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Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

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  • #16
    Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

    Originally posted by D2D View Post
    In support of what you're saying, with which I agree 100%, I think that many fans have become discouraged with our abysmal record against the other state schools. Then we pretty much have rolled through the conference (which admittedly HAS been weak, but definitely not this year) which has led those fans to think "B1G Hockey sucks" and "winning the B1G is like winning Atlantic Hockey" as you note. So they long for "the good old WCHA days" which has caused them to either drop their tickets or not use them, letting their seats go empty. But I'm honestly starting to see a shift coming and think it will continue. The B1G schools as a group are turning a corner, and I think the trend will continue. A few weeks ago, who would have thought Michigan State would beat and then tie North Dakota in Grand Forks? That after 13 non-conference games each Ohio State and Penn State would have only one loss each?

    Also if relative interest in the teams is loosely tied to average attendance, it's worth knowing that 4 of the Top 10 teams are B1G schools:
    http://www.uscho.com/stats/attendanc...men/2016-2017/

    So the sky is definitely not falling, and going forward the quality of the teams in the conference should improve further, and interest and attendance should follow.
    Do you think the upward swing of B1G teams is enough to bring fans back? It doesn't matter to me who the Gophers are playing(to a certain extent, obviously), I'm a fan of the Gophers not a fan of the matchup. Even if you get to a point where the B1G has 2 or 3 teams in the top 10 like right now(and the Gophers sitting just outside at 11), I'm not sure people will suddenly start caring/showing up. Hopefully I'm wrong.
    "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

    USCHO gives me another reason to not do work while I am at work.

    Everything is Hill's fault.....

    "Hakstol you hack!!!!"

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

      Originally posted by gopher wes View Post
      Do you think the upward swing of B1G teams is enough to bring fans back? It doesn't matter to me who the Gophers are playing(to a certain extent, obviously), I'm a fan of the Gophers not a fan of the matchup. Even if you get to a point where the B1G has 2 or 3 teams in the top 10 like right now(and the Gophers sitting just outside at 11), I'm not sure people will suddenly start caring/showing up. Hopefully I'm wrong.
      The main driver on attendance is how good the Gophers are. If they can get to the point where they are consistently beating the top teams, no matter which conference they're in, the fans will come to watch. Over time being part of the WCHA will fade from memory, and the memories will fade more quickly if the B1G teams get to the point where they are consistently among the country's best.
      Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

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      • #18
        Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

        I think the reasons that fans are staying away is complex and it's not any one particular thing. The college hockey landscape has changed drastically (even before the B1G) with parity, kids leaving schools early for the NHL etc... MN high school hockey kids bailing on their HS's to go play junior hockey. Fans maybe don't feel as invested as they once did. Then add in the local pro hockey team and the Gophers are fighting for entertainment dollars.

        Or, we can just blame it on Alvarez too.

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        • #19
          Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

          Originally posted by SanTropez View Post
          Or, we can just blame it on Alvarez too.
          That's always the easiest thing to do
          "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

          USCHO gives me another reason to not do work while I am at work.

          Everything is Hill's fault.....

          "Hakstol you hack!!!!"

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

            Originally posted by SanTropez View Post
            The college hockey landscape has changed drastically (even before the B1G) with parity, kids leaving schools early for the NHL etc... MN high school hockey kids bailing on their HS's to go play junior hockey. Fans maybe don't feel as invested as they once did. Then add in the local pro hockey team and the Gophers are fighting for entertainment dollars.
            One of the reasons why I appreciate the D1 women's game. No high school kids leaving early for juniors, and no college players leaving early for the pros. You get to see the very best compete against the very best at each age group and each level. That gives the most talented the best opportunity to shine. As a fan I enjoy that aspect very much. And it's both amazing and surprising how good many of these women are.

            That said, males at each level after early youth are obviously better hockey players. And as a former player myself I find it very exciting to watch their much higher talent and compete levels go at it. Night and day above what I ever was in my prime. But I only wish that we were still seeing the best of the best. Too many of the best, both in high school and college, are leaving early for the next level. The result is more parity, which you'd think is good, but in many ways it's simply not as exciting as it used to be, when the very best individuals in high school and college could pretty much be expected to dominate whenever you went to a game. And with the Gopher's women, that's still pretty much the case when the first line is out there.

