Gophers Meet the Media: Michigan Tech

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The Minnesota men's hockey team met with the media at Mariucci Arena Wednesday ahead of their weekend trip to Houghton, Mich. to battle with the Huskies of Michigan Tech. Here's what stuck out.

The Gophers will begin defense of the MacNaughton Cup against the Huskies. The intensity is turned up a notch with the beginning of conference play.

"Once you get into the WCHA, you get the feel that this is the real deal," defenseman Mark Alt said.

"I think anytime you deal with conference games there is a little more added," head coach Don Lucia said.

A Trip to Michigan Tech brings a change to an NHL-sized ice rink from the larger sheet present at Mariucci Arena.

"The rink has a whole different feel. That is why it has been good to practice at Ridder Arena to get the small-rink feel," Alt said.

"I like the smaller rink a little better. It will be a test for us as a team because we haven't played on a smaller rink," forward Nick Bjugstad said.

"Things happen faster. You have to use the walls more and get good support both offensively and defensively," head coach Don Lucia said.

This weekend will be Minnesota's longest bus trip of the season. Here is how the Gophers will handle it.

"I do not mind the bus ride. I will have a book to read and make sure I have a pillow for the way back. The key is not forgetting the pillow," head coach Don Lucia said.

"It is a longer road trip than what we are used to, but we are going to prepare the whole way there," Nick Bjugstad said. 

-Article written by Minnesota student intern Josh Brennock

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