Gophers Keep Winning

The Gophers seem to be peaking just in time for the WCHA playoffs. No. 19 Minnesota (15-12-5, 12-10-4 WCHA) enters tonight's game against Bemidji State (12-16-4, 8-14-4 WCHA) on a five-game unbeaten streak.

Over that stretch Minnesota has beaten No.5 Denver, earned a win and a tie against No. 21 Wisconsin and swept Michigan Tech.

The guys have been playing great," Jay Barriball said. "I couldn't be more proud of them, more happy for them. They put together this little streak while I was gone. It really hasn't been a big difference. We've been playing pretty well all year. It's just a matter of putting pucks in the back of the net."

Minnesota should get a boost in offensive production this series with the return of Barriball, who has been sidelined with a leg injury. The senior captain—who is tied for the team lead with 12 goals and is third in points with 23 despite missing six games—expects to be in the lineup tonight against Bemidji State.

The Gophers and Beavers have only played eight times, with Minnesota owning a 7-1-0 all-time record. BSU is lead offensively by it's top line of Jordan George, Matt Read and Ian Lowe—whom have combined for almost 60 percent of the team's goals with 43.

If Minnesota can contain this potent offensive trio, they could enter the WCHA playoffs hotter than Charlie Scheen's Twitter account.

It's about time we're starting to get some bounces—guys are getting confident," Barriball said. "It's about time we're starting to get a roll and I think it's the perfect time for us to do that."


--Freshmen center Nick Bjugstad was named WCHA Rookie of the Week on Tuesday following his two goal, one assist performance in a 5-2 win against Michigan Tech last Friday. Bjugstad has tallied five goals and 10 assists for 15 points on the season.

FUTURES MARKET: It seems almost every year a future Minnesota Golden Gopher recruit leaves their stamp on the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau will get his chance this year, after his game winning, overtime goal against Wayzata in the 6AA section championship on Wednesday, propelled the No.2 Eagles to a state tourney birth. Rau leads his team with 36 goals and 38 assists for 74 points.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Legs feeling a lot better. I've gotten some practice in this week. So far it's been feeling awesome and the plan is to lace ‘em up on Friday." – Jay Barriball on returning to the lineup tonight after missing time with a leg injury.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories