Written by Minnesota Student Intern Josh Brennock
Insights from the Gophers' 3-2 win Saturday at Michigan Tech.
Congratulations Coach Lucia
Minnesota head coach Don Lucia won his 600th game tonight as a collegiate head coach. He becomes just the fourth active Division I head coach to reach the milestone, joining Boston College's Jerry York, Boston University's Jack Parker, and Michigan's Red Berenson. The victory is his 321st as the leader of Minnesota. Before coming to Minneapolis, Lucia led Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College. His first win came with Alaska Fairbanks in 1987.
Higher Compete Level
Friday night it appeared as if the Gophers were simply going through the motions. They were not sharp with the puck and allowed the Huskies to outwork them along the boards and in front of the net. Tonight was a different story. The defense was more affective in transitioning the puck out of the zone to the forwards, leading to the forwards being able to control the puck more and spend valuable time in the Huskies' zone to create quality scoring opportunities. The Gophers struggled Friday night to create rebound opportunities.
Minnesota proved once again they are a team to be reckoned with in the WCHA on Saturdays. The Gophers were 13-1 on Saturdays in the WCHA last season. The only blemish was an overtime loss at Denver. On six occasions last season, the Gophers responded by winning Saturday's tilt after a Friday defeat, including a series at Mariucci Arena versus Michigan Tech in December. Tonight, the Gophers once again rebounded from a loss, controlling play and finding a way to win the game late courtesy of Seth Ambroz.
Seth Ambroz was the star for the Gophers tonight. He tallied two goals in a game for the first time since his Minnesota debut in 2011 against Sacred Heart. Ambroz posted the first goal of the game through hard-nose effort to get to a juicy rebound left over from a hard drive by Kyle Rau. Seth capped off his night with the game-winning goal. He found himself with space in the high slot to wired home a nice pass from Travis Boyd. Ambroz's standout game adds to the strong work of the third line this season. Third-line contribution could pay huge dividends for the Gophers as the season goes on. The Gophers have the luxury to dress three dynamic lines.
Good Bye Houghton
Minnesota's bus will soon be pulling out of Houghton for the last time. With the Gophers set to leave the WCHA next season, this is the last scheduled trip to Michigan Tech. Many rivalries will be missed when the Gophers join the Big Ten, but this is an underrated one. Tonight was the 173rd time Minnesota defeated the Michigan Tech Huskies in program history. They have more wins against the Huskies than any other institution. The two schools also faced-off in three-straight national championship games back in the 1970's, the Gophers toppled the Huskies in 1974 and 1976 to claim the crown.