Head coach Don Lucia, Nate Condon and Kyle Rau represented the Minnesota men's hockey program at the first-ever B1G Hockey Media Day on Thursday morning at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
"It's exciting to be here," Lucia said, kicking off the event with an early morning press conference. "It almost seems like in many ways, it's a new job. It's so fresh this year with entering a new conference, the Big Ten, even though we've played many of the teams over the years, this is the first time we'll be playing each of the Big Ten members four times. I think it's going to be an exciting year, not only for us, but certainly our fans."
The Gopher trio arrived early on Thursday morning, sitting down for 1-on-1 interviews with the media as well as spots with television partners ESPN, Big Ten Network and FOX Sports North. To open the day, the Big Ten Conference announced its preseason coaches poll and preseason players to watch list with Kyle Rau being the conference's only unanimous player to watch. The Gophers were selected to finish second in the inaugural season of Big Ten hockey behind Wisconsin with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State filling out the rankings. Gophers sophomores Mike Reilly and Adam Wilcox were also featured as players to watch this season.
Rau even sat down with GopherSports' Devin Pacheco for a social media Q&A session with fans on Twitter. Here are a few of the top questions/answers for the Gopher captain:
Minnesota opens the 2013-14 season with an exhibition contest on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. CT against Lethbridge. The Gophers kick off the regular-season on Oct. 11-12 with the Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena.