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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Posts about WCHA

Gophers women unanimous No. 1 in USA Today poll again and again

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: February 5, 2013 - 5:08 PM

Just think how much media hysteria there would be if the men's and women's basketball teams at the U of M were both No. 1s in the land?

Well, the men's and women's hockey teams continue to be and it's almost expected. Especially on the women's side.

The U women have been unanimous No. 1s since the start of the season -- 18 weeks in all. They are 28-0-0 overall, 22-0-0 in conference play.

Looks like they have a good shot at finishing regular season 34-0-0 with only three weekends of WCHA games left. They play at Ohio State, tied for third in WCHA. That might be a little tricky. But then they finish with Bemidji State at home and St. Cloud State on the road. Those two teams are at bottom of WCHA standings, seventh and eighth places.

Behind the Gophers in the USA Today national poll are all teams from the East: Boston College and Boston University are Nos. 2 andd 3. Then come Cornell, Harvard, Clarkson and Mercyhurt before the WCHA claims spots No. 8-10 with North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth.

So this seems like a down season for the WCHA except for the Gophs.

 

Gophers tied for No. 1 with Boston College in preseason hockey rankings

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: September 24, 2012 - 2:45 PM

The Gophers and Boston College are tied for No. 1 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine's preseason national rankings released on Monday.

BC won the NCAA title last spring. It was the Eagles' third national title in five years under coach Jerry York. The Gophers were the MacNaughton Cup champions -- meaning they were the WCHA regular-season champions -- and reached the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., before losing to BC 6-1 in the national semifinals.

The Gophers appear loaded for 2012-13, with six of their top seven scorers back -- five of them forwards -- and all six of their regular defensemen.

BC got 20 first-place votes, or eight more than Minnesota, but both had 476 points, meaning voters who did not pick the Gophers No. 1 still had them ranked high.

Chris Dilks, who writes for the Western College Hockey Blog, is skeptical about the Gophers' high ratings: "I guess unlike me, pollsters didn't have to search through last year's Frozen Four photos for a good Minnesota pic, only to be reminded of how just badly BC obliterated them."

That was then, this is now, Mr. Dilks. I didn't have a vote in the USA Today poll but, if I had, the Gophers would have gotten my vote for No. 1. Who has more returning talent than the Gophers, sir?

The only question mark with the 'U' is in goal. Otherwise, their defense is ridiculously deep, with two talented freshmen joining the mix, and coach Don Lucia should be able to put together two high-scoring lines.

Boston College will play the Gophers in one of the first-day games of the Mariucci Classic which is held during the holidays.

USA TODAY PRESEASON POLL
                                                           Final Ranking 2011-12 Record
1 Boston College, 476 (20)                    1                 33-10-1
1 Minnesota, 476 (12)                             4                  28-14-1
3 Michigan, 408 (2)                                  7                  24-13-4
4 University of North Dakota, 407         6                  26-13-3
5 Union College, 295                              3                  26-8-7
6 Cornell, 233                                         13                  19-9-7
7 UMass-Lowell, 221                               9                 24-13-1 1
8 University of Denver, 220                      8                 25-14-4 1
9 Miami University, 203                          10                 24-15-2 1
10 University of Notre Dame, 186       NR                19-18-3 1
11 Western Michigan University, 182   14                21-14-6 1
12 Minnesota Duluth, 176                        5                25-10-6 1
13 Boston University, 158                       11                23-15-1 1
14 Ferris State, 123                                   2                 26-12-5 1
15 Wisconsin, 99                                    NR                17-18-2 1

Bjugstad earns weekly WCHA honor

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: November 22, 2011 - 5:48 PM

Nick Bjugstad was named WCHA offensive player of the week based on his five-point weekend in a split with St. Cloud State. The Gophers sophomore center had a hat trick in Saturday's 5-0 victory at Mariucci Arena after getting a goal and assist in Friday's 4-3 loss at St. Cloud State.

His hat trick on Saturday was the first by a Gophers players since Jay Barriball scored three goals against Massachusetts on Oct. 9, 2010.

Bjugstad. a Florida Panthers' first-round NHL draft pick  in 2010, is second in the nation in goals with 13  and is tied for the point scoring lead with 21.

Austin Smith of Colgate has 15 goals. UMD's Jack Connolly and Notre Dame's T.J. Tynan also have 21 points.

CC, UMD PLAYERS ALSO RECOGNIZED

Josh Thorimbert of Colorado College was named the defensive player of the week. The sophomore goalie stopped 55 of 58 shots in the Tigers' sweep of Wisconsin.

Thorimbert, 5-11, 195-pound, is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He had 31 saves as CC won 4-2 against the Badgers at Colorado Springs World Arena on Friday and 24 in the Tigers' 4-1 win the next night.

He is 3-1-0 in four starts with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. Joe Howe, a junior from Plymouth,  was expected to be the Tigers' primary goalie. He has struggled at times but still has good numbers: 4-1-0,  2.69, .906.

Gophers goalie Kent Patterson also was nominated for this award. Patterson stopped 30 shots against the Huskies on Saturday in his sixth shutout of the season. That's a program single-season record.

UMD's Caleb Herbert was selected the rookie of the week. He had three goals and an assist as the Bulldogs swept Minnesota State Mankato 5-2, 7-3.

Herbert, a 5-11, 195-pound forward from Bloomington, had  the game-winning goal and was a plus-4 in the first game.

Herbert, a Washington Capitals fifth-round draft pick in 2010, is the second-leading scorer among rookies in the WCHA. He has six goals and eight assists for 14 points and has at least one point in his past five games.

Gophers freshman Kyle Rau is the leading freshman scorer in the conference -- and the nation -- with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points. Herbert is tied for second nationally.

 

 

 


 

Patterson honored by WCHA

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: November 1, 2011 - 4:02 PM

Gophers goalie Kent Patterson is the WCHA co-defensive player of the week after giving up only one goal in his team's sweep at Alaska-Anchorage.

Patterson, the winner of this award for a second time this season, shared it with Michigan Tech goalie Josh Robinson.

Patterson stopped 48 of 49 shots at Anchorage, allowing only a power-play goal. He is 7-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .939 saves percentage this season.

 Robinson stopped 61 of 65 shots as Michigan Tech beat and tied then-No. 2 rated Denver.

The offensive player of the week was Michigan Tech's Milos Gordic, who had four goals as the Huskies beat and tied Denver. The 6-5, 210-pound sophomore had missed Tech's first six games with an injury but had a hat trick in his first game back. The surprising Huskies are 5-2-1 overall, 5-0-1 at home.

The WCHA rookie of the week for St. Cloud freshman goalie Ryan Faragher, who had 44 saves and shut out North Dakota in Grand Forks 4-0 on Friday night. He tied a school record with 24 saves in the second period and helped hold the Fighting Sioux zero for seven on the power play.

He had 23 saves the next game, which SCSU lost 3-1 but two of North Dakota's goals came on power play. Faragher got the chance to play because regular goalie Mike Lee was injured.

Gophers freshman left winger Kyle Rau was nominated for both offensive player of the week and rookie of the week. He had one goal and two assists as Minnesota swept UAA.

 

 

Patterson honored by WCHA

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: November 1, 2011 - 4:02 PM

Gophers goalie Kent Patterson is the WCHA co-defensive player of the week after giving up only one goal in his team's sweep at Alaska-Anchorage.

Patterson, the winner of this award for a second time this season, shared it with Michigan Tech goalie Josh Robinson.

Patterson stopped 48 of 49 shots at Anchorage, allowing only a power-play goal. He is 7-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .939 saves percentage this season.

 Robinson stopped 61 of 65 shots as Michigan Tech beat and tied then-No. 2 rated Denver.

The offensive player of the week was Michigan Tech's Milos Gordic, who had four goals as the Huskies beat and tied Denver. The 6-5, 210-pound sophomore had missed Tech's first six games with an injury but had a hat trick in his first game back. The surprising Huskies are 5-2-1 overall, 5-0-1 at home.

The WCHA rookie of the week for St. Cloud freshman goalie Ryan Faragher, who had 44 saves and shut out North Dakota in Grand Forks 4-0 on Friday night. He tied a school record with 24 saves in the second period and helped hold the Fighting Sioux zero for seven on the power play.

He had 23 saves the next game, which SCSU lost 3-1 but two of North Dakota's goals came on power play. Faragher got the chance to play because regular goalie Mike Lee was injured.

Gophers freshman left winger Kyle Rau was nominated for both offensive player of the week and rookie of the week. He had one goal and two assists as Minnesota swept UAA.

 

 

      

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