Former Gopher and current Hershey Bears forward Jeff Taffe was named an All-AHL Second Team member on Thursday after leading the American Hockey League scoring race with 64 points this season. The center's 46 assists tie him for the league lead.
Taffe is in his first season with the Bears but is no stranger to AHL competition. He has played part of 12 seasons in the top minor league in the world. During his professional career, Taffe has also appeared in 180 NHL games with six different teams. His most recent stint was with the Minnesota Wild in last season.
Taffe appeared in 120 games for the Gophers over three seasons. In his final season with the Maroon and Gold, he help led Minnesota to the 2002 National Championship. Taffe was the second leading scorer on the team behind John Pohl. Taffe and Pohl led the country in power-play goals that season with 14 apiece. Taffe posted a total of 113 points for the Gophers.
Hershey, the top affiliate for the Washington Capitals, is where five former Gophers now apply their trade. Ryan Potulny, Mike Carman, Ryan Stoa, and Nate Schmidt join Taffe in wearing the Chocolate & White. Schmidt arrived in Hershey last weekend after being named to the All-WCHA First Team and leading the Gophers' blue line in points this season with 26. Three former Gophers combined on a power-play goal in Sunday's game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, when Schmidt and Taffe set up Potulny.
With two weeks left in the regular season, Taffe and the rest of the former Gopher teammates will look to help Hershey back to the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. The Bears are currently tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two weeks remaining in the regular season. Hershey has won 11 Calder Cup Championships, more than any other league member has.
Three Former Gophers Now in Albany
Seth Helgeson signed an entry-level contract with the American Hockey League's Albany Devils of Friday. The arrival of Helgeson means three former Gophers now play in Albany. Seth joins forward Mike Hoeffel and goaltender Jeff Frazee. The three former Gophers have some important games coming up. Albany, the top affiliate for the New Jersey Devils, sits four points behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
-Written by Communications Intern Josh Brennock
Borton, who is the President and co-founder of TeamWomenMN, will open the event at 10:00 a.m. with a "pregame talk", before participating in the remainder of the event schedule.
Also scheduled to participate in the event are Grayce Belvedere Young, Margaret Murphy, Cheryl Reeve, Joy Frestedt, Hannah Ubl, Tammie Follett, Colleen Needles Steward, Sara Beatty Ratner, Lindsey Bruber, Roshini Rajkumar and Janee Harteau.
Complete Schedule of Events
9:00 AM Registration
10:00 AM "Pre-Game Talk"
Pam Borton & Keynote Speaker Martha Nevanen, Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communications, Pohlad Companies
10:45 AM Networking "Time-Out"
11:00 AM "Charting Your Career Path"
Grayce Belvedere Young, President of the Prouty Project & Margaret Murphy, President and COO of Olson
12:30 PM "Half-Time Talk"
Lunch with Cheryl Reeve, Head Coach, Minnesota Lynx
1:30 PM TeamWomenMN Mentoring and Teaching Programs
Moderated by Joy Frestedt, President, Alimentix
2:15 PM Networking "Time-Out"
2:30 PM "Leading Across Generations"
Workshop by Hannah Ubl, Generations Expert & Millenial Speaker, BridgeWorks
3:20 PM Leadership Panel
Moderated by Tammie Follett, Sr. Account Manager & Business Development Specialist, Thomson Reuters
Colleen Needles Steward, President & CEO, Tremendous Entertainment; Former WCCO Anchor
Sara Beatty Ratner, President, NeoPath
Lindsey Bruber, President & Owner, Simek's
Roshini Rajkumar, Communication Coach & Radio Host
4:00 PM "Post-Game Talk"
Networking Happy Hour, Kickoff remarks by Janeé Harteau, Chief of Police, Minneapolis
2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp Schedule
Aug. 3-10 | Lake Placid, N.Y. | Olympic Training Center | Olympic Rink
|Sat., Aug. 3||USA Blue Practice||9:00 - 9:45 a.m.|
|USA White Practice||10:00 - 10:45 a.m.|
|Sweden Practice||11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.|
|Finland Practice||12:45 - 2:15 p.m.|
|USA Blue Practice||5:00-5:30 p.m.|
|USA White (USA Rink)||5:00-5:30 p.m.|
|USA White/Blue Practice||5:45 - 6:15 p.m.|
|Sun., Aug. 4||Sweden Practice||8:15 - 8:45 a.m.|
|USA Blue Practice||9:00 - 9:30 a.m.|
|Finland Practice||9:45 - 10:15 a.m.|
|USA White vs. Sweden||1:00 p.m.|
|USA Blue vs. Finland||4:00 p.m.|
|Mon., Aug. 5||USA White Practice||9:00 - 9:30 a.m.|
|Finland Practice||9:45 - 10:15 a.m.|
|USA Blue vs. Sweden||1:00 p.m.|
|USA White vs. Finland||4:00 p.m.|