            P.S. Sorry to take this thread off to a tangent, but as an avid Gopher men's and women's fan and season ticket holder of both teams, in the "State of Hockey", that's what I'm feeling.
            Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

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            • #21
              Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

              I think attendance has been impacted by several factors:

              1. Gophers W/L and game to game inconsistency
              The Gophers have had winning seasons lately and were even in the NCG in the recent past, but we've seen them go through entire seasons of W on FRI, L on SAT or the reverse and it's frustrating. Playing down to the opponent, lackluster PP when in the past no one left their seat when they had a PP, lack of consistent grit/toughness, failure to sit star players that are under-performing...

              2. Excitement of the play on the ice
              A bit of a repeat of the previous but just in general I feel like too often I'm watching a program that doesn't represent the M night in and night out. Woog had teams or years with faults and obviously needed to go at the end, but no one was going to push them around and I rarely felt like they didn't care. They had some heartbreaking NCAA results but they almost always made you care.

              3. U Administration
              Look at the apathy toward the FB and BB programs, yet several women's programs generate tons of excitement. I don't think the men's athletic programs are being guided or marketed correctly.

              This seeps into the poorly attended student section. I was only at the U for 2 years before transferring, but I missed 1 game in 2 seasons and the student section was always packed.

              4. Ticket prices
              I don't think the impact of this can be exaggerated. When you can attend a Wild game for the same price in which let's face it the players are on average more talented, the team is better marketed and has much more exposure, you should not expect to be able to charge the same (and sometimes much more) than the pro franchise. This isn't the early 00's even the 90's when the Gophers were the star team in town and you shouldn't price them like they are.

              5. Corpies
              There are a lot of corpie tickets and more and more are going unused because of some of the aforementioned. The company I worked at before at Gophers hockey and Vikings tickets. The Gophers never went unused, the Vikings with only 8 games were about 50/50. I bet now that's reversed.

              6. The B1G

              That said I see a slow turn toward the more positive. While this season has still had a Hekyll/Jekyll WL result they are a more talented team and they have some very good recruits coming in. They have a bit more grit and to me feel like they're not going to take a punch lightly anymore. They have to figure out the G position. Odd thing is they are scoring far more goals FRI nights but their WL is much worse on FRI because Shcierhorn's SV% on FRI is something like 30% lower. That is a lot on him, but I suspect is partially also on team effort in the defensive zone.

              Also as I said a lot of kids that have just been introduced to the Gophers in the past 4 seasons don't care about the WCHA and even some a bit older are going to be more forgiving than a lot of the older fans, just like most NHL fans under 25 didn't care about the North Stars when the Wild started up.

              Times change and if the Gophers can bring some excitement back to the effort level as the B1G programs grow in their competitiveness those rivalries will improve. I'm old enough and been a fan enough to remember when playing UMi was every bit as big as playing UND/UW and certainly more so than the rivalries vs SCSU, UMD, DU or CC ever were. I remember when playing SCSU and MSUM were an afterthought, but over time they could not be overlooked. I realize proximity there is an advantage over playing PSU for example, but if SCSU and MSUM remained at a UAA level no one would have cared they were from MN.

              None of that can solve the programs in the athletic program nor the pricing, but if they present a premium product on the ice - not just a good one with spurts of excellence as well as the opposite - they can afford to charge a premium price. Because I don't think they're ever going to walk back on prices since sadly they're still making money.

              [edit] Also I don't think people should underestimate the volatility of Lucia in the minds of fans. Let's face it a sad % of fans demand the coach be an M man, but cut Lucia slack when they were winning. Now all bets are off due to recent results and there is a growing sentiment of a lack of confidence in him leading the program. If they brought in say Mike Hastings (no I don't think it happens) although he's not a UM alum fans would give him a chance just as they originally did Lucia.

              That is not to suggest I think Lucia needs to go, but this season for me is a pivotal one toward my opinion on him.
              Last edited by Slap Shot; 12-01-2016, 12:11 AM.

