November 2013 Archives

Haula Makes NHL Debut with Wild

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Former Gopher Erik Haula made his NHL debut last night with the Minnesota Wild and picked up his first NHL point with an assist in the Wild's 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. 

Wearing No. 56 for the Wild, Haula is the 15th former Gopher to play in the NHL this season, joining Keith Ballard (Minnesota), Nick Bjugstad (Florida), Alex Goligoski (Dallas), Erik Johnson (Colorado), Phil Kessel (Toronto), Nick Leddy (Chicago), Jordan Leopold (St. Louis), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh), Aaron Ness (New York Islanders), Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders), Nate Schmidt (Washington), Jordan Schroeder (Vancouver), Thomas Vanek (New York Islanders) and Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg). Former Gopher defenseman Seth Helgeson was re-called by the New Jersey Devils earlier this week but has not seen action. 

Here's the first NHL point for Haula, who was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round (182nd overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft:


Three former Gophers played in the Wild/Avalanche game with Keith Ballard (Minnesota) and Erik Johnson (Colorado) joining in on Haula's debut. Johnson assisted on the eventual game winner and finished the contest +2 with two blocks and two hits. Ballard contributed a pair of blocks and a hit in the loss for the Wild. 

A native of Pori, Finland, Haula totaled 124 points (42-82--124) in 114 career games for the Gophers from 2010-13 and was the first Gopher since Ryan Potulny (2003-06) to finish his collegiate career with an average of more than a point a game. The forward ranks 49th all-time at Minnesota in scoring. 

The forward led Minnesota in scoring each of the last two years as the Gophers earned two-straight MacNaughton cups as Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season champions and two NCAA tournament berths including the team's run to the Frozen Four in 2011-12.

Haula improved his offensive performance in each of his three seasons with Minnesota, starting with a 24-point freshman campaign in 2010-11. Haula's sophomore season saw the forward lead Minnesota in scoring with 49 points and a career-high 20 goals as the Gophers captured the team's first MacNaughton Cup since 2006-07 and returned to the NCAA Frozen Four for the 20th time in program history and the first time since 2005.  

In his final season with the team, Haula served as an alternate captain and recorded Minnesota's first 50-point season since 2005-06, finishing the season with a career-best 51 points and 35 assists. An All-WCHA Second Team selection in 2012-13, Haula recorded 19 power-play points to spark the nation's best team on the advantage. Minnesota, which added a second-straight MacNaughton Cup in 2012-13, also led the nation in scoring offense during Haula's final two seasons with the program.  







Gophers in the News: Princeton Series Preview

Catch up on this week's media coverage, including recaps of the Yale series, previews of the Princeton series and a few other items.

Post Bulletin: Former Wingers are D-I standouts
Nov. 19, 2013 

Star Tribune: U women win 36th game in row on road
Nov. 23, 2013 

Pioneer Press: Brad Frost gets 200th win
Nov. 23, 2013 

Pioneer Press: Minnesota completes sweep of Yale
Nov. 24, 2013 

Post Bulletin: Gophers women's hockey team bounces back
Nov. 24, 2013

Minnesota Daily: Gophers bounce back with sweep
Nov. 25, 2013 

USCHO: Minnesota gains all 15 first-place votes, stays No. 1 in D-I women's rankings
Nov. 25, 2013 

Minnesota Daily: Minnesota focuses on better starts
Nov. 27, 2013

Gold and Gopher: Gophers women's hockey look to close out banner year at Ridder Arena against Princeton
Nov. 30, 2013

Beck Works Out on Rings

The Gopher men's gymnastics season is right around the corner, and the team is preparing to build on last season's success. Check out a video of senior Steffen Beck's straight body planche on rings.

Beck missed the 2013 season after suffering a season-ending injury prior to the start of the season. As a sophomore in 2012, Beck competed on pommel horse and rings in every meet. He scored a career high of 14.600 on rings against Penn State.

Watch the 2013 NCAA Championships Replay

Watch a recap of the 2013 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships held Saturday, Nov. 23, at the LaVern Gibson National Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

Gopher fans can also watch a full replay of the NCAA's coverage of the 2013 championship. Catch both the men's and women's races, along with the trophy presentations.

The women's 6K race begins at approximately 82:00.

The Gophers earned a 20th-place team finish. All seven Gopher runners finished in the top 180 in a field of more than 250 of the nation's top collegiate runners. Led by senior Laura Docherty in 61st place, the top five Gophers were in the top 135 overall. Docherty earned the first top-100 NCAA finish of her cross country career to lead the Gophers in 20:58.2.

Golden Gopher goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs will participate in the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. from Nov. 24-Dec. 1. Hobbs is one of two goalkeepers invited to participate in the camp that will serve as training for the mid-December event as well as the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands in January. Hobbs will journal her experiences as she participates in the weeklong camp. 

Day 1: Sunday Nov. 24, 2013

It started off waking up pretty early this morning. Right when I woke up the nerves kicked in for the week to come. My parents drove me to the airport and my mom started crying which was sad but she only wants the best for me. The flight was about three hours; it took a little longer to de-ice the plane. Minnesota problems. But the plane was huge! I slept most of the way and the flight attendants were very excited when I told them I was going to this camp. 