|Tues., Aug. 6||Canada Practice||9:45 - 11:00 a.m.|
|Sweden Practice||11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.|
|USA Practice||12:30 - 1:30 p.m.|
|Finland Practice||1:45 - 2:45 p.m.|
|Wed., Aug. 7||Sweden Practice||9:00 - 9:30 a.m.|
|USA Practice||9:45 - 10:15 a.m.|
|Finland/Canada Practice||10:45 - 11:45 a.m.|
|Canada vs. Finland||1:00 p.m.|
|USA vs. Sweden||4:15 p.m.|
|Thurs., Aug. 8||Sweden Practice||9:00 - 9:30 a.m.|
|Canada Practice||9:45 - 10:15 a.m.|
|USA/Finland Practice||10:45 - 11:45 a.m.|
|USA vs. Finland||1:00 p.m.|
|Canada vs. Sweden||4:15 p.m.|
|Fri., Aug. 9||Finland Practice||9:00 - 10:00 a.m.|
|USA Practice||10:15 - 11:15 a.m.|
|Canada Practice||11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.|
|Sweden Practice||12:45 - 1:45 p.m.|
|Sat., Aug. 10||Finland Practice||9:00 - 9:30 a.m.|
|Sweden Practice||9:45 - 10:15 a.m.|
|USA/Canada Practice||10:45 - 11:45 a.m.|
|USA vs. Canada||1:00 p.m.|
|Finland vs. Sweden||4:15 p.m.|
The reception is for members of the Fast Break Club who give at a level of $150 or higher, which includes the Coaches Club, Elite Eight and Final Four levels.
Special guest and former Gopher standout Lindsay Whalen and her husband Ben Greve are expected to attend the event.
Gopher basketball players, media, staff and fans got their first look at new head coach Richard Pitino this morning. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, Director of Athletics Norwood Teague and Pitino gave opening remarks before Pitino and Teague fielded questions from the media.
Teague said that Pitino has all the key characteristics that he looked for during the coaching search. These qualities included "relentless" recruiting, ability to develop student-athletes on and off the court and ability to "manage and build this program to the highest level."
"I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," Pitino said. "Minnesota basketball has got one of the best traditions in all of college basketball."
Members of the Gopher basketball team, who sat in the first few rows during the press conference, met their new mentor earlier in the morning. Both coach and players are eager to get to know each other better.
"He really gave us a positive vibe," Austin Hollins said. "He's coming in, and he has a solid plan that he really wants to enforce. He knows what he wants to do. I think all the guys are going to be on board with that."
Before the media even started asking questions, Pitino already talked about the style of play he would like to implement with his new team.
"He really wants that hard-nosed defense up the court," Hollins said. "Then on offense, we're just going to run them down--a lot of pick-and-rolls, getting up and down, getting a lot of shots up."
After about half an hour of answering questions, Pitino did one-on-one interviews with local TV stations, along with Mike Grimm and Spencer Tollackson. Watch Grimm's exclusive interview above and by clicking here.
Thank you so much Gopher fans for all the support!Today is a special day!!!-- Richard Pitino (@MNCoachPitino) April 5, 2013
Golden Gopher Baseball has three that are in Major League this season. Jack Hannahan went from the American League and the Cleveland Indians, to the National League and the Cincinnati Reds as their third baseman. Glen Perkins continues to become one of the best relievers in the game. After competing with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, Perkins is set to be the Minnesota Twins closer. Cole De Vries is also back with the Minnesota Twins after he made his MLB debut last summer.
Gopher alums are spreading through the minor leagues as well. Four former Gophers are in the Twins organization (Nate Hanson, Kyle Knudson, Mike Kvasnicka and AJ Petterson) all reported to their respective teams. After Seth Rosin was involved with the Hunter Pence trade from the San Francisco Giants, Rosin is with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Justin Gominsky (Houston) and Nick O'Shea (Cincinnati) are both with their Class A teams, while TJ Oakes joined Ashville (Colorado) for his first full season.
Here's a list of all Gopher alums playing professionally:
Jack Hannahan, MLB, Cincinnati Reds
Cole De Vries, MLB Minnesota Twins
Glen Perkins, MLB Minnesota Twins
Nate Hanson, Minnesota Twins-New Britian AA
Seth Rosin, Philadelphia Phillies- Reading Fightin Phils-AA Eastern
Kyle Knudson, Minnesota Twins-Fort Myers Miracle
Mike Kvasnicka, Minnesota Twins-Fort Myers Miracle
A.J. Petterson, Minnesota Twins-Fort Myers Miracle
Justin Gominsky, Houston Astros-Quad City River Bandits Class A
Nick O'Shea, Cincinnati Reds-Dayton Dragons Class A
TJ Oakes, Colorado Rockies-Ashville Tourists Class A
Dan Lyons-Independent, Long Island Ducks