Split: A verb. What Minnesota and Wisconsin came out of last weekend’s series in Madison with. The Gophers were beaten rather soundly on Friday night by a score of 3-1, but bounced back and beat Wisconsin 4-1 on Saturday.
This weekend beckons a “split” (with pun totally intended) home and home series with St. Cloud State. The 7:30pm Friday contest will be in St. Cloud at the National Hockey Center and Saturday’s 7pm tilt will be at Mariucci, with both on Fox Sports North. Anyway, let’s get you to some important numbers to remember. As one person put it to me, let’s “Disch” out some numbers. (Pun was also really intended.)
7: The Gophers are 7-3 in the last ten meetings with the Huskies, but let’s note those three losses. The Gophers were outscored 13-6, and St Cloud State had to score four goals (or more) in each of those games to win. Two of the St. Cloud victories were by more than one goal.
8: Back on January 17th, 2009, this series had what I would call its greatest game but not only in terms of goal output. In St Cloud, the Gophers won an 8-6 game that at times seemed like a football game on ice. It was fun to watch and see how strong the offense really was on both sides. I don’t see fourteen goals in a game this weekend, period.
51: Minnesota enters this weekend with a 51-57 penalty kill stat, which is eighth in the nation at a shade below 90%. Effective penalty kill can help you win a game as we saw in Wisconsin last weekend.
16: Minnesota is a surprising 16-60 on the power play, but that 26.6% efficiency is good for tops in the nation. Watch for the power play to be important this weekend.
5 in 12: In twelve games played this season, Gopher goaltender Kent Patterson has five shutouts (thus, five in twelve). Where does he rank in the country? Why, #1 of course. It wouldn’t be a Numbers column without a Kent stat.
44: St. Cloud State has had forty-four power play attempts on the rather young 2011 season, and has gone a monkey-butt ugly 8-44. That’s 18.2%, folks.
2: St. Cloud State is actually being outscored in two of the four hockey periods possible. They’re outscoring opponents in the first period 16-11, but are getting outscored 11-9 in the second before outscoring their opponents 16-12 in the third period. They’ve also surrendered a lone overtime goal.
3: St. Cloud is also being outshot in three of the four possible hockey periods. The only period the Huskies have an advantage in is OT (7-6) but they’re getting outshot 113-97 in the first period, 135-114 in the second, and 137-101 in the third. Translation? They’re -72 in the shooting department. Oy!
Geoff Discher is lodeplus.com’s Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner as well as the National College Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.comwith comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking hereas well as hereand joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He’s always chock full of fact and opinion. I’m also on Twitter @GophHkyExmnr. Check it out!
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!