Your University of Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the University of North Dakota tonight at the X. In front of a projected-to-be sold out and raucous crowd, the two WCHA giants will battle for the coveted Broadmoor Trophy! Here's how both teams got to this point:
For North Dakota, it was really a tale of two seasons, they opened the campaign with a rough stretch of games, particularly in November and December, where they only won 1 of 8 league games. Particular low lights included a road sweep to Alaska-Anchorage, and a home sweep at the hands of Michigan Tech. However, one the calendar turned over to 2007, UND went on a tear, and only lost two games leading up the WCHA playoffs; two of their second half wins came against the Gophers at Mariucci. The famous "DOT" line has ripped teams to shreds, making light work of many second half opponents. The Whioux went on to promptly dispatch Mankato in the first round of the playoffs, and drubbed St. Cloud 6-2 in the Final Five semifinal.
The Golden Gophers had a bit of an easier ride in the regular season than North Dakota, they amassed the 2nd most overall wins in the nation (31), one behind the CCHA's Notre Dame. They also came in 2nd in goals scored (161), trailing only Michigan. This high octane offense saw the Gophers fly out of the gate with, a 22 game unbeaten streak. Finally losing in a close game against the BADgers on January 12th. 2007 has been off to a bit more of a challenging start for the Gophers, they have suffered two sweeps in the second half, at the hands of St. Cloud and North Dakota, which they will assuredly be looking to avenge tonight. However, despite some speed bumps in the second half, the Gophers came out of the regular season with the MacNaughton Cup. A Blake Wheeler hat trick saw the Gophers past the middling BADgers in the semifinal game at the X last night, to set up this face off against the two greatest rivals in college hockey, for a chance to hang yet another banner.
MINNESOTA LEADING SCORERS
Jay Barriball, F, Fr | 44 GP | 20g | 23a | 43p
Kyle Okposo, F, Fr | 40 GP | 19g | 21a | 40p
Mike Vannelli, D, Sr | 44 GP | 10g | 29a | 39p
Alex Goligoski, D, Jr | 44 GP | 9g | 30a | 39p
Blake Wheeler, F, So | 44 GP | 18g | 20a | 38p
NORTH DAKOTA LEADING SCORERS
Ryan Duncan, F, So | 43 GP | 31g | 26a | 57p
T.J. Oshie, F, So | 43 GP | 17g | 35a | 52p
Jonathan Toews, F, So | 34 GP | 18g | 28a | 46p
Robbie Bina, D, Jr | 43 GP | 10g | 22a | 32p
Taylor Chorney, D, So | 39 GP | 8g | 23a | 31p
Who do you guys think will come out on top?!