Anyone else find the thought of a White Out at RALPH ENGELSTAD Arena just a little bit unsettling (go ahead, Google and find out why)? Well, that's what is happening this weekend when the Gophers travel to Grand Forks.
Really? Wouldn't a Green Out be unique and cooler? Does North Dakota really have to copy Winnipeg, Phoenix and Penn State? How sick of White Outs will Gopher fans be by 10:00 CST on Saturday night?
North Dakota played Merrimack last weekend and swept the two-game set 5-2 and 3-2. Minnesota defeated British Columbia in an exhibition 12 days ago.
Frankly, it's pretty hard to gauge how these teams are composed, how they'll play, and what'll happen until after tonight's game. But, watch these five players tonight:
(1) Alex Kangas (G) and (2) Brad Eidsness (G) - the goaltenders. Eidsness has received preseason accolades and Kangas is expected to continue his development. As usual, goalkeeper play will determine the weekend set.
(3) Jordan Schroeder (MN) - the guy is simply spectacular, the hockey team's Eric Decker. If he gets the first line to contribute 2-3 goals, Minnesota will likely win tonight.
(4) Nick Leddy (MN) - the highly regarded defenseman plays his first game tonight. Freshmen normally have a short adjustment period to college hockey. If Leddy's can be overcome quickly, all the better for the Gophers.
(5) David Toews (ND) - if the name looks familiar, it's because his brother (above) is the captain of the Chicago Black Hawks. Toews was the first star of the opener last Friday and contributed 2 points.
Prediction: my prediction is positivity for the Gophers - a tie tonight, and a win tomorrow. We'll delve into tonight's game tomorrow at TDG, and give you keys to the Saturday night game.