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Minnesota Hockey: Gopher Hockey Nugs

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We talk about rankings, awards, and a video of a Gopher legend she probably wished didn’t exist.

Eric Schierhorn continues his hot tear for another weekend.
gophersports.com

Here are a few Gopher Hockey related nuggets for this week to recap two big sweeps for the Gopher Men and Women and to look ahead to this weekend’s games

Gopher Men Get Sweep—Move up in Rankings

Minnesota swept a Big Ten series from Michigan State at Mariucci last weekend. Minnesota won Friday night 3-1, and won Saturday afternoon 4-0. Minnesota got goals from Ryan Lindgren, Brent Gates, Jr and Rem Pitlick on Friday, and on Saturday got goals from Tyler Sheehy, Casey Mittelstadt, Tyler Nanne and Leon Bristedt. With the Sweep the Gophers now are on top of the Big Ten standings with 9 points, 3 ahead of Notre Dame and Penn State .

The Gophers moved up this week in the national polls. They are now currently 4th in the nation in the USCHO.com poll, and are #2 in the USA Hockey poll.

Eric Schierhorn’s Big Weekend

Gopher goalie Eric Schierhorn continued his great play of late. He shut down the Spartans allowing only one goal on 47 shots over the weekend. His shutout on Saturday was the 10th of his career leaving him just three off of the all-time Minnesota program record of 13 shared by Kellen Briggs and Adam Wilcox. it was also Schierhorn’s 50th career win as a Gopher. He is just the 12th Gopher goalie to win 50 games in a career and is currently tied with Tom Newman and Jim Mattson for 10th all time in victories. Schierhorn has owned the Spartans in his career as his two wins last weekend now ups his career record against Michigan State to 8-1-1.

Schierhorn has made a school record 85 consecutive starts for the Gophers is on a roll. He was the #1 Star of the Week in the Big Ten after his performance against Clarkson two weekends ago, and on Tuesday was named the # 1 Star of the Week for the second consecutive week after his performance against the Spartans.

He also is garnering national attention as Schierhorn was named the NCAA #3 Star of the Week for his performance against the Spartans.

Gopher Women Get Back on Track

The Gopher Women’s Hockey Team was down in Mankato for a series against Minnesota State and get back on track with a sweep. They defeated the Mavericks 6-1 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday. The Gophers bounced back after getting swept at home by #1 Wisconsin the weekend before for the first time since 2010. Nine different Gophers tallied a goal this weekend and NIcole Schammel and Cara Piazza each put two in the net. Sidney Peters got the win in net Friday while Alex Gulstene got the win on Saturday. The Gophers currently are in second place in the WCHA behind the Badgers, and just two points ahead of Ohio State—who also has two games in hand on Minnesota.

The Gophers will take a week off of WCHA play this week as they head to Erie, Pennsylvania for a road series at Mercyhurst. The Gophers are 6-0 on the road this season, and are 6-1 all time against the Lakers with the only win coming in the team’s most recent game, the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four Semifinal.

Yes...You Are Getting Old

The Gopher Women picked up commitments from two players yesterday and today who were born in 2003. Yes, you read that right. 2003!

Now I trust Brad Frost and what he is doing. Just like in the men’s game this is the new normal. It seems insane, but that's how the top teams need to operate in the current recruiting climate. And these are arguably two of the best 8th grade and 9th grade hockey players in the country... but they still won’t see the ice at Ridder Arena for Minnesota until the fall of 2021 for Huber and 2022 for Jungels. That’s a LOOOOONG way away. Lets just hope they continue on their upwards trajectory and are still this good then.

And Now a Video a Gopher Legend Might Not Want You to See

Krissy Wendell was a star for the Gopher Women’s Hockey team from 2002-2005. She won the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2005 that is given to the best player in women’s college hockey. She ranks #4 all-time in scoring for the Gophers with 237 points. She is a Minnesota high school legend, and has been one of the best athletes, male or female to ever come out of the state of Minnesota. She married another Minnesota hockey legend in Johnny Pohl and they have three daughters who probably already have standing scholarship offers from the University of Minnesota.

In 1994 she went with her Park Center Little League team to the Little League World Series where she was only the 5th girl to ever play in the Tournament, and became the first girl to ever start a game for a team in the Little League World Series. This became the reason she became mildly famous, and got her a spot on a Nickelodeon TV show in 1997. Thanks to Grant Salzano of BC Interrupted, our Boston College SB Nation Blog, we now have that video.

Nothing like realizing even star athletes had awkward teenage years....

A Look Ahead to this Weekend

As we said before the Gopher women will play a non-conference series at Mercyhurst. They will face-off at 2 PM Friday, and 1 PM on Saturday.

The Gopher Men will travel to Ann Arbor for a Big Ten series at Michigan. The Wolverines are the top team not ranked but receiving votes in the USCHO poll. They have a 5-3 overall record this season and are in a bit of a rebuilding mode after the retirement of Red Berenson in the offseason. Former Michigan player and assistant, and most recently Michigan Tech Head Coach Mel Pearson is the new top guy in Ann Arbor and seems to be gearing up the Wolverines to be a threat to the top of the Big Ten standings soon. It will just be the second Big Ten series of the year for the Wolverines as they split a series at Penn State two weekends ago. They are immediately coming off of a home split with Ferris State last weekend.

As of now there is no TV or stream for Friday night’s game which will begin at 6:30. Saturday night will air on BTN at 6:30.

We will have a bigger preview of the series against the Wolverines on Friday.