Gophers hockey in good spot heading into break
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- December 10, 2012 - 3:38 PM
The Gophers have played six WCHA series, but have yet to sweep one. They came close on Saturday, before Colorado College scored in the last minute to tie the score 4-4 and it ended that way.
But the national pollsters seem to love the Gophers anyway. They remained No. 4 in the uscho.com poll this week.
The reason is simple. Other top teams are stumbling, too.
Here is a look at the top four this week.
1. Boston College, received 35 of a possible 50 first-place votes. BC coach Jerry York was within 10 seconds of a win that would make him the winningest coach in college hockey history on Friday at Providence when the Friars scored to tie the score at 3-3 and the game ended in a tie.
2. New Hampshire. The Wildcats are 11-2-2 and received nine first-place votes. They supplanted BC at No. 1 for a week, but that was it. A loss to Boston U. dropped them to second again.
3. Notre Dame. The Irish are 13-4-0 and got three first-place nods. They have won five in a row since a 2-1 loss to North Dakota on Nov. 23.
4. Gophers. They got the other three-first place. Had a recent 4-0-2 unbeaten streak. Off until Mariucci Classic which starts Dec. 29.
There are 50 voters on the uscho.com poll. Of that group, 28 are Division I coaches. The rest are college hockey beat reporters and other sports professionals.
The Gophers mush have earned a lot of hockey cred with them last season when they won the MacNaughton Cup and reached the Frozen Four because they have few marquee wins this season.
Their biggest wins were over No. 13 Nebraska Omaha and No. 20 Minnesota State, which had been unranked until this week. The Gophers split with both those teams.
But the Gophers play three top 10 teams and five top 20 teams the second half of the season.
Here is that lineup.
12/30 -- Boston College in second game of Mariucci Classic
1/8 -- Notre Dame
1/18-19 -- North Dakota
2/8-9 -- at St. Cloud State
3/1-2 -- Denver
Those big games are nicely spaced out and six of the eight are at Mariucci. Nice schedule.
-- USA Today's top four teams in its poll are the same as uscho.com has. BC has 22 first-place votes, New Hampshire nine, Notre Dame one and the Gophers three.
MORE ON SATURDAY'S TIE
Named the game's three stars were
No. 1 Alexander Krushelnyski, CC. He had two goals in the third period, and an assist on the tying goal, for three points, was a plus-2.
No. 2 Rylan Schwartz, CC. He also had two goals, including the tying goal in the last minute, and an assist, for three points. He was a plus-1, had four shots on goal.
No. 3 Seth Ambroz, Gophers. He had a goal and an assist for two points and was a plus-2.
-- First-line center Nick Bjugstad had zero shots on goal and was a minus-1. ... Christian Isackson, his right wing, had four shots on goal.
-- The Gophers shot total went down as the game went along, from 11 in the opening period to 10 to five. They had three in the five-minute scoreless overtime.
In this week's PairWise ratings, the Gophers are No. 11, one spot behind North Dakota and two ahead of Denver.
© 2013 Star Tribune