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Gopher Women's Hockey 2023-24

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  • This isn't the best Gopher team I've watched. It may be the least talented team they've had in the 14 years I've been following them. But they are absolutely one of the most fun Gopher teams I've watched. The effort level never lacks, and they don't quit.

    They aren't going to blow teams away, as they lack shooting beyond Huber and Murphy. The team defense has been outstanding. They have stretches where they can't get the puck out of their ow end, but the other team struggles to get the puck off of the boards. That's backed by outstanding goaltending, both Vetter and Morgan.

    The penalty kill is a thing of beauty. 42-44 with five shorthanded goals. It's good in the defensive zone, and turns into a buzzsaw once they clear and the other team has to bring it back up the ice. My only concern is that it would be nice if they hadn't put themselves shorthanded 44 times in 11 games.

    Comments I made about Abbey Murphy last year became kind of . . . uhm . . . a subject of conversation during the first intermission on Friday up in Duluth. I stand by everything I said at the time, but, this season, I've been vey impressed with the changes in he game. She still takes too many penalties, but the unsportsmanlike aspects of he game have been drastically curtailed. And a fair number of the penalties she does take are retaliation for things that aren't getting called the other way.

    My main Murphy related concern at this point is how much of a pounding she can take. In Columbus, the Buckeyes' strategy was to run her over with a truck at every opportunity, secure in the knowledge that WCHA refs wouldn't call them for it 80+% of the time. MSU-Mankato did the same thing the next week. By the end of both series, she was visibly slowed. I know she's tough, but I'm hoping we don't find out the limits of that.

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    • Originally posted by Still Eeyore View Post
      I know she's tough, but I'm hoping we don't find out the limits of that.
      I hope she 100% for the Rivalry Series in December, I enjoy watching her play for USA.

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      • So there "still" are a couple of tunneler faithful hanging around to put up an occasional post...Though most of em had gone into hybernation.

        The comment on Murphy is spot on. She has done a decent job of limiting her propensity for chippiness. As was mentioned, she also gets the heck beat out of her by the opposition. In spite of that I don't know how the tunnelers would be 9-2 without her.
        At the outset, we could hang with the dude...

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        • This team is really damned good. They may be the third best team in the WCHA, but that says a lot more about the WCHA than it does about Minnesota specifically.

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          • Gophers emerge from D1 in DC to face nine straight home games.
            Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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            • But, this includes a stretch of 5 games in 9 days with the last two of those being Wisconsin. But, all at home. Buckle up, let's get ready for some hockey.
              Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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              • The Gophers were quite a large bit better than the Beavers but even in that context it looks to me like this O'Hara kid has earned some more ice time. The whole fourth line looked good including a very strong game from Emma Conner.

                Very odd scene in the first period when Vetter was unable to get to her feet after going down to make a save. She remained on her knees as game action continued. It was apparently an equipment issue but a serious enough problem to force her to go to the locker room for repairs as Morgan came on in relief to play 3:12 with one save.
                Last edited by ManBehindTheCurtain; 12-01-2023, 10:10 PM.
                Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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                • Originally posted by ManBehindTheCurtain View Post
                  Very odd scene in the first period when Vetter was unable to get to her feet after going down to make a save. She remained on her knees as game action continued. It was apparently an equipment issue but a serious enough problem to force her to go to the locker room for repairs as Morgan came on in relief to play 3:12 with one save.
                  Her skate blade broke.

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                  • Originally posted by ManBehindTheCurtain View Post
                    The Gophers were quite a large bit better than the Beavers but even in that context it looks to me like this O'Hara kid has earned some more ice time. The whole fourth line looked good including a very strong game from Emma Conner.
                    It's worth keeping in mind that none of the forwards on this team will be out of eligibility at the end of this season. Playing time is going to be hard to come by, unless you can move to defense.

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                    • Originally posted by Still Eeyore View Post

                      It's worth keeping in mind that none of the forwards on this team will be out of eligibility at the end of this season. Playing time is going to be hard to come by, unless you can move to defense.
                      Ayla Puppe and Kendra Distad, coming in at forward next year, will make things even more interesting as well. Both are fast and skilled...
                      At the outset, we could hang with the dude...

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                      • Originally posted by FiveHoleFrenzy View Post

                        Ayla Puppe and Kendra Distad, coming in at forward next year, will make things even more interesting as well. Both are fast and skilled...
                        A transfer or two to somewhere else wouldn't surprise me.

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                        • Any update on Murphy's availability this weekend?
                          Wisconsin Hockey: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 WE WANT MORE!
                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Come to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Originally Posted by Wisko McBadgerton:
                          "Baggot says Hughes and Rockwood are centering the top two lines...
                          Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"

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                          • Originally posted by Timothy A View Post
                            Any update on Murphy's availability this weekend?
                            Not that I've seen.

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                            • Originally posted by ManBehindTheCurtain View Post
                              The Gophers were quite a large bit better than the Beavers but even in that context it looks to me like this O'Hara kid has earned some more ice time. The whole fourth line looked good including a very strong game from Emma Conner.

                              Very odd scene in the first period when Vetter was unable to get to her feet after going down to make a save. She remained on her knees as game action continued. It was apparently an equipment issue but a serious enough problem to force her to go to the locker room for repairs as Morgan came on in relief to play 3:12 with one save.
                              I remember a briefly terrifying but ultimately funny moment moment when Wisconsin played an exhibition against UW-Eau Claire a couple of years back where Daryl Watts went down in a corner and for a few seconds looked like she couldn't put any weight on her right leg. I got super worried until she turned and we saw she was laughing uncontrollably. Turns out her skate blade had come clean out of her skate. She had to be pushed to the bench.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Timothy A View Post
                                Any update on Murphy's availability this weekend?
                                I sure hope she plays and is whole enough that her game isn't compromised. Otherwise my prediction of a split might be in jeopardy.
                                ​​

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