Gophers to Host "Gold Out" on Saturday

The Gopher women's hockey team is pleased to host a "Gold Out" for Saturday's game against Bemidji State at Ridder Arena. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m., and the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a free gold t-shirt courtesy of the University of Minnesota's Unlimited Dance Marathon to benefit Amplatz Children's Hospital.

Minnesota will also recognize a special Goldy's Hero this Saturday. Prior to the game, the Gophers will hold a ceremonial puck drop in honor of Lilah Kelley. Lilah is the daughter of Gopher women's hockey alum Jenelle (Philipczyk) Kelley and the niece of current Bemidji State player Jenessa Philipczyk. Lilah is a patient at Amplatz Children's Hospital.

Saturday is also Student Day for the Gophers, and all University of Minnesota students will receive free admission with a valid U-Card.

Following Saturday's game, the Gophers will hold a season ticket holder/VIP Pass-holder autograph session on the concourse.

About the Unlimited Dance Marathon
University of Minnesota student-athletes are hosting the first-annual Unlimited Dance Marathon, a 12-hour dance marathon at Mariucci Arena on Feb. 22-23. The event is designed to raise funds and awareness for Amplatz Children's Hospital. In addition to the no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon, the event will feature personal stories from children and families served through the resources that Amplatz provides. The event aims to unite the campus and the entire student-body to truly impact the lives of some incredible kids.

Learn more:
Donate now: Unlimited Dance Marathon

Gophers Meet the Media: Wisconsin

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The Gophers will be in Madison later this week to conclude their regular-season series with the Badgers. Minnesota swept Wisconsin at Mariucci Arena back in November. Coach Don Lucia and members of the team met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview the Boarder Battle.

Games against Wisconsin are traditionally tight, defensive affairs. 

"We know that we are going to have to win a 2-1 or 3-1 type of game," Lucia said. "For us to be effective this is the type of weekend where Hudson Fasching and Seth Ambroz, guys who are big and strong around the net, need to score some goals."

The Badgers have made good use of home ice this season, compiling a 13-2-1 record. "It is a good environment for our guys to play in. It will be especially good for our young guys to be put in that environment," Lucia said. The Gophers have won at least one game at the Kohl Center every season since 2007-08.

Captain Nate Condon will play collegiate hockey in Madison for the last time this weekend. He will do so in front of an estimated 20 family members. "It is always fun to go back and play because a bunch of my family is there," Condon said. "(Current Badgers) are the guys I played with in youth hockey, so it has always been fun to play against them."

Seth Ambroz scored four goals against the Badgers during the November series, including both game winners. "The biggest thing is that the team comes out with a pair of wins. Hopefully, I can contribute as much as possible and continue being successful against Wisconsin," Ambroz said. "Everything is just a little bit more important when it is a rivalry,"

Goaltender Adam Wilcox posted his sixth career shutout on Saturday against Michigan State. "Adam is pretty consistent. I think that is the one trait I like most about him," Lucia said. Wilcox's play over the past couple of weeks has allowed the Gophers to win games despite the offense's lack of rhythm. "Wilcox has been playing really well and that is great, but we do have to find our game offensively and put a few more goals in," Ambroz said.

The injury report remains unchanged from last week. Minnesota will be without the services of Tom Serratore and Michael Brodzinski, but everyone else is available for the trip to Madison.

The schedule throws another curveball at the Gophers this week with games on Thursday and Friday. Thursday's action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. CT and Friday's contest will begin at 8 p.m. CT. The Big Ten Network will broadcast both games live. Fans can listen to Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco call the games on 1500 ESPN.

Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

Gophers Make All-Time List at Bergan Invite

Several Golden Gopher women's track and field athletes delivered all-time top-10 performances at last weekend's Bill Bergan Invitational, led by the school record-breaking 4x400-meter relay team of Titania Markland, Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderley and Megan Geyen.

The record-breaking 4x400m relay performance topped Minnesota's previous school record by 2.6 seconds, improving on a 3:40.77 ran by Katie Grundman, Heather Dorniden, Kadian Douglas and Mollie Hupp in 2006. The Gophers also broke the Bill Bergan Invitational meet record, set by host Iowa State in 2010, by nearly five seconds (3:42.96).