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              • #22
                Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                I agree with all that Slap Shot said...I think the Gophers competing against the Wild for fans entertainment dollars is a tough sell. In reply to D2D concerning women's hockey, if they allowed the women to check, I would probably watch it more. But to eliminate a basic component of the game, its shinny not true hockey.

                And tDon should not have recruited Schierhorn from Alaska. Should have went after North Branch kid Miska. You know Miska wanted to be a Gopher because ALL Minnesota kids dream of wearing the "M."
                tUMD season ticket holder since 1983-84.

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                • #23
                  Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                  Originally posted by Slap Shot View Post
                  That is not to suggest I think Lucia needs to go, but this season for me is a pivotal one toward my opinion on him.
                  A pivotal one for him in the opinion of Coyle as well.
                  Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                    Originally posted by section16rowA View Post
                    In reply to D2D concerning women's hockey, if they allowed the women to check, I would probably watch it more. But to eliminate a basic component of the game, its shinny not true hockey.
                    The women's game is definitely getting more physical all the time. And the higher the level, the more that's the case. Still no hard, body slamming checks without getting called, but much more use of the body to rub opponents out to gain possession of the puck. Meanwhile the men's game has become less physical, especially at the college level. Coaches and players are hesitant to level crashing checks, both at center ice and against the boards, for fear of drawing 5 minute majors and game misconducts. Shoot even football seems to be headed in that direction, with the advent of targeting calls.
                    Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

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                    • #25
                      Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                      Originally posted by D2D View Post
                      A pivotal one for him in the opinion of Coyle as well.
                      Has he been quoted as saying so or is this just your take?
                      "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

                      USCHO gives me another reason to not do work while I am at work.

                      Everything is Hill's fault.....

                      "Hakstol you hack!!!!"

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                        Originally posted by gopher wes View Post
                        Has he been quoted as saying so or is this just your take?
                        Just my take, based on:
                        (a) empty seats
                        (b) failure last season to make the NCAA tournament, and one and out the year before
                        (c) prolonged contract negotiations which resulted in only a 2 year extension
                        (d) my read on Coyle
                        Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                          Hard to argue that good checks are sometimes being called penalties now in hockey. Worse is when 5'10" player with his head down in open ice is checked by 6'2" player and contact to head or charging penalty is called. Has happened to 6'5" Riley Tufte a couple of times this year.
                          tUMD season ticket holder since 1983-84.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                            It's a tough call from my perspective. Minnesota has home ice advantage and a good familiarity of playing on big ice. Ohio State can seem stagnant and without warning wake up and bust a play wide open and looks for the opportunity for the rush up ice.
                            Our goaltenders have been good in the clutch but I think we lack that once in a blue moon goalie who is truly amazing in the net. Our guys do get beat on shots they should have stopped.
                            Healy is our top defenseman and he likes to hit - a lot! But sometimes that gets you in the box if the refs aren't letting them play.
                            For scorers look for Schilkey, Brevig, and Gust as the most consistent.
                            Last edited by Hockeybuckeye; 12-01-2016, 09:55 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                              Originally posted by Hockeybuckeye View Post
                              Our goaltenders have been good in the clutch but I think we lack that once in a blue moon goalie who is truly amazing in the net. Our guys do get beat on shots they should have stopped.
                              The Gophers have a great habit of making average to good goaltenders look like amazing goaltenders through most of the game and then throw everything at them in the last couple minutes of the game. Just a heads up.

                              It worked once against St Lawrence with two goals while the goalie was pulled to salvage a tie but I don't see that happening against stronger competition.
                              "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

                              USCHO gives me another reason to not do work while I am at work.

                              Everything is Hill's fault.....

                              "Hakstol you hack!!!!"

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Minnesota hosts Ohio State: 12/2 -12/3

                                Originally posted by gopher wes View Post
                                Plus I'm going to the game on Saturday.
                                And just picked up free tickets for tonight!!
                                "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

                                USCHO gives me another reason to not do work while I am at work.

                                Everything is Hill's fault.....

                                "Hakstol you hack!!!!"

                                Comment

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