March 13, 2011

An Irish Wake for Minnesota

Most of the series are done, surprisingly.

North Dakota took care of business last night. So did Denver, coming back (again) and beating Mankato in overtime. Duluth won in triple overtime, ending St. Cloud's season.

But there were some upsets.

Bemidji, a team that is used to the big stage in college hockey, will get to be the first new team of the WCHA to head to St. Paul as they knocked off UNO in a sweep at the Qwest Center. I can safely say with confidence that the #10 seed has never advanced to St. Paul.

The biggest story of the night though, was the Seawolves ending Minnesota's season. Behind a stunning goaltending effort from Chris Kamal, UAA blanked Minnesota 2-0. The Minnesota fanbase seemed stunned and not surprised at the same time, and almost immediately after the game, the speculation of where the coaching staff would be began. Meanwhile, UAA is off to its first Final Five since 2004, and is on a 5 game winning streak. The possibility of UAA making the NCAA's is exciting and shows the true grit of the WCHA.

I, for one, was not going to mock the Gophers. While I don't like a lot of their fans, they do have passion and care a lot about the game. My own dad is a huge Gopher fan and donates his money to the University. This is a proud program who is unfortunately in a bad position right now. Many Gopher fans are not used to failure. This is a program that will be back. I believe that. A change at the top? It's gotta happen, and sooner rather then later. For now though, it's just time to mourn the end of the Gophers season.


Fire Helmet Guy #26 said...

I'm willing to give Lucia one more year IF he gets rid of John Hill. Potulny is a tough call as well, I think he has a bright future as a coach and love seeing him behind the Minnesota bench but is still pretty wet behind the ears. There were rumors that the players did not respect him either because he had no coaching experience and because he is so young. Tough times to be a Gopher fan, that's for sure.

Brandon said...

FHG, I didn't hear that about Potulny. I'm surprised, given the kid has two NC under his belt and was a great college player. He reminds me of Chay Genoway.

We were discussing the Gophers woes last night at CC, and the conclusion is they lack cohesion. It's a bunch of individuals out there, not a team. Lucia has to get that chemistry back.

Fire Helmet Guy #26 said...

Well that's exactly it Brandon, he was a guy that used to represent what the "M" used to be, that is why I was excited to see him get the assistant job because I figured he'd whip these guys into shape and show them what being a Gopher hockey player used to be about. But it's not surprising that the players did not respect him with all the preppy prima-donnas they bring in, they only think about themselves.

Yeah, they have not played as a team for a while now. I get so sick of Lucia complaining about losing players to the pro's early because you see schools like UND who are able to keep their high end talent around, because they are such a tight knit group up there that play as a team instead of themselves. As much as I dislike the Sioux (as a Gopher fan I have to :D) I have to respect the HELL out of them for that.

Brandon said...

and as an opposing fan, you have to respect and appreciate what Hak has done in terms of keeping guys. Yes we have lost talent to the NHL, and others have left such as baby Toews or Fienhage, but this Sioux team is a team where guys have each others backs, where they play like a team, and win or lose, they are a team at the end of the day. I hope Minnesota can find guys like Spehar, Rasmussen, Bonin, Wheeler, etc. Guys that were proud to wear the M and what the M stands for.

Andy said...

In 1994, MTU went to Colorado Springs and beat CC as the #10 seed, but the Final Five was in Milwaukee...