Gopher Hockey Schedule Preview: Second Half

The second half of the Gopher hockey season will be filled with road games and difficult opponents. To help sort out the last half of the season, let's take a look at the most important home series and the most critical series away from the Twin Cities.

Home Series:
The biggest home stand for the Gophers during the second half will be against the Denver Pioneers on February, 11th and 12th. The Gophers should be looking for revenge after Denver pulled off the season sweep of the Gophers. In the season series, the Pioneers outscored Minnesota a whopping 14-2. This alone should give the older Gophers something to fight for.

Another reason this series is important is because of the timing. If the Gophers struggle against Denver, they will have to travel to Wisconsin the following week with little momentum. Wisconsin is always a difficult place to play and the Gophers cannot afford to lose many games that late in the season.

The Maroon and Gold will have their hands full against a talented Denver team. Although the Pioneers lost their top three scorers they are bringing back veterans Anthony Maiani and Kyle Ostrow. Maiani had eight goals and 26 assists while Ostrow tallied 16 goals and ten assists. The talented Denver team will bring its best to Mariucci in February.

Away Series:
Possibly the most important series of the year will take place in Grand Forks on January 14th and 15th against the hated North Dakota Fighting Sioux. Last year, the heated rivalry was a draw in the regular season with each team getting a win and a tie on their home ice. The Sioux got the last laugh as they bounced the Gophers from the WCHA tournament. Nothing can be worse for the Gopher than having their season ended by UND. Since this is the only regular season meeting between the two teams, expect a battle that is more physical and aggressive than usual.

Last year, the Sioux were a young team that exceeded expectations. This season, the Sioux bring back a talented team. North Dakota returns star performers Jason Gregoire, a junior from Winnipeg, and sophomore, Danny Kristo from Eden Prairie. Gregoire had a good season with 20 goals and 17 assists. As a freshman, Kristo had 15 goals and 21 assists. If the Gophers want to gain a huge boost of momentum they will need to shut down the Sioux and get the sweep in Grand Forks.

Fri, Dec 31 Union Mariucci Arena 6:00 PM

Sat, Jan 01 Ferris State Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Fri, Jan 07 U.S. Under-18 Team (ex.) Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Fri, Jan 14 North Dakota at Grand Forks, N.D. 7:30 PM

Sat, Jan 15 North Dakota at Grand Forks, N.D. 7:00 PM

Fri, Jan 28 Alaska Anchorage Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Sat, Jan 29 Alaska Anchorage Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Fri, Feb 04 Minnesota Duluth at Duluth, Minn. 7:00 PM

Sat, Feb 05 Minnesota Duluth at Duluth, Minn. 7:00 PM

Fri, Feb 11 Denver Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Sat, Feb 12 Denver Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Fri, Feb 18 Wisconsin at Madison, Wis. 7:00 PM

Sat, Feb 19 Wisconsin at Madison, Wis. 7:00 PM

Fri, Feb 25 Michigan Tech Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Sat, Feb 26 Michigan Tech Mariucci Arena 7:00 PM

Fri, Mar 04 Bemidji State at Bemidji, Minn. 7:30 PM

Sat, Mar 05 Bemidji State at Bemidji, Minn. 7:00 PM


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