Four goals earns Berg weekly WCHA nod

Tim Nichols

In an announcement that should come as a shock to no one, Gophers senior Reggie Berg was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week.
Berg’s output throughout the season could be best described as enigmatic. His play has been inconsistent this season, with only 12 goals before his four-goal explosion Saturday at Minnesota-Duluth.
But the problems he has experienced are in line with the team’s problems; the Gophers’ inability to score has plagued them for months.
Until last weekend, that is.
“It must be retribution after what we’ve been through all year,” Berg said. “We’ve been getting a lot of chances, but we’re just not burying them. I can’t say enough about playing with Wyatt (Smith) and (Dave) Spehar. Even though Spehar didn’t score, I really think they were keyed on him.”
With the defense focused on Spehar, it allowed linemates Berg and Wyatt Smith — who also scored four goals and an assist on the weekend, including a pure hat trick on Friday — to exploit the soft spots of the Bulldogs’ defensive scheme.
“It really opened it up for Reggie and Wyatt,” Spehar said. “They capitalized on all their opportunities. I’m happy for them.”
Berg’s breakout performance seemed to mirror the turnaround of the entire team. Minnesota played with a type of confidence that hasn’t been seen in a long time.
“It helps everybody’s game,” Berg said. “Confidence is a huge factor in hockey. When you score goals and get points, its a big boost for everybody. Hopefully, everybody gained some confidence from this weekend.”

Thanks, Westy
Gophers defenseman Bill Kohn, after trudging through most of the season, is beginning to reap the rewards of playing alongside sophomore forward-turned-blueliner Erik Westrum.
After scoring only one goal all season, Kohn had two in Saturday’s 10-7 shootout win.
“It’s been great playing with (Westrum),” Kohn said. “It reminds me of playing with (former Gopher Mike) Crowley my sophomore year.
“He can read the play so well. He’ll jump up into the play, and I’ll try to take out my guy in the corner, than he’ll pick up the puck and we’re break out. It makes life a lot easier.”
It’s raining in Duluth
The series in Duluth not only produced a glut of goals, but also a number of unique objects being thrown on the ice.
After Minnesota-Duluth’s Derek Derow’s goal in the third period of Friday’s game, an actual sieve was thrown on the ice. During Saturday’s contest, a toilet bowl scrub came soaring out of the student section.
But without a doubt the most interesting items of all came raining down after Reggie Berg’s fourth goal of the night in Minnesota’s 10-7 Saturday win.
Immediately after the goal, about 100 hot dogs were thrown to the ice, followed by the chant which sounded like, “Spehar’s a wiener.” Ironically, the junior Duluth native was quiet for the weekend, finishing the series as one of only four Gophers not to register a point.
But he did have something to say to the members of the Minnesota student section who threw the hot dogs.
“They have no lives,” Spehar said. “They’re hillbillies and they have no lives.”