Three keys to Gophers beatings SCSU on Friday:
1. Take advantage of Mike Lee's rustiness ... The Huskies are starting Lee, who hasn't played since Oct. 22 against New Hampshire. He had 44 saves in that game, a 3-3 tie. But the next week in practice he suffered a hip injury.
He waited several weeks to see how the injury would respond before having surgery on Nov. 15. At the time, he said his chances of coming back this season were slim.
But No. 30 is out there on the Mariucci ice. He is 2-2-1 this season with a 3.34 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage. His career numbers are better than that. He has a 2.82 GAA and a .912 save pct.
This may sound a bit cruel, but Gophers need to test him. Don't let him get comfortable. Throw everything at him. See how he responds.
Lee is 6-1, 190 and a product of the hockey hotbed in Roseau.
2. Watch Ben Hanowski. He was like a man among boys last game at Mariucci. The Gophers won 5-0 but Hanowski had 11 shots on goal. Good thing Kent Patterson was sharp and Gophers got big lead. He's dangerous.
3. Gophers need another big game from the fourth line. The Gophers' bottom line dominated CC last Saturday. If they are matched against the Huskies' fourth line, they should do well, too. It's made up of freshmen who haven't showed they can score yet.
So Tom Serratore, Travis Boyd and Nico Sacchetti could get a big goal at some point.
A BUS STORY
The Huskies had a little trouble getting to Mariucci Arena on Friday. No, it wasn't the light snow. It was their bus.
Driver started the bus, but couldn't shift gears. That is a problem.
Some quick thinking saved the day. The Huskies borrowed the bus the Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team took to St. Cloud State for their series at the National Hockey Center.
With a bus driver wearing a UMD women's hockey cap, the Huskies arrived at Mariucci a little after 4 p.m., only about 20 minutes late.
And, no, the bus didn't say UMD women's hockey team on its side, although that would have been amusing on the road.