He shoots, he scores — he dances?

by Tim Nichols

After freshman John Pohl put back a rebound shot to score his first career goal for the Gophers men’s hockey team, Pohl proceeded to party like a madman.
It started with a jump, then a little turn, then he thrusted both arms toward the sky as if he just won the greatest prize in the history of hockey.
“I didn’t even know what I was doing,” Pohl said.
It was one of those things where the thrill of the moment just overtook the freshman. After all, Pohl has scored his share of goals — 145 at Red Wing High School en route to becoming the state’s all-time leading scorer.
“It was his moment of excitement,” coach Doug Woog said. “It was probably the longest streak of no goals of his entire career.”
Can we expect a similar dance for every goal?
“No, not every goal,” Pohl said. “I had a lot of built up anxiety. It was a big game, first goal.”
The celebration was alright with Woog. The enthusiasm and pure excitement Pohl exhibited showed his love for the game.
“It’s better when people are happy and excited,” Woog said. “It’s better than scoring your first goal and acting nonchalantly.”

It’s a learning experience
It’s been a crash course in maturity for freshman goaltender Adam Hauser.
The 18-year-old was shelled in his first collegiate start against St. Lawrence, but bounced back to play well against arch rivals Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud and Wisconsin.
But the freshman is trying to take it all in stride.
“The first weekend against St. Lawrence I was so nervous,” Hauser said. “Now I’ve settled in, the guys have been great toward me. Right now, everything’s clicking.”
Hauser was honored by the WCHA for his weekend performance by being named the rookie of the week. Hauser currently ranks second in the league with a 1.25 goals against average and a .947 save percentage in league games.
Hauser had to become a quick study after an injury to sophomore Eric Day. The projected starter for the beginning of the year, Day is out for the season with a knee injury.
“Knowing that Eric Day was out of the picture, you know that you’re going to be in the picture,” Woog said, elaborating on the pressure Hauser experienced. “The reality of it hits you. None of the goaltenders had played yet, so there was no easy weaning process.”
The freshman has survived being thrown to the WCHA wolves so far. But Hauser credits his teammates with his recent success.
“All the credit goes to the guys up front,” he said. “They played one of the toughest games. We were behind, and we came back. That is one of the toughest things to do.
ù Minnesota’s power play unit keeps plugging along, going 4-for-14 this weekend. This brings the Gophers total to 10-for-42 (23.8 percent) in the WCHA, 11-for-57 (19.3 percent) overall.
ù Did you know that the last time Minnesota swept a series from Wisconsin in Madison was Feb. 25-26, 1994? The Gophers then defeated the Badgers, oddly enough, 3-2 and 3-2.
It was also the first time Minnesota swept a series on the road since Jan. 24-25, 1997, against Michigan Tech.
ù Pohl’s goal in the first period of Saturday’s game was the first 5-on-5 goal in 148:56 minutes. The Gophers last 5-on-5 goal was scored by Erik Wendell against St. Cloud on Oct. 23.