Everyone thinks I have a weird accent, and they don't believe me when I said we had snow in May or that in the spring 30 degrees is shorts weather... 

Training today was pretty light, but it's a start to a long week. It's exciting and nerve racking to be here since it seems like everyone knows each other. But I have met a lot of new people in a short amount of time. The coaches have had good things to say so far, hopefully the nerves will settle down for tomorrow. 

Today will be a learning curve for the rest of the week. I'm trying to move on from mistakes quicker and that will definitely need to be a focus to get through this week! It's a long road ahead full of new opportunities and experiences. I can't wait to see what this week brings. 


Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Don Lucia
Go Gophers!


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 Lucia and co-hosts Wally Shaver and Jeff Dubay on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing on 1500 ESPN. Tonight's show will be taped at 6 p.m. and will air following the Minnesota men's basketball team's game against Syracuse. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at the Gophers' nonconference split with Minnesota Duluth last weekend and looks ahead to the first-ever Big Ten Conference league games this weekend when Wisconsin comes to Mariucci Arena. 

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

Gophers Host Final Regular Season Match

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The University of Minnesota will host its final home match of the regular season as the No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers come to town. Match time is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday and will be available on Gopher All-Access.

The match also marks senior night for Tori Dixon, Alexandra Palmer and Ashley Wittman. The student-athletes and their families will be honored on the court following the match.

Wild Wednesday
General Admission tickets for Wednesday are just $4 (advance sale only). To purchase tickets in advance, go to mygophersports.com

Banham Blogs for espnW

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Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

University of Minnesota junior guard Rachel Banham was selected to write a blog for espnW, where she will give fans an inside look at her life and chronicle the Gophers' 2013-14 season. In her first post of the year, Banham talks about her family and how her brothers helped her become the basketball player she is today.

You can read her blog by clicking here:

Hopkins, Seniors Preview NCAA Championship

Head coach Sarah Hopkins discusses the Gophers' approach to this Saturday's NCAA championship meet.

Hopkins and fifth-year seniors Kelli Budd and Laura Docherty reflect on their emotions heading into the final race of the season, and for the seniors, the final cross country race of their careers. All of the Gopher seniors hope to make their last race their best race.

Gopher Hockey Press Report: Minnesota Duluth

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Catch up on all the news around Gopher Hockey with this week's Gopher Hockey Press Report.

Reminder -- Friday's game is set for 7:10 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS (channel guide) while the series finale has been moved to Sunday at 4:10 p.m. on FOX Sports North's main channel. Both games will also be available on BTN2Go.com with Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco calling the action for both games on 1500 ESPN

*Tom Serratore steps up, fills important role (Pioneer Press)

*Condon settles in as Gophers captain despite Wisconsin roots (Star Tribune)

*Bischoff looks to stay in starting lineup (Minnesota Daily)

*Minnesota faces some in-state, former WCHA rivals (FOX Sports North)

*Problems for Gophers' Bischoff were just a pain in the neck (Duluth News Tribune)

*Gopher Continue Homestand with Bulldogs (Gophersports.com)

*Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota Duluth (Gophersports.com)

NHL: Kessel Notches 400th NHL Point

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A belated congratulations to former Gopher Phil Kessel, who scored his 400th NHL point on Tuesday night. The forward tallied a pair of goals in Toronto's 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. 


In 525 career games, Kessel has tallied 197 goals and 203 assists including 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 21 games this season. 


Martin Nets Game Winner, Two Points
Two former Gophers were in action last night, and unfortunately they were facing each other as Paul Martin and the Pittsburgh Penguins topped Nate Schmidt and the Washington Capitals 4-0 on the road. 

Martin's first period goal -- his second of the season -- proved to be the game winner as the defenseman finished the night with two points after adding an assist later in the night. Through 20 games this season, Martin has nine points (two goals, seven assists) and needs four more points to hit 250 for his career (39-207--246 in 604 career games). 

Fan Reaction: Winning Streak Ends at 62

Check out the fan reaction to the end of the historic winning streak by Gopher women's hockey. It's proof that Gopher fans are the greatest!

Axe Week Attention

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This Saturday, two 8-2 teams will meet on the gridiron in the most-played rivalry in Division I FBS football: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. Paul Bunyan's Axe entered the scene in 1948, and the teams have played for it ever since. 

Leading into the 2013 edition of the Border Battle, both the rivalry and the Gopher coaching staff have captured the media's attention. Catch up on some of the national and athletic department coverage here:

During the week...

...Coach Kill's toughness and the Gophers' unique situation were featured in:
*CBSSports.com's front page, in an article by Dennis Dodd
*ESPN.com's college football front page, in an article and video by Ivan Maisel
*USA Today's front sports page, in a feature by Erik Brady
*The Minnesota Daily, in a story by Sam Gordon and Dane Mizutani

...members of the team talked about the historic rivalry:


...ESPN.com did stories on:

...fans had a chance to remember some of the game-changing moments in past Axe games:


...and the team prepared for a game with this on the line:


Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota Duluth

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This weekend the Gophers continue their six-game home stand with two games against Minnesota Duluth. The Gophers will look to build off last weekend's sweep of Minnesota State. Wednesday afternoon, coach Don Lucia and players met with the media to discuss the upcoming matchup with the Bulldogs and the events of last week.

