Gameday Stats and Facts: Feb. 19

Posted: February 19, 2011 1:00 p.m. CT

FOX Sports North

A few thoughts for tonight:

Lighting the Lamp — Gophers’ scoring surge

  Last 4 Games Previous 13 Games
Goals/Gm 4.25 2.15
Power Play 23.8% 16.1%
Shots/Gm 37.3 33.5
Games 4+ 3 1

Defensemen have been a big part of the Gophers’ offensive surge, with Cade Fairchild and Aaron Ness leading the way.

Boost from the Blue Line — Gopher defensemen getting offensive

  Last 7 games First 21 games
Fairchild 3G 4A 3G 8A
Ness 1G 2A 0G 9A
Alt 0G 5A 1G 2A
Holl 0G 3A 1G 2A
Wehrs 1G 2A 0G 7A
Helgeson 0G 2A 1G 4A
Total 5G 18A 6G 32A
Pts / Gm 3.29 1.81

Mark Alt’s improvement is as impressive as any. The true freshman appears to be maturing right before our eyes.

Alt Emerging — Freshman defenseman surging

Last 8 Games 1G 5A 6PTS
Previous 16 Games 0G 0A 0PTS

Minnesota’s win last night continues their solid play against the top teams in the WCHA. By contrast, Wisconsin has struggled against the perceived powers but has thrived against the bottom feeders.

Beating the Best — Gophers and Badgers against the WCHA

  vs Preseason Top Six vs Preseason Bottom Six
Minnesota 6-4-3 4-6-0
Wisconsin 2-7-2 9-3-0

Special teams have been key in this series this season. Both teams have been better on the power play than on the penalty kill all year, but it has been even more evident in the head to head meetings.

Specialists Shine — Three head to head meetings this season

MIN 5 – 14 35.7%
WIS 5-20 25.0%

Minnesota’s go-to guys have been NIG lately, which is critical without Jay Barriball in the lineup.

Big Scorers Play Big — Gopher top guns’ scoring lately

Hoeffel Last 4GP: 3G 1A Previous 4GP : 0 pts
Bjugstad Last 9GP: 1G 6A Previous 6GP: 1pt
Haula Last 3GP: 2G 3A Previous 10GP: 1pt

Minnesota is trying to win the season series against Wisconsin for the first time since 2006-07, and for just the second time in the last five years. It has been a very tight series during that time.

Badgered — Gophers vs Wisconsin in the last five years

2010-2011 Tied 1-1-1
2009-2010 Tied 2-2-0
2008-2009 Wisconsin 2-1-1
2007-2008 Tied 1-1-2
2006-2007 Minnesota 4-1-0
2005-2006 Wisconsin 3-2-0