Hauser squashes goalie controversy

Tim Nichols

The departure of junior goaltender Willy Marvin has squashed all talk of a goaltending controversy for Minnesota’s men’s hockey team.
With unproven freshmen Ryan Westrum and Rob LaRue behind him, Adam Hauser can now live up to his jersey number — he’s now the undisputed number one starter for Minnesota.
“I wouldn’t say that it was nice that Willy quit,” Hauser said. “But the situation obviously changed in a way that benefitted me a little bit, because everyone started to look away from different situations and hypotheticals. So now let’s move away from that and start working on winning games.”
And winning, or at least giving the Gophers a chance to win, is what Hauser has brought to the team in the last few weeks.
The freshman from Bovey, Minn., who played for Greenway High School, currently has a 3.13 goals-against average and is 6-6-1 for the year.
“When you have good goaltending, that gives you a base,” coach Doug Woog said. “Hey, we only got two goals (in the win against Michigan State). Your goaltender has got to be a factor when you only score two goals.”
Solid play between the pipes is going to have to be the cornerstone for the Gophers’ success. Minnesota hasn’t exactly been a scoring machine as of late and has had difficulty coming from behind. The Gophers are 0-5-1 when entering the third period behind.
For the Gophers to be successful, they will need to strike early and hope for their defense and Hauser to hold up the lead. Hauser’s teammates are beginning to believe that he is the man that can become Minnesota’s security blanket.
“Hauser showed this weekend that he has a good head on his shoulders,” captain Wyatt Smith said. “He’s going to compete whenever he needs to. He’s looking to be one of the best on this team.”
In order for Hauser to become one of the elite goaltenders in the country, he’ll be relying on the advice that was given to him while he was with the national under-18 team.
“To be a championship team, you need to concentrate as long as you possibly can,” Hauser said. “That was one thing that was pounded in our heads in Ann Arbor last year. It sticks with you, and I think that’s what we’re learning right now.”

Musings by Mike
Following the Gophers 2-1 victory over Michigan State, senior forward Mike Anderson seemed to be a little more concerned with his Gophers’ legacy than the win itself.
“I thought my legacy for this year is that I scored the longest goal in Golden Gopher history,” Anderson said. “I thought I might have had to go with that.”
The longest goal was the one scored against St. Cloud State on Oct. 23 when a Huskies player shot the puck the length of the ice into his own net when the goalie was pulled for the man advantage.
Anderson said he was pleased he was able to score a real goal, blasting a slap shot off the face-off to beat Michigan State goaltender Joe Blackburn for a shorthanded goal.
“It’s nice to get the monkey off your back,” Anderson said. “It helps me look forward to the second half of the season.”
Slap shots
ù Only seven of the Gophers’ 24-man roster is on the positive side of the plus/minus rating.
ù After beginning the season on fire on the power play, the Gophers have cooled off considerably. Minnesota has only managed one power play goal in its last 17 opportunities.