Three point weekends becoming a trend for Minnesota

Tentacle Boy

Paul Bangasser

Tentacle Boy

The Minnesota menâÄôs hockey team seems to be developing a bit of a habit. For the past three weekends in a row, the Gophers have tied on Friday night and won on Saturday by at least three goals . Last year, the Gophers had a 3-4-9 record in overtime play. That is a statistic that put the Gophers at the top of the list for most overtime games with 16. Coach Don Lucia said that last year his team had trouble getting the separation goal. Even though Minnesota has exited the last three weekends with three points, the Gophers are still undefeated and following a different pattern than last yearâÄôs 5-4 start . âÄúA lot of the guys in the locker room know what last year felt like,âÄù junior Jay Barriball said. âÄúIn this league you canâÄôt really dig yourself a hole, because teams will start passing you, and itâÄôs tough to climb up after that. We are fortunate that we have a couple wins here. ItâÄôs been a good start for us.âÄù The Gophers tied University of New Hampshire on Friday night 2-2, Minnesota State 3-3 on Oct. 31 and Wisconsin 2-2 on Oct. 24. The next night, Minnesota beat those opponents 6-2, 6-3 and 5-2, respectively. Barriball said he isnâÄôt sure if there is such a thing as a good tie, and to avoid leaving the ice with a knotted score, the Gophers need to capitalize on their scoring chances. âÄúWe donâÄôt like to tie,âÄù he said. âÄúA lot of teams are tough in our league and other leagues, so we need to find a way to separate ourselves, somehow, each and every game. Through the last three [series] we havenâÄôt been able to do that, but we havenâÄôt played terrible.âÄù In overtime, the Gophers have had two overtime power plays but havenâÄôt been on the penalty kill. The Gophers outshot their opponents in overtime 10-7 this season, with sophomore Alex Kangas in net for all three overtimes. He hasnâÄôt allowed a goal in overtime since March 14, 2008 against Mankato State in the WCHA playoffs, and the Gophers have been in six overtimes since. Kangas has a 3-3-11 record during overtime in his career. Sophomore Mike Hoeffel said he noticed the trend of tying on Friday and winning on Saturday, but said he isnâÄôt sure about that pattern for next weekend, since the games are on Saturday and Sunday. âÄúAs long as we arenâÄôt losing,âÄù he said. âÄúWeâÄôll take a tie in conference play; itâÄôs a point.âÄù