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College Hockey:
Gophers sweep, Wisconsin and Michigan split

Five of the six Big Ten teams were in action this weekend. Minnesota swept Minnesota State-Mankato, Wisconsin split with Miami, Michigan split with Nebraska-Omaha, Ohio State swept Canisius and Penn State was swept by Massachusetts-Lowell.

Here are three things I saw.

Minnesota uses two goaltenders to sweep Mankato

Adam Wilcox starting between the pipes for Minnesota had became almost as certain as death and taxes. However, when lineups were announced on Saturday night it was senior Michael Shibrowski in goal. Shibrowski made sure that head coach Don Lucia didn’t regret the decision to start him for the first time in more than a year by pitching a 25-save shutout against the Mavericks.

What made the story even more cool is that the start came a day after Shibrowski’s birthday. It would have been neat if he got the call on Friday night (on his actual birthday), but I can see why Lucia wanted to start Wilcox in the series’ first game.

“You can’t say enough about what Adam has done for us and how well he has played,” Shibrowski said. “I was kind of waiting and seeing and it worked out that I played tonight, so I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

Badgers split road series with Miami

In other goaltender news, Joel Rumpel was back in net for one of Wisconsin’s games this weekend, and the junior made an immediate impact in his first game back. Rumpel gave up two goals on 34 shots Saturday, and led the Badgers to a 3-2 victory over the RedHawks. Joseph LaBate scored the game-winning goal with about five minutes left in Saturday’s game. Miami shutout Wisconsin 2-0 on Friday night.

Having a healthy Rumpel back will obviously help Wisconsin. Mike Eaves loves to platoon his goaltenders, at least early to midway through the season.

Michigan rebounds from a disappointing Friday game to split with Nebraska-Omaha 

After giving up two goals to Omaha in the third period of Friday’s game and falling 3-2, Michigan found itself in another tightly-contested game on Saturday. The Wolverines fared better in the series’ second game. Sophomore Steve Racine made his first start in net in almost a month for Michigan and posted 40 saves in Michigan’s 4-3 victory. Senior Derek DeBlois scored the game-winning goal for Michigan, which made up for him taking a penalty earlier in the game that allowed for Omaha to tie things up.

“Taking that penalty, you never want to hurt the team like that,” DeBlois said. “It was a good shot by [Nolan] De Jong, good pass by  [Alex] Guptill and luckily it was a tap-in goal. Anyone could have done it.”

 

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