On Thursday's Gophers live chat, I promised more PairWise talk. You asked for it, I'm glad to deliver. Well, maybe glad is not the right word. I sorta feel a responsibility.
The Gophers, after beating Michigan Tech twice, fell from No. 18 to a tie for No. 19 in the PairWise ratings. That happens. Actually, they closed the gap a bit between themselves and the other teams immediately above them. So it's all good.
Here are some tidbits to chew on:
* The Gophers, who are 15-12-5, are the highest rated team in the PairWise with only 15 wins. Their RPI (.5251), the most important of the four comparisons used in the PairWise ratings, is not that far below several teams ahead of them. So if they keep winning ...
* Yale, North Dakota, Boston College and Michigan, schools from four different conferences, would be the four No. 1 seeds if the NCAA tournament started today.
* Besides No. 2 North Dakota, other WCHA teams firmly in the NCAA field right now are No. 5 Denver, No. 8 Nebraska Omaha, No. 11 (tie) UMD and No. 14 Colorado College -- even though the Tigers are behind the Gophers in the WCHA standings.
* The teams the Gophers have to jump over, beside CC, are three tied for No. 15 -- Boston University, Maine and Dartmouth and No. 18 Western Michigan which is 16-10-10.
* St. Cloud State, 14-15-5, another team below the fifth place Gophers in the WCHA, is tied with them at No. 19 in the PairWise rankings. ... That indicates both SCSU and CC had better nonconference records than the U of M.
* Gophers are winning 13 PairWise comparisons with other teams under consideration.
GINO BACK IN WCHA
.Gino Gasparini, coach of North Dakota from 1978-94, has been hired as a special advisor to the president of St. Cloud State. Gasparini was commission of the USHL from 1994-2009.
He will focuse on the expansion and redevelopment of the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. That alone is a $31 million project. He will also help with expected changes in the WCHA -- the loss of the Gophers and Wisconsin to the Big Ten Conference -- and in forming ties between SCSU and the community.
He starts March 1.
BROOKS TO BE HONORED
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation has named the late Herb Brooks this year's winner of the Legend of Hockey award.
A representative of Brooks will receive it June 23 at a ceremony in St. Paul.
WHITE STOOD OUT
In high school, Gophers senior center Patrick White made a name for himself in back-to-back Class 2A state tournaments.
As a junior, he scored four goals as Grand Rapids beat Roseau 7-4 on March 9, 2006.
As a senior, he had two goals as Grand Rapids beat Edina 3-1 in the Class 2A quarterfinals. Then he had one goal and one assist -- on the game-winner -- as the Thunderbirds beat Burnsville 4-3 in overtime. Despite missing eight games with a high ankle sprain, he had 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 24 games. His team lost 5-1 to Roseau in the state final.
That 2006-07 season, White had 18 goals and 31 assists in 24 games.