Three keys to Gophers beating Alaska Anchorage
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- October 28, 2011 - 4:28 PM
The Gophers hold a 50-19-7 advantage in their all-time series with Alaska Anchorage, but the Seawolves have won four of the last five.
So the Gophers have to take UAA seriously. A 'U' sweep would be great, three points would be good, even a split OK.
Here is what the Gophers have to do to beat the Seawolves:
1) Score first and, preferably second. The Gophers need to get the lead, force the Seawolves out of their game plan. If UAA gets behind, they can't just worry about staying back, preventing odd-man rushes. The Gophers never led the last three times they played UAA, losing 1-0, 4-3 -- after trailing 3-0 -- and 2-0.
2) Play smart. Several freshmen took bad penalties in the last Gophers' game, a 5-4 loss to Vermont. What's a bad penalty? When you get called for hooking and, with an official a few away, cross-check the same player. Now your teammates have to kill four minutes.
Another example of a bad penalty is if you are the victim of a boarding call with your team short-handed. Now the other team's power play is over and your team will get a chance to go on the power play when it expires. But you decide to retaliate and, again with an official right there, push the Vermont player with both hands.
Clean up the after the whistle stuff. The Gophers have the nation's best power play and had only four power play chances the last game. Too few.
3. Get pucks to the net. When these teams met last March in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, UAA blocked 25 shots in each game. Way to many. Move the puck around, fake shots, find seams, don't telegraph your shots. Put pressure on the UAA goalie, make him make a couple stops in a row. Draw penalties.
One defenseman not on the team any longer had nine shots blocked alone. It was hard to watch those playoff games.
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