone, and then creating opportunities from there and getting their scoring from turnovers, blocked shots, hard work and "gritty" play.

He is relying of a stout defense and great goalie play to lead to wins, which given their loss of scoring from last year's team is probably the right approach. They key, I think, will be for the forwards to take advantage of their opponent's mistakes (after minding their defensive responsibilities) and create some offensive pressure when given the opportunity.

ManBehindTheCurtain
10-02-2009, 10:46 AM
23 hours and counting..... Couple speculations? Will we see all 3 goalies tomorrow or over the weekend? What will the lines look like. I predict West , Francis, and Erickson will start the game, after that, who knows. The Defense will hold the key to success. What say you?At the end of last season Grogan had been advanced to number 1, sorta, I guess (Lura still seemed like at least no worse than 1A to me). New season, my guess is last year's number 1 opens at number 1. It is a little like last season when there were two established goalers in the program and a highly thought of newcomer. Last season the intent seemed to be to give each of the three two periods on the opening weekend. It might be the same this season but I still think Grogan probably gets the first start.

Lines? Only two returning centers, Erickson and Horton. Erickson was third line most of last season, occasionally second. Horton was almost always fourth. I guess that moves Erickson up to first line. Your guess as her wings looks solid to me, West and Francis are both veterans, proven performers, they deserve a look as top line wings. But where does Blankenship fit in then?

Ah, hockey. I guess we will all know pretty soon.

Drop the puck.

D2D
10-02-2009, 12:28 PM
Gophers Womens Hockey Preview in today's StarTribune:

U women lose goal scorers but maintain goal

http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/63195142.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUjc8LDyiUiD3aPc:_Yyc: aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

plus:

Gophers women at a glance

http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/63197487.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUjc8LDyiUiD3aPc:_Yyc: aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

ARM
10-02-2009, 12:40 PM
I guess that moves Erickson up to first line. Your guess as her wings looks solid to me, West and Francis are both veterans, proven performers, they deserve a look as top line wings. But where does Blankenship fit in then?While I'm sure we'll start with the top line that oldfan describes, I'd like to see a unit of Erickson between West and Blankenship at some point. I think that's our best bet for a pure speed line. Personally, I'd give Francis a try at center. She seems to have more of a center mentality than a lot of the other candidates.

If they stick with the same D pairs I saw Sunday night, then I'd expect 26/19, 22/8, 2/20.

In net ... maybe you play the two who have had the best week of practice and go from there. One of the three had a shakier couple of periods on Sunday, but I doubt you give that too much weight (you can't totally ignore it either.) One difference from last season is that you know going in that Räty is going to miss several weekends, so it may not be prudent to banish either of the other two to the bench too soon.

CrazyDave
10-02-2009, 02:09 PM
In net ... maybe you play the two who have had the best week of practice and go from there. One of the three had a shakier couple of periods on Sunday, but I doubt you give that too much weight (you can't totally ignore it either.) One difference from last season is that you know going in that Räty is going to miss several weekends, so it may not be prudent to banish either of the other two to the bench too soon.
I concur with that assessment. With Noora having so many Team Finland commitments (despite no centralization), I can't see making either Alyssa or Jenny the defacto 3rd goalie. It will be very interesting to see how Frosty balances this out. ARM -- I like your suggestion about playing the two who have had the best week of practice.

Looking forward to getting back to the action tonight. Brooky -- I too am hoping to avoid the slow-out-of-the-box start we had last season. I don't know if my band compatriots will be along, but I'm ready for this show to get on the road.

DROP THE PUCK!

ManBehindTheCurtain
10-02-2009, 09:56 PM
While I'm sure we'll start with the top line that oldfan describes, I'd like to see a unit of Erickson between West and Blankenship at some point. I think that's our best bet for a pure speed line. Personally, I'd give Francis a try at center. She seems to have more of a center mentality than a lot of the other candidates.

If they stick with the same D pairs I saw Sunday night, then I'd expect 26/19, 22/8, 2/20.About all we learned about line combinations is what Frost's intentions were. Erickson was banished after 12 seconds on a pretty marginal checking from behind major. This elevated erstwhile 4th liner Horton to top center. Center the first line, first power play etc. In warmups Blankenship was centering May and Rasmussen, Horton centering Frischmann and Ludwigson with Jones centering Kortum and Downey. Clearly Erickson West Francis was intended as number 1, but because of the rapid banishment of Erickson it remains unclear to me who would have been considered second, third and fourth.

Midway in the second Horton got drilled and had to miss a couple of shifts and the team was down to 0 centers. Blankenship looked mostly OK although, again, what is her intended role? I thought Jones played her best game as a Gopher, particularly in the third period when Blankenship did not return to the bench from the locker room. Jones got a ton of ice time. Kortum had a shift at center and Frischmann took a couple of draws.

The D pairings started as ARM suggested. There too though, the rotation was shortened at times and particularly in the second the two freshman D seemed not as much in evidence. They both played regularly in the third, however. Alexandra Zebro has gone from not dressing regularly a year ago to being counted on to be a rock. She played OK.

West was brilliant, she was way too fast for anyone on the Orange.

Of the freshmen, I liked Downey and Frischmann the most.

West was brilliant.

Minnesota is better than Syracuse but the Gophers played very raggedly and should consider themselves a bit fortunate to get out of the building tonight with a victory.

Bergey1
10-02-2009, 10:00 PM
When the Gophs fans all week were wondering about how the offense would be, I was thinking of posting in your thread to don't forget about Chelsey Jones. Naturally, she did not have the backup at NU as she does at Minny, but every game I saw her play in she is a scoring thread and can get it done when need be. I hope she has a successful final season. She does have the capabilities to be a top-notch scorer for you guys.

Wish she was still on my team...:)

D2D
10-02-2009, 11:12 PM
West was brilliant, she was way too fast for anyone on the Orange.

West was brilliant.


You can say that again! ;) What a game and what an all-out effort she gave. Her first goal when she slid and blocked the Syracuse D's shot from the point and raced all the way down and put it in from close range was highlight film material for sure.

For all the pre-season build up they gave to the defense you had to be a little disappointed with some breakdowns they had. As the game wore on there were too many odd-man rushes and players left all alone out front. Against a higher powered offense the goals-against number would have been higher.

The power play looked sharp at times but almost all of their opportunities came from the point, relying on screens + tips and rebounds to finish. I hope they can generate more close-in chances in the coming games. They had trouble connecting on passes to the front of the net pretty much all night.

Overall, there's a lot of room for improvement, but starting out with a win sure beats last year's start.

gopher991
10-03-2009, 12:23 AM
Game recap from gophersports.com along with post-game interviews.

http://tinyurl.com/yz6j9ay