McCutcheon, Bush Set to Speak at Coaches' Clinic

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Although the Gopher volleyball team is in between the championship and spring seasons, the coaches never rest. Along with the responsibilities all coaches have, two on the Gopher staff will be speaking at a local clinic, Saturday, Jan. 18.

Head coach Hugh McCutcheon and associate head coach Laura Bush will be two of six coaches speaking at the North Country Region Coaching Clinic at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. The clinic, which draws in volleyball coaches throughout the entire north region, will begin at 8:30 a.m. McCutcheon and Bush will each speak for 50 minutes, with time for questions and answers. Approximately 100 coaches will be in attendance.

Gopher Volleyball begins its spring season in March and welcomes newest member Erica Handley as she joins the team this semester. Handley, who played high school volleyball both at Win-E-Mac (McIntosh, Minn.) and Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minn.) transferred to Minnesota after a year at Syracuse. 

Note-McCutcheon Volleyball Camp will host its College Prep Camp July 7-10th. Details & registration at by Feb. 1st. 

Gophers Give Alumni Warm Welcome-Back

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Photo Gallery

History and tradition have long been a large part of the foundation of the Minnesota women's basketball program, and Sunday's game against Northwestern served as a warm "Welcome Back!" to the former Gophers that paved the way for the players that reap the benefits of their hard work and sacrifices today.

Over 50 former Gophers and their families made their way to Williams Arena Sunday to watch Minnesota handily defeat the Wildcats, 94-59, behind a complete team effort on both ends of the floor. But, prior to taking in all of the action on the court, the alumni were able to reminisce and mingle with each other, head coach Pam Borton and the Gopher coaching staff at a pregame reception in the Williams Arena Club Room.

Go Gophers! Final Four Alumni
Go Gophers!Members of the 2004 Final Four team at Alumni Day
Front row (L-R): Shannon Schonrock, Lori Dimitroff, Brian Frye (Director of Operations), April Calhoun
Go Gophers!Back row (L-R): Michael Fischer (Video Coordinator), Moira Novak (Director of Athletic Medicine), Hannah Garry, Jamie Broback, Leslie Hill, Shannon Bolden, Chris Norman (Manager)


At halftime, each of the former Gophers headed onto the raised floor to be recognized by their loyal fans. The fans that still remember each moment of their playing careers. It was a treat for the Gopher faithful to see how their favorite players have blossomed in their lives since their time at Minnesota and to see their growing families.

Those same fans had the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Minnesota's magical run to 2004 NCAA Final Four and the players that made up that remarkable team in the second half. Each member of the Final Four squad received a commemorative plaque and were able to watch a special highlight reel of their journey to New Orleans.

Fans and alumni that weren't in attendance can watch highlights from the 2003-04 season in the video above and check out photos from Alumni Day in the attached photo gallery.   

 

Richard Pitino Blog: Breaking Down Big Ten Play

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Golden Gopher basketball is already four games into conference play, the first Big Ten action for new head coach Richard Pitino. He takes the time to rate his team's performance in each game -- Michigan, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan State.

Tuesday also saw the release of a new episode of the team's web series, "Raise the Barn," featuring point guard Deandre Mathieu. Watch above or click here to watch that video.

Richard Pitino's Gophers are 2-2 through the first four B1G games.


Michigan

Good:  We outrebounded Michigan by 14, and had 15 offensive rebounds.  Elliott having 10 rebounds in 24 minutes was big.  He has been our most consistent player.  He has earned the right to become more of a leader on our team.

Bad:  Shot selection!  We are too good of a shooting team to be shooting 26% from the 3-point line.  Typically when that happens it comes down to taking shots we don't practice.

Overall:  Oto and Elliott showed up on the glass.  Austin had 4 big steals.  We watched the film and learned that shot selection is key.  I have a great deal of respect for Coach Beilein and his program.

Purdue

Good:  We learned from our mistakes in the Michigan game.  We shot 52% against a very good Purdue defense.  Elliott played phenomenal defense on AJ Hammons who was coming off a great game against Ohio State.  Elliott had 6 blocks!  Austin played a great all around game.

Bad:  Last 6 minutes.  We miscommunicated on defense.  We used poor clock management when we had the lead. 

Overall:  Showed flashes of greatness for 33 minutes.  We executed our game plan offensively and defensively.  We made several mistakes that almost cost us a league win.

