“What are ya’ watchin’ there, Cubbie?”

fargo

[“GOPHERS!’]

12-1-13-30

This game took place a week ago Sunday.  Talk about not meeting your press deadlines!  Anyway, as you’ll recall, the Gopher women’s hockey team beat Princeton 9 – 1 in that match-up.  And lest you think the Tigers are not a competitive hockey team, the Gophers just beat Ohio State twice this past weekend in Columbus by almost exactly the same scores.

Anyway, walking across campus to Ridder Arena, we had to stop for this photo op with Goldy.  You will note Cooke Hall in the background – one of the few buildings in this part of the campus that I still recognize.  It used to be the swimming arena – I have no idea if it still is.  It was right at the open end of old Memorial Stadium.

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[We approach Ridder – our favorite hockey arena.]

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[Once inside, buy a program from Santa Claus . . .]

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[Cruise the concourse for Gopher displays – Amanda Kessel here . . .]

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[Krissy Wendell here.]

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[Both teams warm up.]

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[The media . . .]

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[The skyboxes?]

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[Goldy!]

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[He/she was a darn good skater.]

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[Should have been in a team uniform!  😉  ]

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[The band was there – seemed to have the most fun dancing to the “canned” rock music!]

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[Let’s take the mystery out of this one early.]

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[And they did.  Probably the most incredible thing is that the 9 goals were scored by 9 different players, and 15 players had points.  Amazing depth!]

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[A Kelly Terry (10) sequence, because it’s hard to take your eyes off her when she’s on the ice . . .]

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[Then Irondale’s Meghan Lorence (20) . . .]

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[And Sarah Davis (9) got the first goal . . .]

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[About 2 1/2 minutes into the game.  The Tigers’ coach Jeff Kampersal was quoted as saying, “Sometimes, it just seemed like a tidal wave.”]

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[Start again . . .]

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[Just a couple minutes later, Lorence scored.]

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[Minnesota Rouser!]

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[Then Terry streaks in again . . .]

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[And though she got dumped . . .]

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[The end result was a goal by Hannah Brandt (22) about 13 minutes into the period.  10 seconds later, Milica McMillen (13) scored the 4th goal of the period.  She received the face-off draw after the Brandt goal at her own blue line, casually skated to the Tigers’ blue line, and then, I think just to get the puck in deep, fired a bullet slapshot from the blue line that whistled over the goalie’s left shoulder and into the net.  Then she skated casually back to the bench for a shift change.  In the 1st period, the Gophers had an 18 – 1 shots-on-goal advantage.  The game was much more evenly played from then on.]

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[Goldy awaits the team’s return for the 2nd period.]

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[And here they come.]

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[Rachael Bona (7) – had a hat trick in the 2nd Ohio State game.]

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[Sarah (9)]

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[Was that Kim Kardashian?]

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[Nah, she never leaves Alex!]

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[Kelly and Rachael – it’s really fun when these two scooters are on the ice at the same time!  🙂  ]

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[First Rachael . . .]

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[Then Kelly.]

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[Kelly takes the face-off . . .]

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[Draws it back to Rachael . . .  (At some point in the proceedings I mentioned the Gophers seemed to be winning all the face-offs – another key to success.)]

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[Then Kelly whirls for a pass . . .]

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[Then barrels for the net . . .]

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[Only to be cut off at the pass by a Tiger.]

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[And then heads to the corner.]

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[Sarah sees Maryanne Menefee (14) at the goal.]

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[Maryanne bats at it.]

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[Looks like it stayed out.]

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[Rachel Riley (5) waits for it to come to the point.]

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[And, uffda, can she give it a ride!]

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[And here comes Sarah again.]

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[And then she circles back around.]

Watching the Gophers play is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.  Oh . . . did somebody already use that line?  Anyway, it’s not only their overall team speed but the continuous motion that makes them special (ask what made Wayne Gretzky so great?).  When they have the puck in the offensive zone, the wings will either criss-cross in front the goal, thus being able to receive a pass from behind the goal or from the points for point-blank shots; or even prettier, if the puck is on the goalie’s left side, all three forwards will circle, counterclockwise at equidistance apart, that face-off circle until the forward coming around the top is open for a pass from a trailer or from the point, again for a point-blank shot on goal.  And with a shot, a teammate will invariable take up position on the goalie’s weak side for a rebound.  Yup, it’s as pretty as a hot fudge sundae, with nuts!  😉

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[Can’t let you out, Tigers!]

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[Somewhere around here, Baylee Gillanders (27) scored for the Gophers and then the Tigers scored for their only goal.  Although it appears a Tiger entered the goal here, this was not their scoring play!  😉  ]

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[And here come our Gophers again – note where Bethany Brausen (16) is positioned.]

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[A shot by Kelly?]

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[A scrum at the goal.]

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[2 points for a take-down!]

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[Some how, from the bottom of the pile, Bethany scored with 10 seconds left in the period giving the Gophers a 6 – 1 lead after two.]

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[Future Gophers took over during intermission.]

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[It could be a . . . GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL?]

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[Look, Mom, we’re all on TV!!]

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[Goldy signals No. 1!]

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[Here we go, Gophers, here we go!]

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[Goalie Shyler Sletta (31) came in for the 3rd period.  Amanda Leveille (29) complained of boredom after the first two periods.  😉  To the Tigers credit, they tested Shyler a few times in the third.]

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[Looks like Kelly got caught in a Tiger trap.]

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[But Hannah came to her rescue.]

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[Then Hannah said, “Feed me!”]

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[The three Gopher goals in this period were from Menefee, Kelsey Cline (11) (a nice backhander for the freshman defenseman from Bloomington Jefferson), and Terry.  Don’t recall which one this was?  🙂  ]

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[Another of the goal celebrations . . .]

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[Are we almost done?]

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[Hey, we got our picture taken with Goldy?]

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The beginning of the end . . .]

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[WE WIN!]

Our local alumni chapter is thinking about arranging a bus trip for a game later this year – likely for the last home series of the year against UMD on February 21-22.  Keep an eye on this space.

Up next:  Even more hockey?

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