Gophers Meet the Media: Colorado College

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The Gophers met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss this weekend's trip to Colorado Springs, Colo. to take on the Colorado College Tigers.

The Tigers boast an impressive offense for the Gophers' defense to contend with. Freshman defenseman Mike Reilly understands the challenge at hand.

"(Colorado College) has a really good offense. We are obviously going to have to play some good (defense). They like to cycle the puck, and I think their defensemen are active in the rush as well."

Fellow freshman defenseman Brady Skjei added more perspective on the matchup.

"They are the highest scoring team in the WCHA so we will have to look out for that. They have also given up the most goals. It will be an up-and-down game and hopefully we can come out on top."

Head coach Don Lucia said this style of play is nothing new for the Colorado College program.

"(Colorado College) is always a good transition team. They are always speedy with good skill up front. They have some defensemen who have been involved and scored a lot of goals."

Lucia went on to say the key to stopping the Tigers high-powered attack is playing to the Gophers' strengths, "Our foundation has been defense, goaltending, and specialty teams. That has to continue, especially since we are on the road."

This weekend is the Gophers' last scheduled trip to Colorado Springs with both teams set to leave the WCHA next season. Lucia, who coached the Tigers from 1993-1999, said this trip has special meaning to him personally.

"When you go to all the different rinks this year I think there is some nostalgia involved, especially at the World Arena. I have nothing but great memories from there. It was one of the best periods of my life."

Other news from the past week includes Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly being named to the USA Preliminary Roster for the World Junior Championships. Both reflected on the honor of representing their country.

"It was one of my goals for sure, having grown up and playing in the (National) Development Program," Skjei said.

Mike Reilly, who represented the USA for the first time at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge in British Columbia, echoed Skjei's words, "I take a lot of pride in playing for my county. I have to work hard and play my game."

Skjei and Reilly will meet up with their USA teammates in a couple of weeks in New York for the training camp.

In the meantime, the Gophers will be in action this weekend at Colorado College. Friday's game is at 8:30 CT and Saturday's contest is at 8:00 CT. Friday's game can been seen on Fox Sports Plus, while Saturday's meeting will be shown on Fox Sports North.

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