First thing I want to do is put this thing into perspective. The Gophers season either ends tonight or next week, the Golden Gophers aren't going to the NCAA tourney. The Gophers aren't going to win the Final Five from the play-in-game. The Gophers won't make the NCAA tourney as an at large bid unless the selection crew that picks the teams for the NCAA tourney is drunk. That's the reality folks; the Sioux are going to NCAA tourney barring a major unforeseen Pairwise catastrophe. It's up to them if they want to play next weekend. This is the first loss for the Fighting Sioux in 9 games. The Sioux also remain 5th in the all important Pairwise Rankings.
Dive Cepis Dive...
Losing to our heated rival sucks, watching Jacob C-Piss dive and flop around up and down the ice drawing penalties does makes a person see red and it does make you mad because the WCHA/NCAA is suppose to be focusing on embellishment and they are not. No big surprise there. It is what it is. It's obvious that Jacob Cepis is trying to surpass Garrett Roe for punk of the year. Don't worry Jacob you're still a punk in my opinion but Garrett Roe still has you beat, you're going to have to work harder to beat the dive queen Roe at his game. Lastly, I also have to question a player's character that leaves his team half way through a season. To me that is major a character flaw and speaks volumes to the type of person that he is.
Here is how UND hockey beat writer Brad Elliot Schlossman described UMN goals on his blog.
Minnesota 1, UND 0 -- Mike Hoeffel (Jacob Cepis, Cade Fairchild) 17:20 (pp). Cepis sets up the power play with a dive, then sets up a goal with a pass in the slot to Hoeffel, who slips it by Eidsness for Minnesota's first goal of the weekend. ----------------------- UND 2, Minnesota 2 -- Jacob Cepis (Mike Hoeffel, Jake Hansen) 12:10 (pp). Cepis draws another penalty with a dive and ends up scoring on a shot from the circle with traffic in front.This is from the in game live chat on Brad's blog: Do you see a emerging theme here. It was pretty obvious what was going on except to the on ice officials.
9:13 Jayson, UND SID: Cepis draws another 9:13 Jayson, UND SID: I hope Cepis is ok. He sure went down hard. 9:13 Schlossman, GF Herald: This is really embarrassing for the officials. Cepis dives again 9:14 Jayson, UND SID: Gophers have responded well after both Sioux goals.It is embarrassing. It's obvious that Cepis is duping the WCHA officials and making them look like asses with his over embellishment last night and you would have to be a complete homer not to notice this. What the hell is Brad Eidsness suppose to do when a player comes through his crease like that? This is how the UMN beat writer described the antics of their player in his article for the Star and Tribune.
Cepis orchestrated the goal. The 5-7 agitator nicknamed "Papa Chirp" drew a tripping penalty on Sioux goalie Brad Eidsness, falling when Eidsness' stick brushed one of his ankles. Sioux fans wanted a diving call; the referees ignored the boos
Is Adrian Peterson wearing a Sioux Jersey?
Last night the Sioux were coughing up turnovers like running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings football team. The Sioux were not very smart with the puck last night, they didn't cycle the puck very well and they didn't get set up in the offensive zone. They Fighting Sioux needs to get puck deep and keep the Gophers on their heels. Last night the Fighting Sioux made undisciplined errors that they couldn't recover from in the end. They must be better tonight if they want to advance to the Red Baron Final Five.
Sunday Game to look forward to
While the officiating was sub par and sucked, I don't think anyone has blamed the loss on the officiating. The Sioux didn't execute last night and they got beat by a team that had nothing to lose. Alex Kangas was on TV talking about how he hated North Dakota and playing up here, let's remind him tonight why he doesn't like playing here. This Gopher team's mental make up is weak and can be shattered with a few well time goals. If the Sioux can get to Kangas early he will crumble like a prom dress at an after prom party. The Sioux need to be miserable to play against and play with an edge.
Links to the Series
MEN'S HOCKEY: Sioux fall to Gophers
Red Star and Sickel: Given up for dead, U forces Game 3
College Hockey News: WCHA Tournament Roundup
Gopher Puck Live: Gophers Surprise - Rebound to Force Game 3
USCHO.COM: Kangas Stops 41 as Minnesota Tops North Dakota 4-2
Fighting Sioux: Gophers force game three with 4-2 win over Sioux
Examiner.com: Gophers play hard and give good effort in 4-2 victory over North Dakota; series finale Sunday