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