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Gophers Return to WCHA Play Against Last Place UAA Seawolves

Gophers Return to WCHA Play Against Last Place UAA Seawolves

It feels like a long time since the Gophers took the ice against a WCHA opponent. That most recent game, a 4-4 overtime tie in Colorado Springs against the CC Tigers, took place more than a month ago on December 9th. The Gophers are hoping a new year means better luck in the conference, where Minnesota sits in sixth place at 6-3-3.

It could be argued that the Gophers (14-3-3 overall) are a different team now than they were a month ago. Minnesota is riding a three game winning streak coming out of the break, which includes victories over then #1 Boston College and then #2 Notre Dame. The Gophers are playing with a swagger that many predicted they'd have before the start of the year. Minnesota is currently the #3 offense in the country posting a robust 3.65 goals per game, and they're also the #4 defense in the land, averaging 1.8 goals allowed. However, within the WCHA Minnesota has struggled, averaging only 3.0 GPG while giving up 2.5. The team needs to get healthy in the conference and start racking up points.

There's no better team to get healthy against than the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. The Seawolves are last in the conference with just five points (3-11-4 overall, 1-10-3 WCHA). UAA is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to virtually any statistic you care to look at: third to last in the country at 1.94 goals scored per game, T-46 of 59 teams in total defense at 3.06 goals allowed per game, 54th in powerplay at 10.17%, 47th on the penalty kill at 79%. This should be a team that Minnesota handles easily. But not so fast. In their most recent meeting the two teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie.

UAA is a team that likes to clog up the middle and play defense-first hockey. If the Seawolves can limit the Gophers' chances they have enough offense to strike once or twice on the counter-attack and make a game out of it. Hopefully Minnesota hasn't been looking past this Seawolf team to next weekend's set against the University of North Dakota.

One other note: the Gophers' leading scorer Erik Haula is still out with a wrist injury. He hopes to return against North Dakota.

The puck drops at 8PM on Friday night on the Big Ten Network, while Saturday is the usual 7PM faceoff on Fox Sports North.

Written by: Chris Eckes on Friday, January 11th, 2013

Sam Warning Scores Early, Gophers Hang On Late to Win Opener

Minnesota Opens Season with 4-3 Win vs. UMD

Nearly every year expectations are high for the U, but this season could be one of the most anticipated in recent memory for Gopher fans.

Coming off a heartbreaking 7-4 loss in the National Championship game to Union, the Gophers returned every NHL eligible player and are ranked #1 in the preseason polls. The team's difference makers from last season all came back with one goal in mind: winning the National Championship.

Those difference makers were on display early on in the team's season-opener against the Minnesota-Dul...

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Gophers Drive for Six Ends in 7-4 Loss to Union

Minnesota national runner-up for seventh time

Philadelphia, Penn. – Minnesota is a program that goes into each season looking to raise banners. This year’s team was able to win the inaugural Big Ten regular season title, but came up short in the conference tourney and then again falling 7-4 to Union in the NCAA title game.

The Gopher coaching staff often preaches that their philosophy starts from defending their own goal and extends from there. Saturday night, the team was caught watching, waiting, wishing for their goalie to freeze the puck, but the Dutchmen kept ge...

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Buzzer Beater!

Gophers’ Holl Scores with 0.6 Seconds Left to Propel Minnesota to National Championship Game

Philadelphia, PA – Just another classic moment in the Minnesota-North Dakota rivalry.

Whenever you say Minnesota-North Dakota, you know you're in for something special. These two teams have fought numerous battles over the years, with names like Broten and Wheeler etched in Gopher lore for the miracle-goals they’ve scored to beat North Dakota on a grand stage. Tonight, Minnesota fans will add Justin Holl’s name to that storied list, after his shorthanded goal with 0.6 secon...

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