Minnesota Duluth will arrive at Mariucci Arena Friday night ranked No. 19 in the USCHO.com Poll. 

"They have a lot of good young talent," Lucia said. "They have good team speed and their goaltending is very good." 

Last week, the Bulldogs split a two-game series in Grand Forks, N.D. Forward Seth Ambroz knows the rivalry is one the Bulldogs have circled on their calendar. "It is a big in-state rivalry. They are always ready to play us."

Senior Tom Serratore scored his first goal of the season in the third period Saturday night.

 "I try not to focus on [goals] to much, but it felt great. I had a bit of a drought and you like to get on the board here and there," Serratore said. 

Coach Lucia wants to see production from everyone in the lineup.

"If you are playing every night you have to chip in offensively. I think he was feeling [the pressure] a little bit, and (Tommy) responded with his best game of the year on Saturday night."

Another senior that shined Saturday night was Michael Shibrowski. He made 25 saves on his way to earning a shutout against the Mavericks. 

"It is nice to have Mike come in and play as well as he did. It gives him, his teammates, and coaches confidence," Lucia said. "We do not need him to play every night, but he needs to play a handful of games, and he did a great job in the first one." 

Mike's teammates were ecstatic to see him have success. 

"He comes to the rink and works everyday. He does not have a negative bone in his body. It is great to see him have success," Serratore said. Shibrowski was named the Big Ten Conference's Second Star of the Week for his performance against the Mavericks.

The series with Duluth starts Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The contest can be seen on FOX Sports North PLUS. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., a contest that can be seen on FOX Sports North. Both games between the Gophers and the Bulldogs can be heard on 1500 ESPN and BTN2Go.com will stream both games. 

Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

 

NHL: Wheeler's Shootout Score

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Only three NHL games and two former Gophers were on the schedule Monday, but Paul Martin and Blake Wheeler certainly didn't disappoint hockey fans. 

Martin had an impressive 24:47 of ice time -- a game high -- in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over Anaheim while Wheeler had two assists and this terrific shootout goal for Winnipeg in a 5-4 shootout loss to Calgary. 

Gophers in the News: Winning Streak Ends at 62

Catch up on media coverage the Gophers received following last weekend's series split with North Dakota. Minnesota skated to its 62nd-consecutive win with a 6-1 victory over UND on Saturday before the historic winning streak came to an end with a 3-2 loss to North Dakota on Sunday.

Star Tribune: Gophers women's hockey win streak reaches 62
Nov. 16, 2013 

Star Tribune: Gophers hockey Saturday success, men's and women's, shows what it takes to be No. 1 + VIDEO
Nov. 16, 2013 

Pioneer Press: Big second period helps U run win streak to 62
Nov. 16, 2013 

USCHO: Wolfe nets two in Minnesota's big win over North Dakota
Nov. 16, 2013 

Star Tribune: North Dakota snaps U women's 62-game winning streak 3-2
Nov. 17, 2013 

Star Tribune: Gophers women's hockey digesting end to 62-game win streak with positive attitudes + VIDEO
Nov. 17, 2013 

Pioneer Press: Streak ends at 62 with 3-2 loss to North Dakota
Nov. 17, 2013 

USCHO: Three-goal first period helps North Dakota end Minnesota's record winning streak at 62
Nov. 17, 2013 

Minnesota Daily: After 62 wins, Gophers fall to North Dakota
Nov. 17, 2013 

Post Bulletin: UND snaps Gophers women's historic streak
Nov. 18, 2013 

Gold & Gopher: Historic winning streak snapped at 62 against North Dakota
Nov. 18, 2013 

The Forum of Fargo/Moorhead: UND snaps Gophers' 62-game winning streak
Nov. 17, 2013 

Star Tribune: Gophers' record run is history
Nov. 18, 2013 

KSTP: 62 Game Winning Streak Comes to an End for Gopher Women's Hockey
Nov. 17, 2013 

WCCO: Gopher Women's Hockey Team Win Streak Ends On The Morning News With Dave Lee
Nov. 18, 2013 

KMSP: Minnesota women's hockey streak ends at 62
Nov. 18, 2013

KARE11: Gophers women's hockey streak stops at 62
Nov. 17, 2013

1500ESPN: College hockey's longest-ever win streak is finished, as Gophers lose
Nov. 17, 2013

USA Today: Minnesota's women's hockey streak ends at 62 wins
Nov. 18, 2013 

Pioneer Press: Sansevere's Huddle: Gopher women still incredible
Nov. 18, 2013

Minnesota Daily: Column: Women's hockey streak ended at a good time, ya feel me?
Nov. 19, 2013 

Minnesota Hockey Magazine: All Good Things Must End
Nov. 20, 2013

Post Bulletin: Gophers women's hockey win string was amazing
Nov. 20, 2013

Star Tribune: Lucia commends Gophers women's hockey for streak
Nov. 20, 2013

Fox Sports North: Minnesota faces some instate, former WCHA rivals: Men's team in awe of women's hockey team's streak
Nov. 20, 2013

Gold and Gopher: A new identity formed at the end of a winning streak
Nov. 22, 2013

The Gophers are still riding a 35-game road winning streak, which began Jan. 14, 2012. Minnesota will put that streak on the line in New Haven, Conn., for a non-conference series at Yale this weekend. The teams face off at 3 p.m. CT Saturday and 11 a.m. CT Sunday. Yale is providing live video, and live audio, blog and stats will be available at GopherSports.com.

