This weekend we will face the #1 team in the nation, and to be honest I'm glad it's Minnesota. We haven't had consistent success against them, but we have beat them in their barn before. We are currently the only team EVER to beat them in their current arena in the WCHA playoffs. We have done this three times, and swept them in the 2010-11 Playoffs. It seems there program has been bettered by the firing of John Hill, and good for them. We will forever have ties to the UM program as long as Don Lucia is head coach and Kurt Haider is our play-by-play guy. Kurt is from St. Cloud and it's great to hear his stories when were in Minnesota, and of course Don Lucia was an assistant under Brush and was the coach of UA_ for awhile. But when the puck is dropped, all that is forgotten and it is game time.
Minny has done very well for themselves thus far. Yes they are only in sixth place in the WCHA, but there are 8-0-0 in non-conference play that includes a trashing of BC (8-1) and a win against #2/3 Notre Dame (4-1). In non-conference play Minny has outscored their opponents 37-6, in eight games that averages out to be 4.6-.75. Scary offense outside of league play, but in league play they average a very solid three goals per game, while giving up 2.5. In their past 14 games there are 10-2-2, but in our home league opener against them we lost Friday night, but tied a game we should have won Saturday night.
Much of our season rides on this weekend series, if we split that could go a long ways towards confidence and some inspiration to salvage something from the season. Right now I will classify this as our most important weekend of the season. I don't want another tie, unless that is coupled with a win. Our team does not need a tie, our boys need some confidence to keep grinding.
We will have to play tight, minimize mistakes and strike when given the opportunity. We will have to do our best to take care of the puck, if you have the puck always have a back up plan. Minny is very dangerous again, and they have more than a few guys who can snipe. Unfortunately we will have to dump the puck and work our forecheck. Cycle the puck, as teams do not give us respect whenever we control the puck. Teams are very active around our guys that have the puck, puck control is a must. And if in doubt, just give the puck to Blake Tatchell. He is my favorite freshmen, kid has been a very pleasant surprise so far.
I'd hate to project another split, but I see our guys winning Saturday tight 2-1, after a 4-1 loss. I'd absolutely love to hear some "Overrated" chants Saturday night from some of our fans that I know will be there.