The Gopher Men's Hockey team will be back home tonight for the first of two games against the Northeastern Huskies. The Huskies are from Hockey East, and will be looking to continue their winning streak against Minnesota. The two teams played last year over Thanksgiving Weekend, and the Huskies defeated the Gophers in Boston by a 3-2 score. Current Gopher captain Justin Kloos had one of the two Gopher goals in that game.
The biggest task for Minnesota tonight is to try and find a way to put the puck in the net. The Gophers have only scored one goal so far this season, and have been dreadful so far on the powerplay, starting the year 0-12. However, Northeastern is not much better as they are just 1-14 so far this season with the extra man. The Huskies are just 1-2 so far this season, defeating #20 Colgate 2-1 at home to open the year, and then being swept in a home and home to Bentley last weekend. Huskie goalie Derick Roy has started all three games, and has allowed eight goals on 49 shots, so Minnesota should have ample opportunities to put the puck past him.
I would expect Minnesota to come back with freshman goalie Eric Schierhorn in net. Schierhorn has started all three Gopher losses so far this season, but has only given up eight goals on 94 shots. The defense in front of Schierhorn has been one of the issues so far this season, and they will have their hands full trying to contain Northeastern's captain, Kevin Roy. Roy only has one assist this season, but was one of the top ten Hobey Baker Award Finalists last season, and is the current NCAA active points leader with 125. If the Gophers lose track of him this weekend...things could get ugly once again.
So yeah...the key to this weekend? Score goals, and stop them. Hopefully Gopher coach Don Lucia will have his lines figured out and put together in a way where the Gophers may be able to put the puck in the net.