1. 3:38.10, 2014 (Titania Markland, Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderley, Megan Geyen)
2. 3:40.77, 2006 (Katie Grundman, Heather Dorniden, Kadian Douglas, Mollie Hupp)
3. 3:40.99, 2013 (Megan Geyen, Te'Shon Adderley, Jessica Waldvogel, Alena Brooks)
4. 3:41.16, 2005 (Melissa Steele, Mollie Hupp, Candace Borgen, Kadian Douglas)
5. 3:42:55, 2001 (Jessica Shuster, Amber Day, Shani Marks, Ali Gartner)
6. 3:42.74, 2010 (Kelly Stalpes, Rikita Butler, Chioma Omeoga, Alena Brooks)
7. 3:43.08, 2008 (Ekene Obi, Rikita Butler, Jamie Dittmar, Heather Dorniden)
8. 3:43.22, 2001 (Shani Marks, Amber Day, Jessica Shuster, Tahesia Harrigan)
9. 3:43.39, 2009 (Adrienne Thomas, Chioma Omeoga, Julie Schwengler, Heather Dorniden)
10. 3:43.41, 2011 (Nyoka Giles, Katie Hill, Sharyn Dahl, Alena Brooks)

Senior Megan Geyen climbed to No. 5 all-time with a personal best of 55.18 in the open 400-meter dash; she was previously ranked No. 6 at 55.32. Freshman Titania Markland posted a 55.87 in the 400m to make her debut at No. 9 in the Gophers' 400m all-time top-10 list as well.

1. Rikita Butler, 54.35, 2010
2. Alena Brooks, 54.51, 2011
3. Heather Dorniden, 54.71, 2006
4. Kou Luogon, 54.78, 2003
5. Megan Geyen, 55.18, 2014
6. Adrienne Thomas, 55.31, 2009
7. Jessica Shuster, 55.47, 2001
8. Shani Marks, 55.53, 2003
9. Titania Markland, 55.87, 2014
10. Mollie Hupp, 55.95, 2005

In the weight throw, sophomore Lyndsey Thorpe made the all-time list at No. 7 in program history with a throw of 57-0.25 (17.38m) for fifth place at the meet.

1. Liz Alabi, 69-0 3/4 (21.05m), 2007
2. Beth Howard, 64-1 3/4 (19.55m), 2000
3. Aubrey Schmitt, 63-1 1/4 (19.23m), 2001
4. DeAnne Hahn, 62-1 (18.92m), 2010
5. Devin Stanford, 60-1 1/4 (18.32m), 2013
6. Jeri Johnson-Chambers, 57-7 3/4 (17.57m), 2013
7. Lyndsey Thorpe, 57-0 1/4 (17.38m), 2014
8. Caty Dongoske, 56-6 3/4 (17.24m), 2011
9. Sara Clinkenbeard, 56-2 1/2 (17.13m), 2003
10. Jess Stephan, 55-8 1/4 (16.97m), 2006

Two Gopher pentathletes made their mark among the all-time ranks as well. Junior Jess Herauf climbed from eighth all-time to second all-time with 4,008 points (third place) at the Bill Bergan Invitational. Her previous personal best was 3,516 points from 2012. Sophomore Alex Beckman also debuted in the all-time rankings with 3,669 points for sixth all-time. Earlier this season, redshirt freshman Audra Winter made the top 10 with 3,504 points.

1. Liz Roehrig, 4,218 (2008)
2. Jess Herauf, 4,008 (2014)
3. Apasha Blocker, 3,715 (1996)
4. Jacenta Spandl, 3,698 (2005)
5. Polly Oas, 3,675 (1984)
6. Alex Beckman, 3,669 (2014)
7. Maggie Jaunich, 3,641 (2005)
8. Christine Gulbrandsen, 3,526 (1998)
9. Nikki Schultz, 3,518 (2009)
10. Audra Winter, 3,504 (2014)

Unlimited Update (2/4/14)

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Written by Chris Hawthorne, Student Affairs Intern and Unlimited Executive Board Member

Unlimited is in the final stages of planning and preparation as we get ready to hold the first annual Unlimited Dance Marathon, Feb. 22-23 in Mariucci Arena. As we begin putting the final touches on the schedule and events we will have this year, it's been incredible to spend a little bit of time thinking about where we were two years ago and how far we've come.