@ Penn State

Good:  DeAndre and Austin made 2 huge steals at the end of the game.  Elliott changed the game defensively.  We shot 46% from the field in the second half. 

Bad:  Negative assist to turnover ratio wasn't good.  We weren't aggressive enough defensively until the last 2 minutes.

Overall:  A road win in the Big Ten is always something to be proud of!  We found a way to win when nothing was going right. 

Deandre Mathieu and the Gophers nearly came away with an upset at No. 5 Michigan State.


@ Michigan State

Good:  We played with great poise, confidence, and fearlessness.  Every timeout our guys believed we would win the game.  We executed in the first half offensively extremely well.

Bad:  There was a lot!  I counted 50 mistakes that we made throughout the game.  Defensively we didn't execute our pick and roll coverage.  Offensively we got away from throwing the ball inside.  These mistakes will catch up to you against an opponent like Michigan State. 

Overall:  Much like Purdue we showed flashes of greatness, but we also made costly mistakes at the end of the game.  We have to establish our inside attack again.

 

Can't wait for Thursday night.  Let's show college basketball what The Barn is all about, Gopher fans!

 

Go Gophers,

Richard Pitino

Fan Vote Open for Hobey Baker Award

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St. Paul, Minn. - As college hockey enters the second half of the season, fans of the collegiate game can now help determine the winner of the 2014 Hobey Baker Award.

Awarded annually to college hockey's top player, the Hobey Baker's highly popular fan-voting phase opens at noon CT on Tuesday, January 14. Visit the Hobey Baker website: www.hobeybakeraward.com. Click on the Vote for Hobey icon and follow the prompts to make your selection from this year's outstanding crop of college hockey players.  Please spend some additional time to check out our redesigned website.

This first phase of fan balloting will run now through March 9, 2014. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 20 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists. The fans' vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient.

Award criteria include candidates emulating the exceptional character traits exhibited by the award's namesake, Hobey Baker. A legendary American hero, Baker was a World War I fighter pilot and was known as America's greatest amateur athlete in his day, excelling at hockey and football at Princeton University. Award candidates must demonstrate strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship. 

Key Hobey Baker announcement dates for 2014 include:

*Top Ten list of candidates:  March 20

*Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists:  April 2

*Hobey Baker Award announcement:  April 11

The 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 11, 2014 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Philadelphia, PA. The 34th annual award announcement honoring college hockey's top player will be televised live. For more info on the Hobey Baker Award or to access the Hobey logo, please visit www.hobeybakeraward.com.

Gophers in the News: Hockey City Classic Opening Ceremony

The Gopher women's hockey team kicks off play in the new year by hosting Ohio State at Ridder Arena in a Friday/Saturday series this weekend. However, everyone is already looking forward to the 2014 Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium next Friday, Jan. 17.

The Hockey City Classic Winter Festival began Thursday night with an opening ceremony and public "Skate with the Greats" event. Catch up on media coverage of the event and stay tuned for much more excitement leading up to the outdoor college hockey double-header next Friday.

Read more:

KSTP: Hockey City Classic Comes to TCF Bank Stadium
Jan. 9, 2014

Star Tribune: Hockey City Classic Winter Festival to open at TCF Bank Stadium
Jan. 9, 2014

Star Tribune: Outdoor hockey, Minnesota style
Jan. 9, 2014

WCCO: 'Light The Lamp' Ceremony Opens Hockey City Classic Winter Festival
Jan. 9, 2014

KSTP: Preps for Hockey City Classic Winter Festival Under Way at TCF Stadium
Jan. 8, 2014

Olympics: Vanek to Skate for Austria at Sochi

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Thomas Vanek
Go Gophers!

Austria announced its Olympic team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Tuesday with former Gopher and current New York Islander Thomas Vanek headlining the squad. 

Vanek will make his Olympic debut this year with Austria, which has qualified for the Winter Olympics for the first time since 2002. The forward has previously represented his home country on the 2004, 2005 and 2009 Austrian National Teams as well as the Austrian National Junior Team at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championships.

With Vanek's roster spot locked up, the Gophers now have four former players skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics -- Paul Martin, Phil Kessel and Blake Wheeler will skate for the U.S. National Team. Additionally, former Gopher All-American and current Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards will serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. men's program while Hobey Baker Award winner Robb Stauber will serve as the goaltenders coach for the U.S. women's team. 

