Woog’s Wisdom Talley Tracker:
This Week: 9 of 20
Season Total: 113 out of 168
Minnesota State at Minnesota Duluth
This is a tough call. The Mavericks seem to be playing with more passion than the ‘Dogs. David Backes has 31 points including 10 goals to lead Mankato. Travis Morin leads the team in goals with 15 (28 points). UMD is led by Mason Raymond who has 8 goals and 23 points. Tim Stapleton has 10 goals and freshman Michael Gergen has 11 to lead the team. Part of UMD’s issues is the fact they have scored only 3 times in their last 54 power play attempts.
THE CALL: Split
St. Cloud State at North Dakota
Joe Jensen’s 13 goals leads the Huskies, Andrew Gordon has 11 and 25 points to lead the team. UND is lead by Drew Stafford’s 18 goals and 32 points, freshman T.J. Oshie is next in goals with 14 (26 points).
THE CALL: 3 points for UND
Denver at Alaska Anchorage
Defenseman Matt Carle leads the Pioneers with 36 points including 11 goals. Ryan Dingle leads the team in goals with 16 (24 points). Anchorage has 3 players with 11 points including Chris Tarkir, Charlie Kronschnabel and Ales Parez. It’s logical that Anchorage might win at home but Denver has much more talent.
THE CALL: Denver sweep
Sophomore Joe Pavelski has 14 goals and 33 points to lead the Badgers, followed by junior Robbie Earl with 13 goals and 30 points. The next highest point total is at 19 with Tom Gilbert. The Gophers are led by Ryan Potulny with 19 goals and 34 points. Phil Kessel has 10 goals and 31 points, followed by Alex Goligoski and Chris Harrington, both with 23 points. Kessel has a 6 game point streak heading into this weekend. Wisconsin is currently ranked #2 and Minnesota is 6-3-1 against ranked opponents this season. In goal, briggs has not lost since a 4-3 loss to Wisconsin on Dec. 2. Since that loss, Briggs has a 2.13 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage and has given up more than 3 goals only once in his last seven starts. Last time these teams met Minnesota got swept, but is 9-1-0 since then. I think Minnesota will play a lot better than the first time they faced Wisconsin. The hostile environment will be a change for Minnesota. This will be a championship type game both nights. This is the time of year last year when Wisconsin went into a tail spin. Their freshman goaltender Shane Connelly will face more shots than last weekend and he will feel the pressure. He will play either really well or not well at all. Minnesota has more high-end guys, especially on the skill side of things. The Badgers have always gone with one goalie and this is the first time that they’ve sort of gotten burned by it, having Brian Elliott hurt. The result is Minnesota having a distinct upper hand in goal in this series for the first time in a long time. The key will be making the Badgers go 180 feet to score and not turning the puck over. Another key to the game will be whether or not Wisconsin can continue to play physical and smart for 60 minutes and on the flip side, can Minnesota take it and play for 60 minutes.
THE CALL: Minnesota for a sweep!