To say it's been a lot of work would truly be an understatement, but it's been something that has been so rewarding and has been something through which I, personally, have learned so much. I have been able to apply many of the things that I have learned in classes here at the U to real life scenarios and situations. It has also been really rewarding to work with so many incredible people, from all the different areas within the athletics department, to different students and student groups on campus, to different members of Greek life, to various other areas of campus that would take far too long to list, everyone that I have had the chance to work with has been great.

Looking forward to the event, I couldn't be more excited for all that's going to take place. Coming off of a logistical meeting with Craig Flor and his staff at Mariucci, I am so excited to see the incredible things that they will pull off from the venue and staging perspective. From curtains to lighting to speakers to a/v and cameras, his staff along with the communications, marketing, and various other parts of the athletic department have teamed up to put on something that I really think people will have a great time at.

We have put the final touches on the music plan, have met with the DJ's, have began the slotting process of which student groups will perform when, are finalizing which children and families will speak when, and have a couple of surprise on campus celebrities that we are hoping will make an appearance. Additionally, we are finalizing what great items we will have for our auction which will be up on the concourse during the entire 12 hours. Just as a teaser, we will have a great giveaway for Spring Break that people and especially students and families won't want to miss. 

All in all, we are in a great place right now. We have a lot of work left to do over the last few weeks, but we can't wait to see everyone at 6pm on February 22nd at Mariucci Arena. 

Gopher Coaches Featured on Live BIG

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Don't Miss the Don Lucia Radio Show Monday Night

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Nate Condon with the Mariucci-Bessone Trophy. 
Go Gophers!

Listen to tonight's show: | 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-host Wally Shaver on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing live from 6:00-6:30 p.m. CT on 1500 ESPN. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at Minnesota's series with Michigan State that saw the Gophers go to their fifth shootout of the season on Friday before picking up a 1-0 shutout victory over the Spartans on Saturday. 

The Gophers return to action this weekend with a rare Thursday-Friday Big Ten series in Madison. Minnesota and Wisconsin face off on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. CT (BTN,, 1500 ESPN) before closing out the series on Friday at 8 p.m. (BTN,, 1500 ESPN).

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. 

Future Gophers Up for Ms. Hockey Award

Three future Gopher women's hockey players have been named semifinalists for the 2014 Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award. Let's Play Hockey newspaper announced that Sydney Baldwin, Kelly Pannek and Nina Rodgers are among the 10 semifinalists for annual award, which will be presented to the top senior girls' high school hockey player in Minnesota.

All 10 players named as semifinalists are committed to a Division I school for next season, including six in the WCHA. The semifinalists have scored an average of 24 goals and 26 assists this season for their respective teams. All 10 players have been bound to the textbooks for the past several years as they check in with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.7.

The five finalists for the Ms. Hockey Award will be named in the Feb. 13 edition of Let's Play Hockey with the winner announced at the Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 11:30 a.m., at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

The 10 semifinalists for the Let's Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year Award were also announced this week. The five finalists for the Senior Goalie of the Year Award will be named in the Feb. 6 edition of Let's Play Hockey. Both awards are sponsored by Let's Play Hockey, the Minnesota Wild and Shakopee Chevrolet.

In addition to on-ice talent, criteria for the Ms. Hockey Award include academics, community/extracurricular activities, citizenship and coachability.

Past winners include several current and former Gophers: 2013 Dani Cameranesi (Blake), 2012 Hannah Brandt (Hill-Murray), 2011 Karley Sylvester (Warroad), 2010 Bethany Brausen (Roseville), 2009 Becky Kortum (Hopkins), 2008 Sarah Erickson (Bemidji), 2007 Katharine Chute (Blake), 2006 Allie Thunstrom (North St. Paul), 2005 Gigi Marvin (Warroad), 2004 Erica McKenzie (Hastings), 2003 Andrea Nichols (Hibbing/Chisholm), 2002 Ashley Albrecht (South St. Paul), 2001 Renee Curtin (Roseville), 2000 Krissy Wendell (Park Center), 1999 Ronda Curtin (Roseville), 1998 Laura Slominski (Burnsville), 1997 Annamarie Holmes (Apple Valley), 1996 Winny Brodt (Roseville).

Read more:
Let's Play Hockey: 2014 Ms. Hockey, Senior Goalie semifinalists announced

Gophers Alum to Compete at NYRR Millrose Games

Gophers alumna Gabriele (Anderson) Grunewald, the fourth-fastest American at 1500 meters in 2013, is slated to compete in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 15, it was announced by New York Road Runners and the Armory Foundation this week.

