Preview: Huskies vs. Minnesota (Mariucci Classic Championship)

December 31, 2011


Tonight the Huskies will go for the title in the Mariccui Classic as they take on the Golden Gophers on their home ice.  Puck drops at 7 PM EST.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

Minnesota comes in at 15-5-2.  The Golden Gophers beat Niagara 5-1 last night to reach the title game.   They will be without two of their top scorers in Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, who are with the USA WJC team.  The Gophers are averaging 4.2 goals per game, so even without these two they will be expecting to light the lamp a few times tonight.  Their power play is at 25%, so if NU picks up penalties like they did last night, it is going to be a long game.   Minnesota does take a lot of penalties, but with NU’s PP now at 8%, it probably wont matter how many chances they get.  Minnesota also averages 36 shots per game, so Rawlings will need to bring his A game for the Huskies to have any chance.  Kent Patterson will be the goalie for Minnesota.   He has played in every single game for Minnesota this year, positng a 1.99 GAA and .922 Save Percentage.

For the Huskies, they are lucky to be in this game, but it doesnt really matter.   They have a chance to get some hardware and a potentially huge RPI and Pairwise boost.  The rest of Hockey East is not really helping out in that manner, so NU is going.   Even missing 2 top players, Minnesota is one of the best teams in the country, but NU has proven they can play with the best.   If they play the style they played during the win streak, this should be a great game.   If they play like they played last night, it wont even be close.

PS-Its officially time to Free the Dong.

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