The Gophers line-up is out -- two hours before the opening faceoff. And, for a change, there is a little to talk about.
Gophers coach Don Lucia has mixed up his third and fourth lines a bit.
Here is a breakdown:
1st line/ #7 Kyle Rau -- #27 Nick Bjugstad -- #24 Zach Budish... Bjugey has been pretty quiet since he was injured at UNO and missed the next game-- one goal, one assist in four games. This would be a good time for him to break out.
2nd line/ #11 Sam Warning -- #19 Erik Haula -- #21 Jake Hansen ... Haula has been Gophers' best players in playoffs. Has 5 goals and 4 assists in last four games
3rd line/ #16 Nate Condon -- #22 Travis Boyd -- #9 Taylor Matson ... Boyd moves up from fourth line while Matson moves from center to right wing ... this is a line with a lot of speed and puck-moving skill
4th line/ #14 Tom Serratore -- #13 Nico Sacchetti -- #17 Seth Ambroz ... this line might not see a lot of ice time today because of all the TV timeouts, but it has three players who like to hit. Ambroz needs to stay away from bad penalties, though
#4 Seth Helgeson -- #12 Justin Holl ... Helgey is runaway leader among D-men in penalties with 31
#10 Ben Marshall -- #20 Mark Alt ... Alt leads D-men in goals with five
#6 Jake Parenteau -- #29 Nate Schmidt ... Best offensive defenseman on Gophers with probably best defensive defenseman
Kent Patterson ... he has an easy goals-against average to remember: 2.22
THREE KEYS TO A GOPHERS' WIN
1. The Gophers need to win the special teams battle. BU's power play has struggled of late, coach Jack Parker said. And the Terriers gave up four power play goals in last game -- one was on an empty-netter, so that's understandable.
2. Play hard from start to finish. Should be understood, but that has been an issue at times for Gophers.
3. Get a rock solid performance from Patterson. He has typically played well this season after rough outings. Last game was rough for him and the Gophers. North Dakota rallied for five goals in third period of the Final Five semifinals last week to beat the U 6-3.
Gophers win 4-3. I like their new third line. Expect Boyd's line to get a goal or two.