Gophers men's hockey aims to prove that the four-piece "Frozen" is in

2021-11-04 02:49:32 By : Mr. Weixin Jin

Despite losing three of the top six scorers last season and one-third of the team's total goals, coach Bob Mozko is not worried about the incarnation of the Gophers team.

In fact, the team this season may be better.

"I don't see a big difference between these four lines. This may be the deepest team I have coached," Mozko said. "...Our speed and skill, and our current little swagger are very neat."

The Gophers will bring the triple "S" spirit to their season opening series in the 3M Arena against Mercyhurst in Mariucci at 7pm on Friday. Speed ​​and skill come from the forward lineup of veteran centers and promising new wingers. The swagger is the defense, every defensive player and the first goalkeeper are back.

Although Brannon McManus (Omaha, Nebraska), Scott Reidy (San Jose Sharks) and Sambo Ranta (Colorado Avalanche) continue to move forward, the rankings for the 2020-21 season The 2nd to 4th best scorers returned to center Sammy Walker, winger Blake McLaughlin and center Ben Meyers.

Walker and McLaughlin-Walker calls them "PB and J" because their seniors have been teammates throughout their careers-they are looking for a fast and agile new right-wing winger in the market. There are also six new forwards vying for honor.

"They are incredible players, so it's not difficult for them to play directly," Walker said. "...They made a very good transition and it is great to see what they do for us in the game."

Meyers may have found at least one game with freshman Matthew Knees. Since the start of practice on September 13, the pair has discovered some early chemical reactions. According to Motzko, Knies is 6-3 and weighs 210 pounds, but for his size, this is an amazing agile skater. Knies and University of Colorado transfer Grant Cruikshank scored 5-11, 190 points and can borrow some heavy and gritty ground games brought by Ranta and Reedy.

A mix of Jaxon Nelson and Jack Perbix or Jonny Sorenson may anchor the third and fourth rows. But the real competition may be a place in one of the power game units.

Motzko fondly recalled his first year at the Gophers, when the team scored from both wings with a powerful attack of five forwards. In the past two seasons, his output did not impress him, and a passing defender acted as a point guard.

Pushing some of these defensive players to more offensive moments may be the next challenge for these players, because the defensive part is well mastered.

Motzko pointed out that sophomore Brock Faber is a particularly good offseason player. He joined juniors and NHL rookies Ryan Johnson and Jackson Lacomb to highlight the confident D-corps. They have Jack Lafontaine in fifth grade. He hopes to continue his dominance as a top college hockey goalkeeper after winning the Mike Richter Award with a save rate of 0.924 and an average goal rate of 1.79 last season.

Lafontaine recalled the disappointment they experienced, from the shortened season due to COVID-19 to just missing the NCAA Frozen Final Four last season. He called these experiences "heartbreaking", which is the personal feeling of the team entering the new season.

"For many of these people, including myself, our first year and their freshman year, we have experienced ups and downs, and we have come out of some difficult times," Lafontaine said. "We finally feel that we have consolidated everything here. We are ready to take the next step and become an elite team."

Megan Ryan is a reporter for the Minnesota Twins.

© 2021 Interstellar Forum. all rights reserved.