Gopher Hockey heads to Penn State with time running out for postseason push

February 07, 2019 05:52 PM

The Gopher hockey team has had bad luck with travel lately. Four weeks ago, winter weather in South Bend cancelled their flight home forcing them to endure a bus ride back.

The latest headache was a lengthy delay in Thursday's snowstorm at MSP that pushed back their departure for State College, Pennsylvania ahead of this weekend's series at Penn State.

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On the Gophers two trips to State College last season, the headaches stemmed from what happened on the ice.

With postseason hopes hinging on both the final series of the regular season at Penn State and two games in the Big Ten Tournament back in State College the following week - the Gophers lost all four games, missing qualification for the NCAA Tournament by a mere fraction of a percentage point.

Back to the present, once the Gophers flight finally touched down in Central Pennsylvania, two of the hottest college hockey players in the nation disembarked.

Rem Pitlick and Tyler Sheehy each piled up five points in the Gophers series last weekend against Michigan.

Pitlick earned the Big Ten's Player of the Week honor and has goals in six straight games and eight of his last nine.

Click the video box on this page to watch Bob Motzko, Mat Robson and Rem Pitlick discuss where the Gophers stand as they head into the homestretch, this weekend's series against Penn State and the recent offensive surges by Pitlick, Tyler Sheehy and newly-emerged power play specialist Tommy Novak

The Gophers need the entire team to heat up as they have just six more games against Big Ten opponents and the season-ending series against Arizona State left in the regular season.

They currently sit in second place in the Big Ten standings - likely too far behind to catch leader Ohio State, and just two points ahead of third-placed Notre Dame.

More troubling, they're currently 24th in the PairWise Rankings that determine the 16-team NCAA Tournament field once conference champions earn automatic bids.

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