Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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No. 1 Gophers should earn three points vs. Badgers

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under WCHA news Updated: November 11, 2011 - 3:30 PM

Every week I try to pick WCHA games, with mixed results so far. Let's start with what how teams fared this past Friday and Saturday:

Results last weekend

Gophers 2, North Dakota 0

Gophers 3, North Dakota 2

St. Cloud State 7, Wisconsin 2

Wisconsin 3, St. Cloud State 3, ot, tie

Nebraska Omaha 7, Colorado College 5

Minnesota Duluth 3, Denver 3, ot, tie

Minnesota Duluth 4, Denver 0

Colorado College 5, Nebraska Omaha 2

Michigan Tech 1, Minnesota State Mankato 0

MSU Mankato 6, Michigan Tech 3

Bemidji State 3, Lake Superior State 2, ot

Lake Superior State 2, Bemidji State 1

Comments: The Gophers swept at home, St. Cloud State and UMD each earned three points and the other two WCHA series were splits.

Last week I was a strong 8-3-1 picking games involving WCHA teams. Hope I can keep that up. Called splits Wisconsin-St. Cloud State and Bemidji State-Lake Superior State. Predicted Gophers would get a victory and a tie with North Dakota. It was tied 2-2 into the last minute of the third period, so almost got that series right, too. Instead, I get 1-1/2 wins there in my scoring system.

Here is a look at this week's games:

Gophers at Wisconsin: The Badgers reportedly are going with their hotter freshman goalie, Joel Rumpel (3-1-1, 2.96), the first night rather than sticking with Landon Peterson (1-4-0, 3.87) who has started every Friday before. Would guess Rumpel starts the second night, too, if he plays real well. They also have one of the top players in the nation in junior D-man Justin Schultz. He was the WCHA defensive player of the year last season and one of 10 Hobey Baker finalists. The Badgers have five Minnesotans on their roster who should be especially pumped up. ... But Gophers should have the edge up front with two strong scoring lines and in goal with Kent Patterson, who has five shutouts already.  ... Gophers win and tie

St. Cloud State at Minnesota State Mankato: The Huskies already had one key player out, goalie Mike Lee, with an injury, then lost captain Drew LeBlanc, who broke two bones in his leg on Saturday. But coach Bob Motzko is saying there is a chance he could play again this season. Freshman Ryan Faragher (2-2-1, 2.19 gaa, .930 save pct.) has played well in Lee's absence the past two weekends. Former Little Falls teammates lead SCSU in goals with six apiece. Motzko's Huskies teams are 5-10-4 in Mankato.  ... The Mavs ended a six-game losing streak by beating Michigan Tech 6-3 last Saturday. The six goals and 45 shots on goal were both season highs for MSU. Freshman Jean-Paul Lafontaine leads the Mavericks with five goals and seven points. Several MSU players who were out with injuries returned to action in Houghton, Mich. Having the previous week off from games had to help. ... Split

Alaska Anchorage at Minnesota Duluth: Bulldogs are on a 4-0-2 roll since being swept by the Gophers in two one-goal games. But UMD plays better on the road -- 16-5-5 since the start of last season -- than at Amsoil Arena where is it 8-7-2 since it opened late December of last year. Goalie Kenny Reiter, who looked so shaky against Gophers, has two shutouts in last three games. Jack Connolly had a goal and two assists last weekend to give him 50 goals and 150 assists over four seasons. Travis Oleksuk leads the WCHA with nine goals; he had three goals in last two games... UAA is having all sorts of problems scorings goals. Seawolves have scored only three goals in going 0-4-0 against Nebraska Omaha and the Gophers before taking last week off. That's the worst losing streak since Dave Shyiak became UAA coach in 2005-06. ...  Bulldogs win and tie

Nebaska Omaha at Bemidji State: The Beavers were 5-0-1 against the Mavericks last season and swept  them in Omaha in a first-round WCHA playoff series. BSU plays 10 of its next 12 games at Sanford Center, their home, where they are 2-0-0. The Beavers are 4-1-0 when scoring at least three goals. They have been outscored 9-2 in the third period of conference games. ... UNO did not score more than two goals in any of its six games against the Beavers last season. Two of Mavs playing well are forward Matt White who had two goals and two assists last weekend and D-man Andrej Sustr who was a plus-5 last Friday. Dean Blais coached in his 500th game on Friday -- it came 17 years after he won his first game at North Dakota. Can BSU mastery over UNO continue? Nah. ... Split

Colorado College at Denver (one game Saturday): Backup goalie Josh Thorimbert, a sophomore, started in place of Joe Howe in CC's last game and was superb. He made 45 saves, including 23 in the second period as CC got a slit at Nebraska Omaha. Sophomore Jaden Schwartz has scored or set up the winning goal in four of CC's five victories and has a 12-game points streak going back to last season. His brother Rylan has 11 of CC's 23 goals in the last nine games, including three postseason games in 2010-11. ... The winner of this series gets the Gold Pan Trophy; DU has held it the past two seasons but Pioneers are 0-2-2 in their last four games. Last weekend  at home vs. UMD, they lost 4-0 and tied 3-3 when Adam Murray made 43 saves. Drew Shore and Jason Zucker, two of teams forwards, were held pointless. DU hurting for forwards, has played only 11 in seven games. Beau Bennett, one of team's best players up front, has missed four games with a wrist injury. But Pioneers should be ready for arch rival. ... DU wins

 

 

 

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