Friday, February 25, 2011

Huskies vs. Badgers Preview (and the hiring of GINO!)

Let's take a look at our Husky vs Badger showdown for this weekend in the last regular season homegame:


Goon's World
"Two weeks ago the Badgers looked to have a lock on a home ice spot. But getting only one point in their last four games has hurt them badly, not only in the WCHA standings but the PairWise too. The Huskies have played well as of late going 1-1-2 against UMD and UND the past two weekends. SCSU can continue their climb and sink the Badgers this weekend, if, they can pull off a sweep at the National Hockey Center. It appears these teams are heading in opposite directions now, SCSU going up, UW going down. The Badgers are 5-5-2 away from home this year and the Huskies are a dismal 4-8-4 at home. The Badger’s can ill afford to get swept this weekend. If that happens the Kohl Center might see a protest or two, just like the Wisconsin capitol building. It appears that both teams might be circling the panic button. SCSU has nothing to lose, and UW is getting desperate, so this series could have some good action. SPLIT "
"The Huskies and Badgers are both coming off of one point weekends when both teams needed two or better. The Badgers are the better team here and the Huskies are just too up and down each week. However, if they're able to play the Badgers how they played the Sioux last weekend, the Huskies could walk away with three or four points easily. It'll be interesting to see which team shows up. The Huskies are in desperation mode if they want to try and grab home ice. It is looking like that's going to be impossible to do, though, as they're currently four points out of sixth with four games left. The teams in front of them have easier schedules, too. (The Huskies travel to Denver to close the season out.) The Badgers are fighting to hold on to fifth right now, so expect them to come out with some fire. I think Bucky gets the best of Blizzard this weekend in both games. I sure do hope I'm wrong, though.
Badgers sweep 4-3, 5-2"
Theresa: "In which you have a series where both teams are trying to stop skids (UW four games, SCSU three). After putting together a nice run, it could be possible that the young Badgers are finally running out of gas. As for the Huskies, it’s just been a tough year overall for them. For this series, one could look to the Badgers as they’re not out of the home ice race yet as well as the fact that SCSU is pretty awful at home this season. As much as a tie is probably guaranteed with the way the Huskies have been playing lately, I’ll gamble and say both teams will end their winless streaks and call a split — SCSU Friday, UW Saturday."
Tyler: "Both teams are struggling right now. Defense has been Wisconsin’s mainstay all season but the Badgers have given up 16 goals in the past four games, causing Scott Gudmandson to sit Saturday’s game. The Huskies, who have been offensively challenged all season, will earn a split if they can bust out of the slump or if Wisconsin has more trouble in the defensive zone. Split."
Sixty Minutes. No Alibi. No Regrets.
"The Badgers are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives right and they know it. Wisconsin is the better team but you know in this league that anything can happen. I think Wisconsin comes out firing on Friday night and get the win and St. Cloud manages a split on Saturday night which is senior night for the Huskies.

Friday Night: Wisconsin 5, St. Cloud 3
Saturday Night: Wisconsin 3, St. Cloud 3
Goal Gophers
Peter:  "Wisconsin has been taking some lumps lately 0-3-1 in their last 4 games. They are a very average team on the road 5-6-1. SCSU is another head scratcher, they have burned me a lot this year. They stink at home 4-8-4 but have been playing tough the last 2 series against UMD and UND going 1-1-2. I being a SCSU grad and not liking most everything about our eastern neighbors am going to -- even though I think Wisconsin is the better squad -- go with a ... Split"
Roman: "The Badgers, only a couple weeks ago, seemed to be cruising toward a home ice spot and an NCAA tournament at-large bit. Now both seem to be slipping away. UW has thrived on beating unranked teams with losing records. SCSU fits that description but the Huskies took three points from UMD two weekends ago and last weekend had a tie with North Dakota. Sophomore David Eddy, ineligible the first semester, has been a spark the past 12 games with six goals and six assists. ... Huskies sweep"
Looks like a lot of people are going with a split. Those that are not, are giving Wisconsin the advantage. I am going to be the odd-ball then (with Roman...this may be a first) and say that the Huskies will sweep Wisconsin. The Badgers have not been playing well lately. On the other hand, the Huskies have been playing at their best all year with some great, hard-fought games against UMD and UND. If the Huskies (and the Badgers) keep with their games (as of late) the Huskies should have a chance for a sweep on the last regular season games at the NHC.

Former Husky Mike Doyle gives us his Three Keys to the Game vs. UW Feb. 25:
  1. Stay Out of the Sin Bin
  2. Shut Down Shultz
  3. Get to the Goalie
Husky Hockey Lines courtesy of the St. Cloud Times:

Ben Hanowski-Garrett Roe-David Eddy
Jared Festler-Aaron Marvin-Travis Novak
Cam Reid-Drew LaBlanc-Nic Dowd
Mitch MacMillan-Jordy Christian-Nick Oslund

Oliver Lauridsen-Nick Jensen
Kevin Gravel-Taylor Johnson
Sam Zabkowicz-Brett Barta

Mike Lee

If you want to check out the Badger line-up click here.

For Your Listening Pleasure:
  • Check out this week's Inside College Hockey Podcast.  There were several comments that Husky fans will find interesting. First, about our opponent Wisconsin this week, the commentators said that the Badgers looked "terrible" against the UofM. They also said that Wisconsin tends to play at or below the level of their opponent. The podcast commentators said that St. Cloud is the "dark horse" team of the WCHA- meaning that St. Cloud could be the winner that no one saw coming. They also mentioned that St. Cloud is, "...shapping up as the team nobody wants to face in the first round of the WCHA playoffs." Those are some pretty nice statements!
  • Also, Coach Bob Motzko was a guest on Sirrus Radio NHL Home Ice. You can hear him talking about the team here.
  • You can hear Coach Bob Motzko talking about last weekend's games against UND and this weekend's games against UW from KVSC.
Let me introduce SPECIAL ADVISER John "Gino" Gasparini:

Well, I can not believe that this is coming so late in this blog but there has been some GOOD (honestly, probably great) news coming from the SCSU athletic program only a day after announcing the retirement of St. Cloud State Director of Athletics Morris Kurtz. SCSU President Earl Potter today announced that legendary hockey coach John “Gino” Gasparini has been appointed special adviser to the president for athletics starting March 1. Gino was a longtime coach for the UND Fighting Sioux and went on to lead the United States Hockey League. He has a proven track record of success in almost everything that he has done. Gasparini has an in-depth of understanding in the hockey world with a high reputation and very valuable connections. Gino is being hired to focus on issues like the Division I hockey program, the expansion and redevelopment of the National Hockey and Event Center (NHEC), the anticipated changes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), fan, donor and sponsor experience and the connection between Husky athletics and the community. Gasparini's contract is with the university (for now) is six months, although extensions to his contract are possible. It does not sound like Gasparini has any intentions of becoming the new Athletic Director, but he will be involved in finding SCSU's new AD. Gasparini will be watching the Huskies beat the Badgers this weekend at the NHC. You can read more about this news here:
Other Links:
  • "In a search for consistency" is a good article about the improvment and the play of forward Ben Hanowski.
  • Check out my previous blog for details on all the great things happening during this weekends match-up. 

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