Is hard part over for the Gophers' women's hockey team?

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  • Updated: March 18, 2013 - 12:05 AM

Is the hard part over for the Gophers’ women’s hockey team?

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emartensMar. 17, 13 9:34 PM

The title of this article captures the Gophers' main challenge. Are they gonna come into the weekend thinking it is a coronation, or are they gonna bring some sandpaper? Having defeated UND six straight, they thought that they owned UND, and as a result almost overlooked them. I am coming up from NM to watch this team play. Hope they bring their A game.

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munnymanMar. 17, 1311:47 PM

Interesting comment emartens, but not accurate in my estimation. The Gophers played UND in the WCHA Final and were pushed hard. The 2-0 score doesn't tell the whole story. I was there and I think UND is a very good squad. I don't think that The ladies were overlooking them one bit, not after the game they got. But I agree with you, they will need everything they've got to advance to the championship game. AND WIN! Go Gophers!

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MagicMar. 18, 1311:04 AM

Sorry if these are dumb questions, but does the University charge admission to Girls Hockey games? And is it General Admission? Also, don't the Men play North Dakota at the X that night?

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TGarMar. 18, 1311:21 AM

Yes of course there is a charge although it's much less but a little more for the Frozen four. And yes the men play the winner of UND/CC in the 8pm game on friday, hence the early start for the U women I'm guessing.

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stpauloldiesMar. 18, 13 8:18 PM

I don't think the Gophers are going to suffer any letdown at all. And I don't think they had a letdown against ND in either the WCHA final faceoff or in the NCAA 1st round. Without going back and checking, my guess is that ND is the only team this year that ever got 30 or more shots on goal against us, which I think they managed to do twice. Every game against them and Wisconsin was really tough. Even some of the games this year that could have looked like letdowns really weren't. For instance, the last 2 games of the year against St. Cloud State were like 2-0 and 2-0. That could look like a letdown until you look at the shots on goal in both games, where we were in the high-40's and they were in the high-teens. Same thing with the last Bemidgi St. series prior to the WCHA playoffs, where they made us go to OT to beat them and the other game was close. Again, we had over 50 shots on goal in the OT game to their like 23. The teams that play us are all trying to clog the middle and keep the score down. By doing so, they are gladly willing to give up a lot of offensive opportunities. .......... Bottom line is that a team cannot mount a 47-game winning streak by coming out flat and unprepared in some of those games. These Gophers will be psyched and ready to rumble on both Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

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firefly70Mar. 18, 13 9:08 PM

Is the hard part over? Uh, no. Obviously, when you get down to the final four teams in any tournament, all the remaining teams are capable of beating any of the other teams. Just looking to the next game against Boston College, the Women Gophers will have their hands full. BC has more scoring depth than North Dakota did. And while Boston College does not have the Lamoureux twins, they still have plenty of fire power with the overall point scorer in Women's Hockey East with Alex Carpenter (1.92 ppg) and the third overall point scorer with Haley Skarupa. Boston College actually scored more goals per game than NoDak did. North Dakota averaged 3.69 goals per game for their entire season. Boston College averaged OVER 4 goals per game for their entire season (4.36). They have a very good PP unit at 28%. Their PK is pretty good, also, at 84%, being backstopped by arguably the best Hockey East goalie in Corinne Boyles - with the best overall GAA (1.79), best overall save percentage (.927), AND best overall win percentage (.833). So while the Women Gophers would have the advantage in most areas - scoring depth (especially from the Blue line with Megan Bozek, Mira Jalosou, Rachel Ramsey and Milica McMillen); defense, again headed by the aforementioned D-women, PP at over 31% (31.8%), PK at a ridiculous 91.8%, and the other-worldly goaltending of Noora Raty; this game should still be a fairly close contest, especially if Boston College can stay out of the penalty box - which shouldn't be a problem since they are a pretty disciplined team and average less penalties per game than the Women Gophers.

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firefly70Mar. 18, 13 9:20 PM

Also, you think all the other women hockey conferences are getting just a little tired of the NCAA crown going to the WCHA, year after year after year? Starting with the inaugural season of NCAA-sanctioned women's hockey tournament being won by UMD, through last year being won by our own Women Gophers, NO team outside of the WCHA has won the NCAA championship yet!! So do you think that might be just a little bit of an added incentive for the other non-WCHA teams to really try and knock off the defending champion Women Gophers?? Point is, even though North Dakota gave the Women Gophers one of their toughest games so far, I don't think any of the remaining games will be much easier. However, I know this team has the talent and toughness (mental and physical) to finish this magical season by bringing home the hardware!! To the Women Gophers, Good luck and keep it going!!

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emartensMar. 18, 1310:53 PM

Without question, munnyman, UND is a solid squad and the fact that they pushed Minne is not my point. When a Gopher captain suggests in an interview that 'We know that all we need to do is take away two [UND] players,' that concerns me. They got a very-much-needed scare en route to what I hope is another title. But if they walk in thinking, "Now the hard part is over," you and I will be crying over our beers. See you at Ridder!

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dexterjibsMar. 19, 13 2:14 AM

The hard part is not over if players like Megan Bozek open their mouth and spout off something stupid bout their next opponent. And, it isn't over if the local newspaper runs an article titled, "Is the hard part over for Gopher women". Because this will only fuel the next opponent like Megan Bozek fueled NDak with her stupid comments. Oh wait, the Strib just posted an article that could fuel the next opponent.

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stpauloldiesMar. 19, 13 8:39 PM

Bottom line: ----- The Gophers are loaded with depth, hardly losing stride going from the 1st line to the 3rd line. Brad Frost uses the 4th line in the 1st and 2nd periods to keep his stars fresh, then he cuts it down to 3 lines for the 3rd period, ratcheting up the pressure on the other team. I think this strategy is pure genius. If you look at the 3rd periods all season long, you'll see that the Gophers finished stronger than their opponents in the vast majority of their games. It can come back to bite you a little bit when you're forced to go to overtime, like we did against North Dakota, but the gamble is well worth it, because at least 95% of the time it works. ........... None of the other teams in the final 4 have a quality 3rd line like the Gophers have.

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