Dixon Featured on Faces of the Big Ten

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First it was senior Ashley Wittman, now it's senior Tori Dixon. Here's a video feature you may see at some upcoming Gopher events, televised live on the Big Ten Network.

Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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

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 top-ranked Gophers' nonconference sweep over Minnesota State including Michael Shibrowski's first career shutout. The trio will also look ahead to this weekend's series with Minnesota Duluth at Mariucci Arena. 

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

Gophers in the News: UND Series Preview

Catch up on some of the media coverage of Gopher women's hockey this week. The media recapped Minnesota's series sweep over St. Cloud State last weekend, previewed this weekend's series with North Dakota and took a deeper look at the team's 61-game winning streak.

Pioneer Press: Gophers women run streak to 60 with 4-1 win over St. Cloud State
Nov. 9, 2013

Star Tribune: Gophers' win streak at 60 in women's hockey
Nov. 9, 2013

USCHO: Minnesota beats St. Cloud State for 60th straight victory
Nov. 8, 2013

Pioneer Press: Late rally extends winning streak to 61
Nov. 9, 2013

Star Tribune: Late goals spark Gophers women to 61st win in a row
Nov. 10, 2013

Minnesota Daily: Gophers escape St. Cloud with series sweep
Nov. 11, 2013

ESPN SportsCenter: Gopher Women's Hockey 61-Straight Wins
Nov. 9, 2013

USCHO: Minnesota reigns atop D-I women's poll - again
Nov. 11, 2013

The Minnesota Daily, Star Tribune and Pioneer Press all dug a little deeper into Gopher women's hockey this week:

Minnesota Daily: Leveille steps up for Gophers
Nov. 12, 2013

Minnesota Daily: Gophers players display versatility
Nov. 14, 2013

Star Tribune: At 61 and counting, Gophers women's hockey winning streak evokes wonder and worry
Nov. 15, 2013

Star Tribune: Gophers women's hockey steak faces tough test against North Dakota
Nov. 15, 2013

Pioneer Press: The streak that made Gophers women's hockey famous
Nov. 15, 2013

Gopher Hockey Press Report: Minnesota State

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Catch up on all the news around Gopher Hockey with this week's Gopher Hockey Press Report.

Reminder both of this weekend's games against Minnesota State are slated for 7:10 p.m. CT puck drops on FOX Sports North PLUS (Channel Guide). Both games will also be available on BTN2Go.com. Friday's opener will remain on 1500 ESPN while Saturday's radio broadcast moves to MyTalk 107.1


*Fresmen class living up to Gophers hockey hype by scoring (Star Tribune)

*Gophers Kick Off Homestand with Mavericks (Gophersports.com

*Mavericks look for better numbers this weekend (FoxSportsNorth.com)

*Pair of freshmen adjust on the ice (Minnesota Daily)

*Freshmen finding success early (Pioneer Press)

*Don Lucia coaches against son in return to alma mater (NHL.com)

*Freshmen make seamless transition on top-ranked Gophers (FoxSportsNorth.com)

*Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota State (Gophersports.com)

*Fasching Earns Big Ten Honor (Gophersports.com)

Alumni News: 

*Congrats to Gophers alum Aaron Ness on his first career NHL goal last night for the New York Islanders. 


Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota State

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The top-ranked Gophers open up a six-game home stand this weekend by welcoming Minnesota State to Minneapolis. The Mavericks were the surprise team in the WCHA last year and beat the Gophers twice, including once at Mariucci Arena. Gopher players and coach Lucia met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss last week at Notre Dame and what to look for this weekend.

Minnesota State was picked to win the WCHA at the start of this season and they have found recent success in Mariucci. "We are going to have our hands full. They have good team speed. Even though their record is 4-4, I think that is attributed to injuries," Lucia said. The veteran Gophers will know not to take the Mavericks lightly. The last 10 meeting between the two programs have been split evenly.

Last week, the Gophers split a pair of games at Notre Dame. After a disappointing outcome on Friday night, the Gophers responded to collect a victory on Saturday. "I thought we did not have a good push back in the second and third periods," Lucia said, reflecting on Friday night. "I give our guys a lot of credit for rebounding and finding a way to win on Saturday."

This was the first week that freshman were made available to the media. Based off their hot start, they were front and center Wednesday. "For the most part they were all gifted scorers a year ago. That is why we put them in positions to have success," Lucia said. The freshman accounted for all five goals Saturday at Notre Dame.

