Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Night Woes Continue to Plague Gopher Pucksters

It was the same old, same old, for the Gopher hockey team on Friday night against Minnesota State. MSU controlled the play much of the night, did not beat itself (evidenced by one penalty against the Mavericks all night long), took advantage of Minnesota mistakes, and came away with a 3-1 victory on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

The Mavericks completely controlled the play for the first half of the game, out-shooting Minnesota 29-8 at one point late in the second period, and only a late Gopher flourish to tie MSU in shots 11-11 in the second period prevented a total mis-match. Yet, thanks to the big play of sophomore goaltender Kent Patterson, the score remained tied at one, as Jake Hansen and Jerad Stewart traded first period goals for the Gophers and Mavericks, respectively. Rylan Galiardi cashed in after a teriffic play by teammate Mike Louwerse to give 'Kato a 2-1 lead with under eight minutes remaining in the third period. Zach Harrison's empty-netter put the icing on the cake, and MSU had its third-consecutive victory over Minny stretching over two seasons.

Friday night games have been problematic for the Gophers all season long. The Gophers are now 1-6-0 in Friday night games, including being shut out three times. Minnesota also dropped to a disappointing 3-6-0 at Mariucci Arena on the young season. The heat on the Gophers will be intense unless they manage a split in this series with Mankato, and it is certain that the Gophers will head into Saturday's game residing in ninth place in the WCHA standings.

A chance at redemption lies in Saturday night's rematch against the Mavericks in Mankato. 

PS - A big hat tip to Mankato Free Press Mavericks' beat writer Shane Frederick and his blog "PucKato." I followed his live blog feed throughout Friday night's game, as FSN elected to air the epic Wild/Ducks' game and put the Gophers on tape delay. Maybe the network knew something we didn't? Great job, Shane.


  1. Hate to say it but TheDon has lost this team. I think it may be time for a coaching change at the end of the year.

  2. Why don't we wait to see how the balance of the season plays out before we fire the coach? Hell, Tubby Smith just lost three consecutive games against unranked teams. Why not put his job in jeopardy as well?

    Patience, Gopher Nation, patience.