Overconfidence might be the Gophers' biggest obstacle when they face St. Cloud State this weekend at Ridder Arena in a first-round WCHA women's hockey playoff series. The best-of-three series begins on Friday, and it certainly appears to be a mismatch.
The No. 2-rated Gophers are 47-2-1 all-time against the Huskies. In four victories this season, the Gophers have outscored SCSU 29-1.
The Huskies, who finished seventh in the conference, are on a 10-game losing steak and were shut out in five of those losses. Their last victory was over Minnesota State, Mankato 3-1 on Jan. 14. The last time the Huskies won their first-round playoff series was 2008 when they beat Ohio State in three games.
The Gophers are coming off a split with North Dakota at Ridder this past weekend.
Scoring: Forwards Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis lead the Gophers in scoring and are fifth and seventh in the WCHA, respectively, in overall points. Kessel, a sophomore, has 26 goals and 41 assists for 67 points. Schoullis, a senior, has 22 goals and 33 assists for 55. The Huskies' top scoring threat is sophomore forward Molli Mott with nine goals and 13 points. Teammate Brittany Toor, a senior forward, has seven goals and a team-high 15 points.
Defense: At goalie, the U also has a big advantage. Junior Noora Raty has a school-record 26 victories. She is also second among WCHA goalies in all games with a 1.48 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. The Huskies have played two goalies, Julie Friend and Tayler VanDenakker, almost equally and both have at least a 4.5 goals-against average. The Gophers have given up the fewest goals (49) among WCHA teams this season.
|Miami - D. Phelps||6:05 PM|
|Washington - J. Zimmermann|
|NY Yankees - C. Whitley||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - R. Dickey|
|Philadelphia - A. Harang||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - A. Wood|
|Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi||6:10 PM|
|Boston - C. Buchholz|
|Los Angeles - C. Kershaw||6:20 PM|
|Milwaukee - K. Lohse|
|Chicago Cubs - T. Wood||7:10 PM|
|St. Louis - C. Martinez|
|Oakland - J. Hahn||7:10 PM|
|Minnesota - P. Hughes|
|Texas - R. Detwiler||7:10 PM|
|Houston - D. Keuchel|
|Arizona - J. Collmenter||7:40 PM|
|Colorado - T. Matzek|
|Seattle - F. Hernandez||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - M. Shoemaker|
|San Diego - T. Ross||9:15 PM|
|San Francisco - M. Bumgarner|
|LA Clippers||8:30 PM|
|NY Rangers||6:30 PM|
Poll: Does it bother you that Tyus Jones chose Duke over Minnesota?