Men’s Hockey: Gophers tied 1-1 with two to go

by Brian Deutsch

Update: A week after going 0-for-5 on the power-play, Minnesota converted its first opportunity tonight at the National Hockey Center. Tony Lucia scored at the 8:58 mark to make it 1-0 Gophers when he scored Minnesota’s first goal of the season. After the Huskies Chris Hepp was called for interference, Lucia faked Weslosky into going low before beating the junior goalie with a high glove side shot assisted by Carman and Flynn. Less than three minutes later, SCSU senior forward John Swanson pocketed his fifth goal in three games when he slipped around Kevin Wehrs and slid a low wrister between Kangas’ pads. The Huskies almost made it 2-1 near the 15:00 mark but the goal was waved off immediately and held up upon review because the shot went in off a Huskies glove (and then a Gophers stick) No goal. Eight penalties have been called in the first for 16 minutes. Meanwhile the Gophers are outshooting the Huskies 17-5, which says the defense is holding the offense thus far. It’s the first game of the season for the Gophers, and they’re going to start off with probably their toughest defensive challenge of the season – St. Cloud State. The Huskies bring back the WCHA’s top two scorers from last season in Garrett Roe and Ryan Lasch. The two are split up in SCSU’s lines with Lasch winging the first line – Roe will center line two with John Swanson, who tallied a hat trick last weekend, on his side. Here’s the preliminary line chart for Minnesota although chances are Lucia will mix things up a bit: Stoa-Schroeder-Barriball Lucia-Carman-Flynn Hoeffel-Sacchetti-White Hansen-Matson-Bostrom Fairchild-Fischer Ness-Anderson Wehrs-Schack Kangas will undoubtedly have the start with Patterson backing him up. In case anybody missed the WCHA Notebook on Thursday, here’s what was left out of the paper… I really only think there are three players out of the gate that have a chance at winning the Hobey Baker. Granted someone could come out and surprise everyone but until that happens, here are my picks. Colorado College sophomore goalie Richard Bachman: Bachman became only the second player in WCHA history to earn the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Award. Named National Rookie of the Year and was a First Team All-American. Allowed two or fewer goals in 25 of 35 starts. Colorado College senior forward Chad Rau: Rau was a Second Team All-American that led the nation with six shorthanded goals. His 28 goals were the most in the WCHA last season. St. Cloud State junior forward Ryan Lasch: Lasch was a top-ten finalist for the Hobey last season after being named the 2008 WCHA Scoring Champion with 34 points (17 and 17).