Nothing much new to report. This weekend, the Gophers looked a lot like they have the previous times I've watched them. The Zumwinkle/Woken/Heise line continues to dominate; Woken was the best player on the ice on Saturday. The defense continues to impress; Emily Brown was the best player on Sunday. The Potomak/Potomak/Wente line continues to dazzle with their playmaking while still being chronically short on actual production. They at least generated better chances on Sunday, and if Amy Potomak ever harnesses her powers to actually fight evil . . .
One thing that's striking is how different the Gophers' breakout and transition play is from last year. For a long time, they were often dependent upon a defenseman just skating the puck out of their own end, often carrying it all the way down the ice. What began as deliberate strategy with Bozek/Ramsey/Stecklein/McMillan felt like it had become a legacy default option for a breakout that often didn't have another plan. Those rushes have all but disappeared, replaced by crisp, quick passes to an open forward. They look really good at finding the player with the best forward momentum coming through the neutral zone. It's been a lot of fun to watch, and I'm curious to see how it's going to play against Wisconsin.
This is the best St Cloud team in years, if not since I started watching in 2010. They aren't prone to panic, they keep a defensive shape, and they're more skilled. If they develop a real plan for how to score, they could be dangerous. Their current offensive zone philosophy of, "Just bang around and see what happens," is scary often enough to let them win some games with the other things they do right. Alder kept them in Sunday's game with some brilliant saves before letting in Brown's second, but rest of the team was good enough that great goaltending let them be competitive.