Gopher Two-pher

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3-25-12-45 - CopySome time back in the deep, dark recesses of December we received a query from Basketball Dan.  Would we be interested in attending a Gopher Men’s basketball game this year?  Now this is no small request.  If you have read the ‘bio’ of this gentleman (contained somewhere in this blog) you would know that he has attended a basketball game at every Division 1 school that plays the sport – some 340-plus.  Based on an understanding of simple math, that translates to 10 games a year for over 30 years.  In other words, he leaves town almost every winter weekend (yes, he’s never been married).  Since that task is now complete, his new avocation is visiting far away places with strange sounding names.  He can’t do that quite as often as going to such as Louisiana for a long weekend of three college basketball games.

Now regarding this request.  Over the years we have yet to convince him (or brother Cam) that the finer points of women’s hockey make it a far more entertaining game than men’s basketball.  So, in reviewing his stated options, I was determined to find an adjunct to a basketball game, i.e., I was not going to drive all the way to The Cities to watch one game featuring our somewhat challenged Gophers.  I discovered his last option was perfect.  Last Saturday, the Gopher women’s hockey team was hosting Ohio State @ 2:00; the Gopher men’s basketball team was hosting Nebraska @ 5:00.  First game over, just walk across the street to Williams Arena!  And away we go . . .

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[Arrived in Ridder Arena, the supervisor immediately let the world know by Facebook.]

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[Ridder Arena – the best venue in hockey!  🙂  ]

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[The Buckeyes from THE Ohio State University.]

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[The Gophers from THE University of Minnesota.]

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[The super proudly in her maroon and gold scarf, which due to its texture can double as a dishwashing sponge.  Yeah, it looks empty here but ultimately it was a decent crowd over half capacity.]

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[So, Buckeyes, congrats on your national football championship.  But you should be aware . . . hockey is OUR sport!!!  Team captains Rachael Bona (7), in the left, and Rachel Ramsey (5).]

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[Go Gopher Victory!]

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[I heard the supervisor and the cub reporter hit Erbert’s & Gerbert’s before the game!]

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[Where’s my hat?]

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[Frosty gives last minute instructions, “Score more goals than those guys!”]

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[Opening face-off, from the left, Meghan Lorence (20), senior wing; Kelly Panneck (19), freshman center; Bona; and Megan Wolfe (12), sophomore defense.]

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[Maryanne Menefee (14), junior wing]

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[Hannah Brandt, see the top of the page.]

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[Hannah forechecking, she is possibly the best collegiate hockey player in the country.]

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[Dani Cameranesi (21), sophomore wing, as with many of the Gophers we saw her play (for THE Blake School) in the state high school tournament.]

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[The Brandt line in the Buckeye zone.]

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[A shot by Menefee.]

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[Cara Piazza (20), freshman wing (from Illinois, no less); and Brooke Garzone (18), junior wing (from Oklahoma, no less, though through Shattuck).]

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[The Pannek line.]

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[Lee Stecklein (2), sophomore defense, from the Olympic team.]

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[GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!  Kate Schipper (6), sophomore wing, from  Pannek and Ramsey.]

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[Hurray for us!!!]

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[Halfway through the first period, no shots yet for the Buckeyes.]

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[Cameranesi apparently had just seen Tim Conway’s “Dorf on Hockey.”]

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[Stecklein and Milica McMillen (13), junior defense, two of the three (with Ramsey) 6-footers on defense.  Plus, if you look on the left margin of this blog, you will see Milica when she was an 8th-grader playing for Breck in the 2008 state championship game against our Cards.]

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[Milica has a slapshot that will challenge the guys.  I had to laugh during the game (don’t tell our boys’ coaches!) – when the Gopher defense would pass across to their partner at the blue line, it was always a one-timer blasted right on goal (every time I’ve seen our high school boys try a one-timer, it’s been a mishit?).]

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[After one!  Total domination by the Gophers (though not an excess of goals?).]

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[Crazy band people.]

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[Goldy and friends.]

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[Recruiting trip?]

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[Here come the Buckeyes.]

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[Here come the Gophers.]

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[Whitey’s after the game?]

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[Period 2 is under way.]

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[Brandt wins the draw back to Sydney Baldwin (9), freshman defense.]

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[Baldwin again.  She was “new” to me, but I thought she had impressive speed.]

1-31-15-47 - Copy[Gophers on the attack . . .     ]

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[We have Schipper and Cameranesi in on net . . . ]

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[Then Schipper and Pannek . . .]