 The freshmen themselves were quick to say how the upperclassmen have helped them learn the finer points of the college game. Hudson Fasching has been the star of the freshman class to this point. He has 11 points on the season, which ranks second on the team. From the start of the season Hudson has been on the score sheet playing alongside Kyle Rau and Sam Warning, "I have worked hard and I am on a pretty good line right now," Fasching said. (Rau and Warning) have been tremendous, they are great leaders."

Fellow freshman Justin Kloos' strong work ethic has been acclaimed by upperclassmen this year. Justin has stepped into the second-line center role and has posted 10 points so far. "The older guys and captains have led the way and allowed us to show what we are capable of," Kloos said.

Kloos' line mate Taylor Cammarata has nine points in his last six games. He played with Kloos with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL last year, and it has helped his comfort level as a Gopher. "It took us a little time last year to get used to each other. It clicked about ten games in, and it has been clicking ever since," Cammarata said.

Both of this weekend's games at Mariucci will start at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen live on FSN Plus. Friday's game can be heard on 1500 ESPN, and Saturday you can hear Wally and Frank on MyTalk 107.1.

Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

 

USTFCCCA Previews Midwest Regional

The NCAA Midwest Regional is 26 hours away, and the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Assocatioin continued its preview coverage of all the regional competition today. The USTFCCCA expects host No. 7 Iowa State and the No. 16 Gophers to claim the two automatic bids, as the regional rankings indicate. From the USTFCCCA preview:

"The No. 7 Iowa State women enter as three-time defending region champions, and are the top-ranked team in this year's field. Led by Big 12 runner-up Crystal Nelson and seven top-20 finishers, the Cyclones won the conference by nearly 70 points over Texas, 35-104. Iowa State was also fifth in a very strong Wisconsin adidas Invitational field. No. 16 Minnesota is the only other nationally ranked team in the region and is in position to take one of the automatic bids, per the region rankings. The Golden Gophers were eighth at Wisconsin as one of only four teams with six or more top-80 finishers, led by 45th-place Molly Kayfes, and were third at the Big Ten Championships behind No. 6 Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan, 43-55-68."

Here are the links to catch up on all of the regional meets around the country:
The Warm-Up Lap (Part 1/3): East Coast Regions in DI and DIII
The Warm-Up Lap (Part 2/3): Midwestern/South Regions in Divisions I & III
The Warm-Up Lap (Part 3/3): Western Regionals in Divisions I & III

Gophers Bowl at Lanes for Friendship

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The Gopher baseball team was well-represented at the Highland Friendship Club's Lanes for Friendship event. Pictured here with Jack Jablonski.


The Highland Friendship Club's seventh annual Lanes for Friendship event took place last weekend. Gopher baseball coaches and student-athletes attended to bowl and spend time with other participants.

Pat Leseman, the mother of former Gopher baseball player Tony Leseman, founded the HFC in 2002. From the organization's website: "The mission of the Highland Friendship Club is to serve individuals with disabilities from teens through adulthood by providing a range of opportunities to develop lifelong skills, friendships and connections within their community."

To learn more, visit http://highlandfriendshipclub.org/.

Kern Trains on Pommel Horse

The 2014 Alumni Meet is less than two months away on Saturday, Jan. 11, and the Gopher men's gymnastics team is working hard to prepare for the upcoming season. Check out a video of senior Adam Kern doing a half set on pommel horse.

Gopher Women's Hockey Featured on SportsCenter

Check out the recap and fan reaction to SportsCenter airing a clip of Gopher women's hockey over the weekend.

Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Don LuciaGo Gophers!

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

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 ahead to Minnesota's series against Minnesota State this weekend at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers are 33-10-6 all-time against the Mavericks, who are coached by former Gophers assistant coach Mike Hastings. While the teams have met 49 times since 1998, this weekend's series marks their first meeting as nonconference opponents. The Gophers are 16-4-6 all-time against Minnesota State at home with this weekend's series kicking off a six-game, three-week home stand for Minnesota. 

Tonight's show will also look back on last weekend's split at Notre Dame. Lucia, a 1981 graduate of Notre Dame, saw his squad fall 4-1 to his alma mater on Friday before rallying for a 5-4 win over the Irish in Saturday's series finale. Saturday's win marked Lucia's 350th win as head coach of the Gophers. 

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

Four Nations Cup Rewind

Seven Gophers represented their respective countries as USA Hockey hosted the annual Four Nations Cup between the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden in Lake Placid, N.Y., this week.

The U.S. Women's National Team roster included Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper and Lee Stecklein. Meanwhile, Noora Räty and Mira Jalosuo were members of Finland's team.

Canada topped Finland, 6-3, in the championship game, while the U.S. took third place with an 8-1 win over Sweden. Bozek (1g-5a) was the second-leading scorer in the tournament, while Marvin (2g-2a) and Schleper (1g-1a) each appeared in all four games as well. Räty played in three games and posted a .937 save percentage for the tournament; she also recorded an assist. Jalosuo was in Finland's line up for two games, and Stecklein appeared in one game. Kessel did not play.

