Happy October Gopher fans! And considering it was 71 degrees yesterday how can you not be happy? Well yeah, the football team. There's that. Hopefully some Friday Nugz can put a smile on your face.
Strib beatwriter Phil Miller chatted with fans yesterday. Here's some fun data from a few polls that ran during the chat:
* Only 11% of Gopher fans think the team will win four games or more this season
* 79% expect to lose to Northwestern by more than 7 points this weekend
* 11% think Joel Maturi is doing a good, very good, or excellent job
* 95% do not believe Tim Brewster will turn this season around
* 95% of those polled DO want to chat with Phil again next week. We agree. We like Phil.
Adam Rittenberg in his E!SPN.com Big Ten blog says there's an award out there Adam Weber could actually win, and Northwestern gets two key safeties back this week and has just two players on their injury report
Onto some Gopher hockey links. According to the schedule the first exhibition game is Sunday night at 7:07 against the University of British Columbia, first non-con games are next weekend at home against UMass, and conference play kicks off against Nebraska-Omaha at Mariucci October 15th and 16th.
Goal Gophers runs down the preseason WCHA polls from the coaches and the media. Both have North Dakota the undisputed numero uno to start the year. The Gophers were voted 5th by the conference coaches and 6th by the media. Not only that, the Gophers aren't even ranked as the best team in the state- or even second best! St Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth were voted either second or third in both polls to start the season. But hey, at least we're better than MSU-Mankato, right?
Another excellent resource for Gopher hockey and WCHA news is SB Nation affiliated Western College Hockey blog. Among the many preseason preview posts he ranks the forwards, defense and goaltenders for all 12 teams and summarizes the position for each school. The Gophs have the fourth best group of forwards, the defense, led by Cade Fairchild and Aaron Ness ranked 7th, and the goaltending duo of Alex Kangas and Kent Patterson also ranked 4th in the WCHA.