Gophers – 4, Badgers – 0

February 19

[We went home after the Northfield game.  The Cardinals wouldn’t be playing again until Saturday morning.  But we came back to the Cities for this Friday night game – a game between the No. 2 & 3 ranked teams in the country (only because Boston College doesn’t have to play us!). The Badgers won two close games when we played them in Madison.]

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[This was a welcome back Amanda Kessel day for us.  She had been away from the team for over two years – to play in the Olympics and then to recover from a concussion.  We had seen her play several times during the Gophers long two-year winning streak of a couple years ago. The following three photos are from the StarTribune.]

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[The Gophers hit the ice for warm-ups.]

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[And the Badgers.]

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[Or as we say around here, our Minnesotans v. their Canadians (OK, couldn’t help myself).]

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[Megan Wolfe (12), junior defense]

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[Lee Stecklein (2), junior defense and Olympian]

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[Number?]

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[Now we have Kate Schipper (6), junior forward; Kelly Pannek (19), sophomore forward; Dani Cameranesi (21), junior forward (our Cards played against her in the state tournament, as I recall); Amanda Leveille (29), senior goalie.]

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[Saddle up, ladies.]

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[And we’re off and flying.  As good as high school hockey has become, watching these two teams is an entirely different level.]

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[Sudden strike, less than 3 minutes into the game, Wolfe put the Gophers up 1 – 0.]

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[Amazingly, I have been taking photos of Milica McMillen (13), senior defense, for 8 years now.  She’s in the upper left hand border of this blog as an 8th grader at Breck, when the Cards beat her team for the state championship and she scored Breck’s only goal.]

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[Sarah Potomak (26), freshman forward, works the boards.]

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[Cameranesi, our leading scorer so far this year.]

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[First and goal!]

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[Brook Garzone (18), senior defense, on the point.]

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[Dunno?]

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[A few minutes later, Kessel scored as the high flying Gophers took a 2 – 0 lead.]

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[And the Gophers are in again.]

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[Looks like a delayed penalty on the Badgers.]

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[The Gophers were on fire in the first period.  They wanted to get those two games back.]

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[Badger Bob’s son, Mark, the Wisconsin coach]

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[Will never forget when she scored against Princeton with a slap shot from the red line – and yes, the goalie was in the goal but just couldn’t handle it.]

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[Probably not exchanging niceties.]

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[Gophers 2 – 0, the shots on goal misleading.]

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[He may be a rodent, but he’s our rodent . . . ]

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[With a nice slap shot.]

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[Period 2 – here we come again.]

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[It’s gotta go in the net???]

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[McMillen from the point.]

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[Kessel winds it up – unmatched speed.]

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[GOOOOAAAALLLL!  Sidney Baldwin (9), sophomore defense at the 14-minute mark.]

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[Hi!  Do you know me?  I’m a Hoosier.  But I cheer for the Gophers in hockey . . . because the Hoosiers don’t have a hockey team!]

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[Goldy!]

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[Hannah Brandt (22), senior forward, “there is no substitute.”  I believe she has been an All American all 4 years.]

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[Best hands in the business.]

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[Future Gophers?]

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[Cameranesi crashing the Badger party.]

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[And Kessel with her 2nd goal of the game puts it away.]

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[Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music . . . ]

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[And looked really good doing so!  Did I mention an SRO crowd – really made the place jump!  We came back for the 2nd game of the doubleheader the next day (so to be continued).]

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We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor.  ~  Bobby Clarke.

Up next:  State.

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