On Tuesday afternoon, the Minnesota Golden Gophers tweeted the Washington Capitals with a suggestion: play Nate Schmidt.
— Minnesota M Hockey (@GopherHockey) May 12, 2015
Schmidt said he got the call yesterday, took a van to Boston, flew to DC and immediately went to buy clothes because he didn't have enough.
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) May 12, 2015
The GIF shared by the Golden Gophers was from their final game of the 2011-12 regular season. It was Schmidt’s second season with the team and his first as a full-time player. With 12:20 remaining in the third period, Schmidt made a brilliant keep-in at the blue line, deked around a defender, and scored on the power play, giving Minnesota a 2-1 lead over rival Wisconsin.
The goal would end up being the game-winner. That was significant because it also gave the Golden Gophers the the MacNaughton Cup, awarded to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season champions.
The Gophers, already assured of at least a tie for the WCHA regular-season title, won it outright on Saturday with a stirring third period comeback.
Erik Haula’s shorthanded goal and Nate Schmidt’s power-play goal – three minutes apart — gave the Gophers a 2-1 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday at Mariucci Arena before an announced crowd of 10,241.
Schmidt… dove to keep the puck in the offensive zone on the blue line. Got up, faked a shot, went around a defenseman and fired from 50 feet.
This is the 13th time the Gophers have claimed the Cup, but the first time since they won back-to-back WCHA championships in 2006 and ’07.
If the Glease can’t be unleashed on Wednesday night, the Caps have a more than capable back-up in Nate.
Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.
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