Gopher Hockey has sent a representative to every Winter Olympics since 1936 with six representatives in 2014 serving as the most since the 'U' sent six players to Sarajevo in 1984. 

The men's ice hockey competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi runs from Feb. 13-13. 

Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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Listen to tonight's show: 1500ESPN.com | Archived Radio Broadcasts

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Don Lucia Radio Show returns to the airwaves of 1500 ESPN for the 2013-14 season, airing live on Mondays during the year from the Beacon Public House inside the Commons Hotel on campus. 

Join Coach Lucia and co-hosts Wally Shaver and Jeff Dubay on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing live on 1500 ESPN from 6-6:30 p.m. CT. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at the 23rd annual Mariucci Classic last weekend that saw the Gophers tie Colgate 2-2 in overtime (Colgate advanced to the championship game via a shootout and then beat No. 2 Ferris State 3-0) and top RPI 6-2. We'll also look ahead to this weekend's Sunday-Monday series at Penn State -- the first-ever series with the Nittany Lions. 

For the second-season in a row, Beacon Public House will host a live viewing of the Don Lucia Radio Show with food and drink specials every Monday night for Gopher Hockey fans. Learn more about Beacon Public House here. 

Rock Ridder Night Scheduled for Jan. 10

Rock Ridder Night Tickets

Gopher women's hockey returns to action at Ridder Arena one week from tonight! Minnesota is pleased to host Rock Ridder Night where all general admission tickets are just $1 when the team hosts Ohio State next Friday, Jan. 10 at 7:07 p.m.

All fans will receive Gopher rally towels to celebrate the Gophers taking the ice for the first time in over a month. Minnesota's last series was a WCHA road sweep at Ohio State, Dec. 7-8, 2013. The Gophers look to make it four-straight victories over the Buckeyes in their first series of 2014.

In addition, Saturday's game of the Ohio State series will feature a Teddy Bear Toss after the first Gopher goal. Fans are invited to bring teddy bears or other stuffed animals to the game and throw them on the ice after the first Minnesota goal. All of the stuffed animals will be donated to Toys for Tots as part of the Gophers' annual toy drive.

Be there for what the Gophers hope will be the fourth sell-out women's hockey crowd in Ridder Arena history (3,400).

Watch Beck on Still Rings

Watch a video of senior Steffen Beck working on his still rings routine last month. The Gophers begin the 2014 season with their annual Alumni Meet at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 11.

Beck returns to the Gophers' line-up this season after missing the 2013 season due to injury. Head coach Mike Burns expects Beck to be a contributor on pommel horse and still rings as a senior. As a sophomore in 2012, Beck competed on these two events in every meet, scoring a career high of 14.600 on rings against Penn State.

Gophers Represent on U.S. Olympic Roster

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Go Gophers! Go Gophers!
Four former Gophers will be headed to Sochi next month as part of the  2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. USA Hockey announced the squad on Wednesday as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic festivities in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Former Gophers Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Paul Martin were named to the U.S. roster while current Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards will serve as an assistant coach with the U.S. team. 

"We went through a very thorough process to get to today and could not be happier with the team we've selected," said David Poile, general manager of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and also the GM and president of hockey operations for the NHL's Nashville Predators. "We're fortunate to have probably the deepest talent pool we've ever had in our country and that made for some very difficult decisions. In the end, however, we're confident we've selected a group of players that puts us in the best position to have success in Sochi."

The Gophers have had at least one representative in the last 18 Winter Olympic Games, dating back to 1936. While all three Gophers have skated for USA Hockey in the past only Kessel hasskated for the U.S. Olympic team previously, earning a silver medal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Richards, meanwhile, competed as a defenseman for the U.S. at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer. 

"We appreciate the work done by David (Poile) and all those involved in putting this roster together," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "We look forward to what will be a great Olympics in Sochi, where hockey will be at the center of attention."

The men's ice hockey competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi runs from Feb. 13-23. For more information on the games as well as the U.S. squad, visit USAHockey.com. 

Related Links: 
Martin Pumped for Opportunity to Play for USA (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Stauber Named to U.S. Women's Olympic Team Staff (Gophersports.com)