Here's a quick game-by-game recap of the tournament:

Nov. 5:

Canada 3, Finland 1: Noora Räty made 36 saves in goal for Finland and picked up an assist.

U.S. 10, Sweden 0: Gigi Marvin (2g) Anne Schleper (1g) and Megan Bozek (1a) combined for 4 points. Amanda Kessel and Lee Stecklein did not dress.

USA Hockey recap: U.S. Women's National Team opens Four Nations Cup with 10-0 win over Sweden
USA Hockey recap: USA Finds Fast Start in Win Over Sweden

Nov. 6:

Finland 2, Sweden 0: Räty had the day off.

Canada 4, U.S. 2: Schleper had one shot on goal.

USA Hockey recap: U.S. Women's National Team Falls to Canada, 4-2

Nov. 8:

Canada 4, Sweden 3

Finland 3, U.S. 1: Räty made 58 saves to lead Finland past the U.S. Bozek scored the lone goal for the Red, White and Blue. Bozek finished with a game-high 11 shots as well.

USA Hockey recap: U.S. Women's National Team Loses to Finland, 3-1, at Four Nations Cup

Nov. 9:

Championship - Canada 6, Finland 3: Räty made 39 saves on 44 shots in the loss for Finland.

Third Place - U.S. 8, Sweden 1: Bozek (4a), Marvin (2a) and Schleper (1a) recorded seven assists total.

USA Hockey recap: Team USA Tops Sweden, 8-1, to Clinch Third Place at Four Nations

The U.S. Women's National Team's Bring on the World Tour continues with two games against Canada in December. The teams meet at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., on Dec. 20 before facing off at the Xcel Energy Center on Dec. 28.

The final 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, which will include 18 forwards/defensemen and three goaltenders, will be announced during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Mich., live on NBC.

Gophers in the News: SCSU Series Preview

Catch up on this week's media coverage of Gopher women's hockey, including recaps from last weekend's series with Minnesota State and a look ahead at this weekend's games at St. Cloud State.

Pioneer Press: Gophers women run streak to 58 with 4-1 win over MSU-Mankato
Nov. 1, 2013

USCHO: Balanced offensive attack guides Minnesota past Minnesota State
Nov. 1, 2013

Star Tribune: Gophers women's hockey wins 58th consecutive game
Nov. 2, 2013

Star Tribune: Gophers women's hockey routs MSU Mankato for 59th win in row
Nov. 2, 2013

Pioneer Press: Gophers rout MSU-Mankato 7-0, extend streak to 59
Nov. 2, 2013

USCHO: Terry nets hat trick in 7-0 Minnesota win at Minnesota State
Nov. 2, 2013

Minnesota Daily: Gophers dominate in sweep of Mavericks
Nov. 3, 2013

Minnesota Daily: Davis loosens up locker room with grit and goofiness
Nov. 7, 2013

The Hockey Writers: NCAA Women's Hockey Weekly Round-Up: November 6th, 2013

Gopher Hockey Press Report: Notre Dame

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Catch up on all the news around Gopher Hockey with this week's Gopher Hockey Press Report.

Reminder Friday's game is set for 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network with radio broadcast on MyTalk 107.1. Saturday's radio broadcast returns to ESPN 1500. Both games will be available to stream online at NBCSports.com. 

*Don Lucia enjoys being Mario's dad, not his coach (Star Tribune

*Don, Mario Lucia prep for Round 2 of father-son game (Pioneer Press)

*Lucia to face off with son this weekend (Minnesota Daily)

*Gophers Meet the Media: Notre Dame (Gophersports.com)

*No. 1 Gophers Head to No. 3/4 Notre Dame (Gophersports.com

Alumni News: 

*Okposo Takes Game to Next Level (NYIslanders.com)

*Ex-Gopher Schmidt gets big shot in the NHL with Caps (Star Tribune)

*Aaron Ness Recalled by New York Islanders (EyesonIsles.com)


Gopher Alum and Olympian Visits the Pav This Weekend

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Former Gopher and United States Olympian Lindsey Berg will be in attendance for the big Gopher/Nebraska match on Sunday.

Berg will sign autographs from 2:45 until the start of the match at 3:30 p.m. In between the first and second set, Berg will be honored out on the court for her accomplishments.

One of the biggest names on the international volleyball scene, Lindsey Berg first starred as a setter for the Golden Gophers. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Berg was a four-year starter at Minnesota and ranks second all-time in Big Ten history in  services aces (283) and fourth in assists (5,913). During her Gopher career, Berg helped lead Minnesota to a pair of Big Ten runner-up finishes and NCAA Regional appearances in 1999 and 2000. In 2000, she helped lead the Gophers to a remarkable 30-4 overall record and their highest winning percentage in school history at .882.

Berg went on to become the first player from the Minnesota volleyball program to make the U.S. Olympic team in 2004. She followed with two Olympic appearances in 2008 and 2012, where she helped Team USA to back-to-back silver medals. A Honolulu, Hawaii native, Berg was named USA Volleyball Indoor Female Athlete of the Year in 2008 and 2011 and was inducted into the Minnesota Hall of Fame and the the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.