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[Then, GOOOAAAALLLL!  Pannek from Ramsey.]

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[Yah, you betcha!]

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[Menefee and Brandt . . . and Brandt SCOOORRRREEDDD from Pannek (two centers on the ice, they were obviously in the midst of a line change)!]

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[After two periods – still all Gophers.]

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[The Wall Of Fame.  And I’m thinking, if Amanda Kessel comes back next year for her final year of eligibility, she’d be paired with Brandt again and likely Cameranesi.  That could be one of the greatest lines ever . . . and I may want to spend a lot of time at Ridder next season.  🙂  ]

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[A funny bounce – the shot came from behind the goal, hit a passing bread truck and trickled in?  And that was the final score.  Got a hint of hockey of the future.  The Gophers, of course, are almost all Minnesotans; the Buckeyes are mostly Canadians, a sprinkling of Minnesotans, but their best player, at least on this night, is from . . . Texas (?).]

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[Then it was on to Williams Arena, where we had the usual old people trouble trying to meet up for ticket exchanges.  I wouldn’t have gone up any higher without Sherpas and oxygen.]

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[A Brief History of Gopherdom.]

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[Charles Buggs (23), 6’9″ sophomore and a work in progress; and Nate Mason (2), 6’1″ freshman guard bring it up.]

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[From my FB posting:  The Gopher women’s hockey team is arguably the best team in the country again, and unquestionably the best ever over the past four years. They play in the best hockey venue in the country. It cost us $5.00 each to see them play Ohio State. The Gopher men’s basketball team is arguably competitively challenged, as is Nebraska, the team they were playing. They were playing in historic Williams Arena, a competitively challenged arena (it’s time for a new building). It costs us $48.00 each to see this game.   And when the basketball team takes a time out, 10 men in suits hop up onto the floor – what the heck is that all about other than causing ticket prices to be $48.00? OK, I feel better now.]

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[Mo Walker (15), 6’10” senior center, had 19 points and 8 rebounds.  When he plays like this, the Gophers will have a chance against most teams.]

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[Visible on defense, DeAndre Mathieu (4), 5’9″ senior; Carlos Morris (11), 6’5″ junior; and Walker.  The Gophers’ defense befuddled the Huskers all game long.]

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[Joey King (24), 6’9″ junior; and Walker.]

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[Gopher women all-timers!]

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[The first half left a lot to be desired.  There were questions as to whether either team could hit 20 by halftime.]

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[Mascot halftime game . . . business mascots?]

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[Just because I remembered the same two guys in flannel shirts did the halftime mopping for about . . . 50 years?]

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[I was impressed by the Gophers second half offense – they had good player and ball movement throughout.]

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[The Gophers used some kind of press for most of the game.]

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[A Mo stuff . . .]

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[And one.]

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[He was good from the line – 5 for 5 for the game.]

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[Here come the suits?  One coach for each player?]

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[Mason was 3 for 4 from the line, the team 14 – 17, very good for a team that has struggled there.]

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[Mason again.]

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[‘Barn Sweet Barn”  It used to be heresy to talk about replacing Williams Arena.  I was part of that group for years . . . the history, the tradition.  But now the time has come.  The concourses are like being in a German U-boat.  It’s got to be a detriment in recruiting.  We can preserve old Williams in a new arena . . . just bring along the raised floor.]

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[Player of the game.]

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[A big and needed conference win.]

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[The finer points of the game discussed between brother Cam (“The Gamecock”) and Basketball Dan.]

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[Where are we going for dinner?]

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[Where we were was right next to Uncle Dick’s (Gophers’ No. 1 fan!) long time seat, which Cam and I honored after the game!   ]

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[And this, of course, is Uncle Dick.]

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[We decided to have dinner at “Whitey’s” in Minneapolis, 400 East Hennepin to be exact. I had no idea there was such a place. For many years, “Whitey’s” in Arlington, Virginia, just a couple blocks from where I lived, sponsored our softball team. Very similar places, and for the locals, the Reuben I had there was the best I’ve had since Lincoln Del closed. The Arlington “Whitey’s” was so famous (for it’s “EAT” sign and broasted chicken), it has an artist’s rendition!]


[Mpls. “Whitey’s” menu]



[Arlington “Whitey’s”]

Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.  ~  Mark Twain

Up next:  Finally, boys basketball.

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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