Gophers/Notre Dame Series: Road Test Awaits 'U' at Notre Dame

BleedGopher

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per the U:

Return to B1G action for Gophers
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 2-ranked Golden Gophers men's hockey team returns to Big Ten Conference action with a road test at (RV) Notre Dame Jan. 13-14.

The action gets started Friday night at 6 p.m. (CT) and continues Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT) and both games will be streaming live on Peacock, while audio coverage is available on the Gopher Radio Network 103.5 FM/AM-1130 KTLK.

POLLS AND STANDINGS
The Gophers find themselves ranked No. 2 in both the DCU/USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. Most importantly, Minnesota remains atop the PairWise rankings and the Big Ten Conference standings at the start of the second half of the season with 30 points, holding an eight-point lead over second place Penn State.

HISTORY WITH THE IRISH
After picking up a home sweep of Notre Dame in November, the Gophers improved their record in the all-time series to 41-26-5, including a 13-10-2 effort on the road, having won seven of the last eight overall meetings. Justen Close stopped 45-of-46 shots faced during the series earlier this year with a shutout on the way to B1G Second Star of the Week honors. Matthew Knies and Jimmy Snuggerud each net a pair of goals for Minnesota as the home side outscored the Irish by a 7-1 margin.

100 FOR COACH MOTZKO
With the Gophers' overtime victory over St. Cloud State Jan. 8, head coach Bob Motzko won his 100th-career game with the Maroon and Gold improving to 100-56-11. He is the seventh coach in program history to reach the milestone and did so in less than five full seasons as Minnesota is looking for its third-straight, 20-plus-win campaign. The 2022 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, Motzko has earned that title twice in four seasons.

FOUR THE FRESHMAN
For the fourth time this season, Minnesota freshman Logan Cooley was named a B1G Star of the Week as he earned the No. 3 star Jan. 10 after his efforts against St. Cloud State. He tallied a two-point performance in the Sunday win at home, including the game-winning goal in overtime to secure a series split. Cooley is the only player in the conference to be named a Star of the Week four times during the 2022-23 season as he has landed the recognition in three of the last four weeks the Gophers have played.

ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
Minnesota sent four current players and one former to the United States junior team for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Gophers have sent a representative to the event in 44 of the 47 years it has been played dating back to 1977 and all five played in every game for Team USA in 2023. Logan Cooley and Jimmy Snuggerud carried over their impressive scoring runs with Minnesota to lead the Americans in points with 14 and 13, respectively, helping the team to a bronze medal last week.

PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THE GOPHERS
Fans have come out to see the high-powered Gophers to the tune of a sellout in six of eight arenas played in across the country, including each of their last seven road games. Despite being an exhibition game on New Year's Eve at Bemidji State, a sellout crowd came out to watch the in-state foes and the Huskies had their largest sellout crowd in a decade when the Maroon and Gold went to St. Cloud. Minnesota has had three sellouts at 3M Arena at Mariucci this season, two of which came during its series against North Dakota and the third versus St. Cloud State. The Gophers have the second-highest attendance of any college hockey team this year averaging more than 8,500 patrons per game. That number is a more than 13 percent increase from a season ago.

DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING
Thanks to the third-highest scoring offense in the nation that averages 4.0 goals per game, Minnesota is the only NCAA team with 11 players that have scored double-digit points and includes multiple skaters with 20 or more points. In just 22 games played, the Gophers are led by Jimmy Snuggerud's 28 points. His linemates, Logan Cooley (27) and Matthew Knies (23), are close behind as the trio are the three highest scoring players for Minnesota, while senior Jackson LaCombe also is at the 20-point mark. Seven other players have joined the group in double figures in Jaxon Nelson (19), Bryce Brodzinski (17), Brock Faber (16), Mason Nevers (16), Luke Mittelstadt (13), Rhett Pitlick (13) and Mike Koster (11).

NATION'S ELITE TRIO
One of the top lines in college hockey, the trio of Logan Cooley, Matthew Knies and Jimmy Snuggerud, has combined for 26 points during Minnesota's stretch of winning five of its last six outings. Totaling 78 points for the year, the entire line has been held off the scoresheet in just three games played this season. They are three of the top four scorers in the B1G and all rank in the top 20 nationally for total points, averaging more than a point per game.

VETERAN SCORING
Minnesota has relied on its veteran line of seniors Bryce Brodzinski and Jaxon Nelson with junior Mason Nevers to provide critical scoring all year. The group has totaled 52 points, including seven power-play goals and six game winners, and posted at least one point in all but two games. Nelson and Nevers have both already set career highs in goals, assists and points in just 22 games of the 2022-23 campaign, while Brodzinski is closing in on his second-straight season with double-digit goals. The line has been held without a goal only once in B1G play (Nov. 17 at Michigan).

STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE
The Gophers played double-digit periods between being whistled for a penalty from Nov. 25 to Dec. 9 as there was not a single infraction called during the two-game series against the Spartans. Minnesota is the third-least penalized team in the NCAA averaging 7.0 penalty minutes per contest.

YOUTH MOVEMENT
Thanks to 11 freshmen on the roster, the average age of the Minnesota lineup, as of opening night, was 20 years and 321 days old (20.88 years) making it one of the youngest rosters in the nation. Only Justen Close and Carl Fish were born before 2000, while Ryan Chesley, Jimmy Snuggerud and Logan Cooley were all born in 2004.

WHEN YOU CALL MY NAME
Fourteen of Minnesota's 26 rostered players have heard their name called in the NHL Entry Draft, six of which are part of this year's freshmen class. The Gophers have had the most all-time draft selections (227) by any NCAA men's hockey program after adding four in July 2022. At least one Gopher has been drafted in 48 of the last 49 NHL Entry Drafts dating back to 1974, with 2001 being the only exception. Only Harvard has more draft picks (15) on its NCAA roster for the 2022-23 season.


Go Gophers!!
 

BleedGopher

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We have a pair of big games this weeks.


Go Gophers!!
 








From the Parkinglot

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I love the guy on the broadcast saying notre dame went into a shell. No shit Sherlock that’s how they play hockey, in a shell.
 



From the Parkinglot

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I’m sorry that you refs want to put the whistles away in overtime but Cooley was blatantly held 4-5 times on a single play in overtime and no call.
 

From the Parkinglot

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Was bob sending a message about the play of the top line by not having them in the shootout.
 


bonin21

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It had to be punishment because that decision is so stupid.
 






WayOfTheGopher

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Only two goals scored in that SCSU series, plus the two scored tonight. The last two series before the winter break they scored 24 goals. What the f**k is happening?
 

Vanek26

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Bob said those 3 were the best in the shootout at practice. He is a better judge at his team than we are. Knies admitted earlier this year he isn't very good at those. Not surprised that some couch coaches are having a melt down. I expect a better effort tomorrow. RELAX
 

Gophers1992

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A lot of elite offensive players are not shootout guys. Alex Ovechkin hasn’t been very good, Marion Gaborik was bad in the shootout, etc
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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Bob said those 3 were the best in the shootout at practice. He is a better judge at his team than we are. Knies admitted earlier this year he isn't very good at those. Not surprised that some couch coaches are having a melt down. I expect a better effort tomorrow. RELAX
Yeah, the shootout is a different skill set, and sometimes the guys who are good at it aren't who you expect. I think the first year they had the shootout, the Gophers were pretty bad at it, and (if memory serves) despite all the talent on our roster Seth Ambroz was best shootout player (not a knock on Ambroz, I loved his game, but he certainly wasn't the flashiest talent on the roster).
 

From the Parkinglot

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Joke of a 5 minute call there.

Both players were looking for the contact and because the smaller guy got “hurt” it’s a 5 minute Major.
 

From the Parkinglot

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If Cheasley got 5 then this better be a 5 and game for boarding. This is a way more dangerous play than Cheasley’s hit.
 


bonin21

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If the PP can't score with 1:23 of 5 on 3...
 


bonin21

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I hate the drop passes at the blue line with only 1 guy going with speed. Gophers try to do that way too much.
It's like five individuals out there. I hate it. Sure they scored but it was only from a moment of individual skill.

Regardless, 3-0 is 3-0, and Close made a couple darn good saves.
 



Crosby

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Gophers take 4 points, PSU gets just 2, Ohio state and Michigan split, and most importantly UND gets swept in their own arena. Not a bad weekend.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. A positive post? Wrong forum. This forum is the place to come and bitch and moan about the effort, the coaching, the PP system, the roster, and everything about Gopher Hockey. Some of these posts would lead one to believe that we should just shut down the program, demolish Mariucci Arena, and take up field hockey. So what if we are #2 in the polls? And that #1 pairwise ranking? Apparently meaningless.

Seriously, we are having a kick ass season, and we are hugely talented. Everyone should enjoy it. We aren't going to win every game, and that is not realistic goal no matter what anyone on this board believes.
 

Stan

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Whoa, whoa, whoa. A positive post? Wrong forum. This forum is the place to come and bitch and moan about the effort, the coaching, the PP system, the roster, and everything about Gopher Hockey. Some of these posts would lead one to believe that we should just shut down the program, demolish Mariucci Arena, and take up field hockey. So what if we are #2 in the polls? And that #1 pairwise ranking? Apparently meaningless.

Seriously, we are having a kick ass season, and we are hugely talented. Everyone should enjoy it. We aren't going to win every game, and that is not realistic goal no matter what anyone on this board believes.

This. Pride on Ice. We are legit Natty contenders. LFG.
 




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