The question I’m most asked (besides “what’s the Nihilist really like”) is “What is it like to watch a Gopher hockey game with you, Sisyphus”. The answer is that it can’t be explained, only experienced (although a close approximation would be watching the Ken Burns Civil War documentary with U.S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln). This live blog will give you a small taste of what it might be like. PRE-GAME: Doug Woog predicts a 7-1 Gopher victory, pretty close to my 8-1 call and much more reasonable than Chad “I calls 'em like I sees 'em” the Elder’s 19-2 prediction.
OPENNING FACE-OFF: Holy Cross wins it, but loses the puck quickly.
5:37 PM: Gopher's top line dominate the first shift.
5:38 PM: Harrington turns it over, what a shock.
5:39 PM: Holy Cross takes an early penalty bad move against the nation’s top power play unit. 5:41 PM: Good kill by the Crusaders. Stoa takes a hooking penalty for the Gophers so we will see the Holy Cross power play. The Gophers are due for a short-handed goal.
5:49 PM: Gophers are a little sluggish through the first seven minutes. They should be up by two or three by now.
5:50 PM: Another Harrington turnover.
5:51 PM: BU defeated Nebraska-Omaha earlier, my bracket remains perfect.
5:55 PM: Gophers second power play, time to get things going.
5:59 PM: No scoring on the power play, but the Gophers did have some good opportunities.
6:01 PM: Guyer tries a wrap-around, but that play only works in High School. Guyer is one of the struggling Gophers who really needs to step up.
6:03 PM: Gophers top line is really dominating, they look like they’re on the power play.
6:04 PM: Crusaders power play opportunity. Gophers are due for a short-handed goal. 6:08 PM: Bogus penalty called on P.J. Atherton. It’s a good thing the Gophers are due for a short-handed goal. No score with only 2:12 left in the first. WAKE UP GOPHERS. Don’t make me boo you. 6:10 PM: The only bright spot: Briggs is looking sharp in goal.
6:12 PM: Well that’s the end of the first period, no score but the Gophers out shot them 13-10, but it didn’t seem like it. Each Gopher should go into the locker room and ask himself: “Why am I sucking?”
6:29 PM: Second period starts. Gophers top line is the only one playing well right now. Time to step up Phil Kessel.
6:32 PM: Kessel-Wheeler-Gordon line dominates their shift. They should be able to create mis-matches.
6:33 PM: Another Gopher penalty – Gophers are due for a short-handed goal. Potulny nearly gets it. I have a feeling that once the Gophers get the first goal, the dam will be broken and the Gophers will score big.
6:34 PM: Gophers dominate on that penalty kill and now draw a penalty. FINALLY! I predict a Gopher goal on this power play.
6:36 PM: Put it ON NET, Phil!
6:39 PM: Fourth line has a dominating shift – but still no goal.
6:40 PM: I didn’t realize that Bruce A. Berman also had a TV version of his radio commercial. It is even more annoying onTV.
6:42 PM: Harrington misplays the puck and the Crusaders score the first goal of the game. Thank God he’s a senior and will be turning the puck over elsewhere next year.
6:46 PM: Crusader defense is doing a good job of keeping the Gophers away from the front of the net.
Did I mention that the Gophers were do for a short-handed goal?
Maybe this will be the wake-up call they need.
6:55 PM: Holy Cross gets a 5 on 3 power play and scores. Refs are once again screwing the Gophers.6:57 PM:
Kessel coming out of the penalty box, scores on 2 on 1 break!
Now time to pull away.
6:59 PM: Quick whistle. Puck was loose in the Crusaders crease, but the Refs bail them out with a quick whistle. 7:01 PM: Another penalty on the Gophers? Give me a break. That was a bogus call. However, the Gophers are due for a short-handed goal.
Harrington passes to the wrong team on the power play. 7:07 PM: End of the second period, score tied at 2. Gophers outplayed the Crusaders in the second period, but not by nearly enough. Time for them to stop screwing around.
7:22 PM: Holy Cross Trivia: Holy Cross is the alma mater of J Peterman. According to my source, Mr. Peterman didn’t even know that Holy Cross had a hockey team until he was asked about the game. 7:24 PM: “Harrington’s pass intercepted” – that wasn’t from me, that was the announcer. 7:26 PM: Shot, Goligoski scores!!! The Gopher’s top defenseman steps up and gives the Gophers their first lead of the game. Gophers seem to have woken up now. Although Briggs just had to make two great saves.
7:29 PM: Another Holy Cross power play. I'm not worried.
7:31 PM: Give me a break, another 5 on 3 for the Crusaders? Guyer barely touched that guy.
Excellent kill of the two man advantage by the Gophers. 7:35 PM: Another Harrington turnover in front of his own net. Briggs makes the save.
7:36 PM: Wheeler put it off the pipe. Gophs are in control if Harrington can refrain from throwing away the puck.
7:37 PM: Tie Game. Holy Cross goal was originally waved off, but then given to Holy Cross. Another defensive break down, but not Harrington this time. 7:44 PM: Terrible call on Chucko, give the Holy Cross guy a diver penalty. These Refs suck. 9 minutes left, so this will be a big one. How about a short-hander? 7:47 PM: Briggs is blatantly charged by a Holy Cross player and the penalties are called even? Worst. Officiating. Ever.
7:50 PM: Finally a penalty on Holy Cross. Chucko was tripped from behind along the boards. Gophers: You have the top power play in the nation, start playing like it.
7:52 PM: Credit where due: a couple of nice shots by Harrington on the power play. No one home for the rebounds. Power play over 4:41 left in regulation. Overtime would be an embarrassment. 8:02 PM: OVERTIME. You’ve got to be kidding me. Overtime against Holy Cross? Holy Frickin’ Cross? At this point it doesn’t really matter if they pull it out, because they will have no chance against North Dakota playing like this.
The worst thing is you just know that the vile Sioux fans in Grand Forks are loving this. I hate UND and their fans.
You just cannot let a game like this get to overtime. Harrington can turn the puck over in front of the net at anytime and lose the game no matter who you're playing.
8:19 PM: Holy Cross scores. This live blog is over.