Ridder Named Finalist to Host NCAA Events

Ridder Arena was selected as one of four finalists to host the women's NCAA Frozen Four from 2015 to 2018, the NCAA announced last week. Ridder is among the three sites in contention to hold an upcoming NCAA Division III men's hockey championship as well.

The announcement came as the NCAA released a list of the host site finalists for the final round of 81 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 championship seasons.

Along with Ridder Arena, the four finalists for the women's Frozen Four include Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., (hosted by Lindenwood/St. Louis Sports Commission); Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H. (New Hampshire); and Ralph Englstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. (North Dakota).

The three venues in contention for the NCAA Division III men's hockey championship are Ridder (hosted by St. Scholastica); Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Plattsburgh State/Olympic Regional Development Authority); and Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, N.Y. (Utica).

The NCAA sport committees will select the winning sites, which must then be approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets/committees before being announced via webcast at NCAA.com on Dec. 11.

Read more:
NCAA: Host site finalists named for final round of 81 championships for 2014-18
Star Tribune: NCAA events could be coming to state soon

Islanders: Okposo Takes Game To Next Level

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     Go Gophers!Kyle Okposo
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Former Gophers forward Kyle Okposo is off to a hot start this season, leading the New York Islanders with 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in 15 games. The forward is now skating with fellow Gophers alum Thomas Vanek on the Islanders' top line following Vanek's trade from Buffalo late last month. 

Cory Wright of NewYorkIslanders.com recently profiled Okposo's success -- read the entire article here.

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Skating on the New York Islanders top line, 25-year-old Kyle Okposo is enjoying the hottest start of his career. The Isles top right winger leads the team in scoring with 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) and is keeping pace with the NHL's scoring leaders.

Okposo is also the hottest Islander at the moment, scoring seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last three games. He scored multiple points in each of those games, including a three-assist effort in a 3-1 win against Boston last Saturday. At the 15-game mark, Okposo has had three, three-game point streaks. 

"Our line has been pretty good with Thomas (Vanek) on it so far," Okposo said. "And playing with Johnny (John Tavares), you know you're going to get opportunities. I'm just taking advantage of my opportunities."

Okposo is making the most of playing on the top line and top power play unit, but he's also contributing to the success of his teammates. Tavares and Isles goal-scoring leader, Frans Nielsen, have benefited from Okposo's playmaking.

"I love how hard he works and how strong he is on the puck," Tavares said of the Islanders assists leader. "Being with a guy that you have confidence in going to the corners and coming out with pucks, skating through the neutral zone, carrying the play and not getting knocked off the puck, it makes the game much easier."

At 6'1, 216 lbs., Okposo has the build and power to drive to the front of the net and grind defensemen down low. What his teammates and coaches are seeing now is the confidence to impose his will in the offensive end, a confidence that stemmed from last years' stretch drive and series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


"It's no secret he had a good finish to the year last year and he really built off it," Tavares said. "It's really good to see him doing what he's doing. It makes our team so much better and more dangerous.

Head coach Jack Capuano said Okposo's offensive success is being driven by his play without the puck and hard work.

"He's always been a really good player," Capuano said. "When a player realizes how he has to play within the team concept and how he has to play as an individual, it's going to lead to success."

He added, "Kyle's puck protection and the way he's playing in the offensive zone is a function of him being in constant motion and moving his feet."

Last year's playoffs were also an eye-opener for Okposo, who got a taste of the intensity of playoff hockey that has motivated him ever since. He's been an everyday player since 2008-09, but Okposo changed his offseason routine this summer.

"I worked a lot this summer with different people," Okposo said."I did some different training and talked to different people about my game and skill work I had been doing. It's paying off."

He travelled to Toronto and spent a few days with Tavares, who noticed a new focus in Okposo's approach to his off-ice training regimen.

"He's become more of a guy that likes to learn and gets to know how things off the ice impact your game, instead of just going to the gym and doing what you're doing," Tavares said. "He's really gotten to understand that a lot more from what I've seen. He takes a lot of pride in that and he's not satisfied in what he's accomplished. He expects more of himself."

Sitting as the team's leading scorer and playing at over a point-per-game pace, Okposo has definitely delivered for himself and the Islanders so far this season.

Gophers Meet the Media: Notre Dame

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No. 1 Minnesota returns to action this week with a trip to South Bend, Ind. to take on No. 3/4 Notre Dame. Minnesota staff and players met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss this weekend's difficult-road test after last weekend's bye. 

Minnesota head coach Don Lucia believes the bye week came at a good time for the Gophers.

"(The bye week) was good for us. We did have a few guys that would not have been able to play and they are close to 100% now." 

Senior captain Nate Condon believes the team is recharged after the week off. 

"A bye week always gives guys time to hang out and rest. It gives you time to recover and bring back that fresh lineup."

The Gophers will need a fresh lineup against a Notre Dame team that has won 11-straight games at home dating back to last year. "This is a veteran group," Lucia said. "They are very disciplined and pride themselves on defense, so it will be a really good test for us."

