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Minnesota Hockey: Weekend Gopher Hockey and Gopher Women’s Hockey Preview/ Open Thread

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The Women look to sweep St Cloud while the Men take a road trip to Upstate New York

Senior Dani Camaranesi is leading the Gophers to another successful season
gophersports.com

Both the Gopher Men’s and Women’s hockey teams are in action Friday night.

Gopher Men

The Gophers are on the road this weekend with a road trip to upstate New York. Its the first time since 2003 that the Gophers have played a game in New York, and this weekend will pit the Gophers against a pair of ECAC opponents in Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Gophers will face Clarkson Friday night and then play St. Lawrence on Saturday, while Wisconsin will face the same opponents on the opposite nights.

Minnesota is trying to recover from a poor weekend that saw them get swept by St. Cloud State in a home and home series. Minnesota led both games by at least two goals and blew a three goal third period lead Friday night at Mariucci before losing in overtime. It was unacceptable, and both Gopher coach Don Lucia and several players made it known they also found it unacceptable in media interviews this week. Its just another example of the Gophers faltering against in-state opponents. The Gophers are now 1-15 in their last 16 games against teams from Minnesota. It’s something Minnesota must improve upon if it wants to get back to the NCAA Tournament.

This weekend will be key for Minnesota to gain some of the credentials the NCAA Committee will be looking at come March. The Gophers will not play another ECAC team this season after this weekend, so all comparisons for the Pairwise will be based upon how Minnesota does against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. Two wins, and their NCAA Pairwise numbers will be bolstered. Two losses....and its an even tougher task for Minnesota to get back to where they want to be. This is just the beginning of a major onslaught of tough games against ranked opponents the next few weeks. With the exception of Clarkson who the Gophers play Friday their next nine games are all against ranked opponents. Minnesota will see No. 18 St. Lawrence this weekend before hosting current No. 1 North Dakota, Nov. 4-5, at Mariucci Arena. No. 9 Minnesota State follows in a home-and-home series, Nov. 18-19, before Minnesota travels to No. 16 Northeastern and No. 8 Boston College, Nov. 25 and 27. Minnesota kicks off the Big Ten season on Dec. 2-3 - hosting No. 14/15 Ohio State at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers can not afford to falter during this stretch, because it will come back to haunt them in March.

Minnesota has had success against Clarkson in the past. The Gophers are 3-0 all time against the Golden Knights with all three games coming in NCAA Tournament play. Minnesota is just 2-2 all time against St. Lawrence on the other hand and will need a win to avoid the Saints being just the fourth team Minnesota had a losing record against all-time in school history. The other three teams being Maine, Holy Cross and Lake Superior State.

Neither game will be on TV this weekend, but both home schools have free live video streams available.

How To Watch:

Friday: #12 Minnesota Gophers @ Clarkson Golden Knights

Where: Cheel Arena, Potsdam, NY

Time: 6:00 PM

TV: None

Video Stream: FREE

Radio: 1500 ESPN

Saturday: #12 Minnesota Gophers @ #18 St. Lawrence Saints

Where: Appleton Arena, Canton, NY

Time: 6:00 PM

TV: None

Video Stream: FREE

Radio: 1500 ESPN

Gopher Women

The #2 ranked Gopher women will looks to complete a series sweep of St. Cloud State Friday night at Ridder Arena. The Gophers beat the Huskies 5-2 on Thursday night. Junior center Kelly Pannek scored the first and last goals of the night for the Gophers and added an assist. Minnesota also got four point nights from both senior Dani Camaranesi and sophomore Sarah Potomak who each tallied a goal and three assists. Gopher junior goalie Sydney Peters picked up the win making six saves on just six shots faced in the first 46 minutes of the game before giving the net to freshman Serena D’Angelo who game up two goals in the last fourteen minutes of the game in her first collegiate game action.

Minnesota has struggled to put teams away so far this season, but has found a way to gut out several close victories. The Gophers won a pair of one goal games at Ohio State last weekend, and swept #3 UMD at Ridder the weekend before on a pair of one goal games. While Minnesota seems to still be adjusting to missing the firepower of graduated seniors Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessel, the really have seem the emergence of the next Gopher superstar in Potomak. Potomak had scored the Gophers game winning goal in the Gophers last four games prior to last night. She now has a five game point streak as well, and her sixteen points and nine goals lead the nation.

Minnesota is also getting scoring from two other players they knew they would need to count on, Camaranesi and Pannek. Both are tied for third in the nation in points with 13, and Pannek’s ten assists are good for second in the country. The Gophers scoring as a whole is down from a season ago, but its still good enough to have Minnesota at 8-1 and ranked #2 in the nation behind rival Wisconsin.

How To Watch:

Friday: St. Cloud State Huskies @ #2 Minnesota Gophers

Where: Ridder Arena, Minneapolis, MN

Time: 7:07 PM

TV: None

Video Stream: BTN PLUS $$$

Free Audio Stream: Here