Michigan vs Minnesota Hockey Tournament Preview

Michigan Hockey's Nolan Moyle Photo by the Michigan Daily

The Michigan Men’s Hockey team travels to Minneapolis this weekend to salvage their season in the Big Ten Hockey quarterfinals against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Wolverines last week were hoping to be hosting the games this weekend in Ann Arbor however Wisconsin had other plans for the Michigan team and beat the Wolverines in two overtime games.

This weekend Michigan will need to be road warriors to defeat the Gophers as mentally Michigan needs to shake off last weekend losses and knows that it will not be easy to play at the 3M Arena at Mariucci, however, they have won here this year. The Wolverines thought that they were done playing against   Tyler Sheehy, Tommy Novak, and Rem Pitlick who have scored in every game for the Gophers against the Wolverines. Minnesota is playing well and are on a three-game win streak and have won five of the last six games against nationally ranked opponents.

This year’s games Minnesota won the series 2-1-1 with both teams scoring 12 goals each. Michigan is starting to get goals from the third and fourth lines with the likes of freshmen Jimmy Lambert, Nolan Moyle, and Garrett Van Whye causing havoc lately for other teams with the young speed. Michigan has no issue getting shots on the goal as they are second in the league and 264 more shots on goal than Minnesota however the Gophers have scored three more goals than Michigan.

So this will come down to breaks for the Wolverines and the key to this playoff run is the goalie. This position has been a problem all year for Michigan and has not still be settled. Both Hayden Lavigne and Strauss Mann have played 19 games, save average 896 for Mann and 884 for Lavigne. Minnesota goalie Mat Robson 918 in 28 games and have kept the Gophers in games. If the Wolverines want to move on to next weekend they will need to play all out from the scoring, tight defense and players giving it all on both ends and goalies that keep the team in the games.

The Gophers lead the series 141-128-16 and home ice also 86-51-10.