In the last ten years, Notre Dame has evolved into one of the nation's premier college hockey programs. Over the last few seasons, the Irish and Gophers have developed a healthy rivalry.

"They have a lot of talented players. Every time we play them it is something to look forward to and one of those games you circle on the schedule," Condon said.

Coach Lucia's son, Mario, is a forward for the Irish, but coach will try not to approach this weekend any differently. "No family reunions. It is a business trip." Father and son did face-off last year at Mariucci Arena with the Gophers coming out on top. 

Gopher defenseman Mike Reilly is also very familiar with Mario Lucia. The childhood friends roomed together two years ago as members of the Penticton Vees. 

"It is definitely going to be a fun experience," Mike Reilly said. "I am looking forward to competing against him."

Friday's game is at 7:00 p.m. CT can be seen on the NBC Sports Network. Saturday's contest will start at 6:00 p.m. CT and will be streamed online at NBCsports.com.

-Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

Gophers Tie NCAA Home Unbeaten Streak

Along with the Gophers' NCAA-record 59-game winning streak, the Minnesota women's hockey team also has now tied the NCAA women's hockey record for the longest home unbeaten streak.

Minnesota's 4-1 win over Minnesota State last Friday marked the team's 30th-straight victory at home in Ridder Arena. The Gophers are now tied with Harvard's unbeaten mark of 30 games set Feb. 2, 2002 to Jan. 11, 2004.

Here's a look at the previous NCAA-record streaks (from the 2012-13 NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Record Book) and how the Gophers' current streaks measure up.

OVERALL WINNING STREAK
Old: 21--Harvard, Jan. 4 to March 15, 2008
New: 59--Minnesota, Feb. 18, 2012 to present

OVERALL UNBEATEN STREAK
Old: 32--Wisconsin, Nov. 25, 2006 to Oct. 14, 2007; 32--Wisconsin, Dec. 4, 2010 to Oct. 14, 2011
New: 59--Minnesota, Feb. 18, 2012 to present

HOME WINNING STREAK
Old: 25--Harvard, March 1, 2002 to Jan. 11, 2004
New: 30--Minnesota, Feb. 18, 2012 to present

HOME UNBEATEN STREAK
Old: 30--Harvard, Feb. 2, 2002-Jan. 11, 2004
New/Tied: 30--Minnesota, Feb. 18, 2012 to present

ROAD WINNING STREAK
Old: 15--Mercyhurst, Nov. 2, 2002-Oct. 18, 2003
New: 33--Minnesota, Jan. 14, 2012 to present

ROAD UNBEATEN STREAK
Old: Unknown
Current Gopher Record: 33--Minnesota, Jan. 14, 2012 to present

ROAD WINNING STREAK (INCLUDING NEUTRAL GAMES)
Old: Unknown
Current Gopher Record: 36--Minnesota, Jan. 14, 2012 to present

ROAD UNBEATEN STREAK (INCLUDING NEUTRAL GAMES)
Old: Unknown
Current Gopher Record: 36--Minnesota, Jan. 14, 2012 to present

Minnesota will try to extend its streak this weekend at St. Cloud State in a Friday/Saturday series. Puck drop is set for 3:07 p.m. CT both days at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

Banham Receives Recognition from espnW

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Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
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espnW's Top Five at Each Position

There has never been a doubt in the minds of Golden Gopher women's basketball fans that junior guard Rachel Banham is one of the best point guards in the country, and now the nation is taking notice as well. In a list of its top-five women's basketball players at each position, espnW recognized the Lakeville, Minn., native as one of the five-best point guards in the NCAA as selected by Charlie Creme, Kate Fagan, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel.

Banham was joined on the list by Baylor's Odyssey Sims, Oklahoma State's Tiffany Bias, Duke's Chelsea Gray and UConn's Bria Hartley, while fellow Big Ten standouts Maggie Lucas (Penn State) and Jordan Hooper (Nebraska) were listed among the top shooting guards and a small forwards, respectively.

The recognition is definitely fitting for the guard, as Banham was a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American and First Team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore after averaging 20.7 points and 3.9 assists per game. Her points-per-game average ranked 14th overall nationally, while she was the second-leading sophomore scorer in the NCAA. Banham recorded 16 20-plus point performances and five 30-plus point games last season, which included three 30-point outing over a four-game stretch of Big Ten contests from Jan. 28 to Feb. 7.

Banham enters her third season at Minnesota with 1,243 career points, which ranks 14th on the Gophers' all-time scoring list and is 151 points ahead of the total all-time leading scorer Lindsay Whalen scored during her first two seasons.



 


Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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

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 ahead to the upcoming weekend's series at No. 3/4 Notre Dame as well as looking back on the Gophers' bye weekend that included a special event with Minnesota Hockey and the Hendrickson Foundation

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

Hopkins Previews Big Ten Championship

No. 15 Minnesota travels to West Lafayette, Ind., for the 2013 Big Ten Championship meet this weekend. The women's race begins at 10:45 a.m. CT Sunday. Hear what head coach Sarah Hopkins and seniors Maggie Bollig and Laura Docherty think about this weekend's race.