Headlining the women's field are teenage track sensation Mary Cain and three-time USA champion Morgan Uceny. In addition to Grunewald, the women's field also includes two-time USA steeplechase champion, Emma Coburn; the 1500-meter bronze medalist at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships, Cory McGee; Villanova University star, Emily Lipari; and Alexa Efraimson, the youngest Wanamaker Mile entrant at age 16 and the winner of the girls' race at the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals. The Millrose Games women's record for the mile is 4:21.45, run by Rumania's Doina Melinte in 1988.

The NYRR Millrose Games will be presented live on NBCSN from 2-4 p.m. CT. Fans will have the chance to watch the famed Wanamaker Miles, a world-class women's 800-meter race, and much more.

Most recently, Grunewald finished second in her first race of the 2014 season at the Sainsbury's Glasgow International meet last weekend. Grunewald was second in the 1,500-meter run in 4:12.76. Kenya's Hellen Obiri won the race in 4:10.20. Grunewald, then Anderson, wrapped up her Gopher running career as an All-American and the 1,500-meters runner-up at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Read more:
Team USA Minnesota
World Championships Medalist Matthew Centrowitz and Teenage Track Sensation Mary Cain to headline NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields

Gophers in the News: UND, Olympics Preview

Catch up on Gopher women's hockey in the news this week. The media recapped Minnesota's sweep over St. Cloud State last weekend and previewed this weekend's series at North Dakota, along with previewing the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Star Tribune: U women's hockey wins on Leveille's third consecutive shutout
Jan. 25, 2014

Pioneer Press: Meghan Lorence scores twice in 3-0 win over St. Cloud State
Jan. 25, 2014

Star Tribune: Gophers women's hockey sweeps St. Cloud State
Jan. 25, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Minnesota sweeps SCSU amid penalties
Jan. 27, 2014

USCHO: Lorence scores twice as Minnesota shuts out St. Cloud State
Jan. 24, 2014

GopherSports: Gophers Volunteer with Special Olympics
Jan. 28, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Gophers shoot to avenge loss to UND
Jan. 30, 2014

Star Tribune: 'Extra fire' on both sides of Gophers-UND women's hockey rivalry
Jan. 31, 2014

Grand Forks Herald: UND to host Minnesota in rivalry game this weekend
Jan. 31, 2014

Let's Play Hockey: 2014 Ms. Hockey, Senior Goalie semifinalists announced
Jan. 30, 2014

New York Times: In Rinks Beyond Sochi, a Chance for Players Left Behind
Jan. 31, 2014

Check out in-depth stories on Rachel Ramsey and Hannah Brandt that appeared this week.

Minnesota Daily: Ramsey carries the torch
Jan. 28, 2014

Kaz Watch: Hannah Brandt stays golden as Gophers sophomore
Jan. 28, 2014

The pre-Olympics coverage includes plenty of ties to Gopher women's hockey, too. Putting School On Hold To Chase Gold
Jan. 28, 2014

NBC Olympics: Women's Olympic hockey tournament preview
Jan. 28, 2014

NBC Olympics: U.S., Canadian women's Olympic teams top contenders for gold in Sochi
Jan. 28, 2014

NBC Olympics: Team USA Class of 2014 Yearbook

NBC Sports: On The Ice With The U.S. Women's Hockey Team (Part 1)
Jan. 27, 2014

Women's Hockey Life: Lee Stecklein Towers Over the Competition as She Earns Spot on Ambitious US Squad
Jan. 22, 2014

Gopher Sports Update: U.S. Olympian Lee Stecklein
Jan. 28, 2014

USA Hockey: Olympians Donate 300 Total Sets of OneGoal Hockey Equipment to Youth Hockey Associations
Jan. 29, 2014

Minnesota Hockey Magazine: Gopher Olympians donate 60 sets of youth hockey equipment
Jan. 29, 2014

KARE11: Road To Sochi: U.S. women's hockey team goes for gold
Jan. 29, 2014

Gophers Meet the Media: Michigan State

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The No. 1 Gophers will welcome Michigan State to Mariucci Arena this weekend for a two-game set. The series kicks off Minnesota's 12-game stretch against Big Ten opponents to close out the regular season. Select Gopher players and head coach Don Lucia met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the showdown with the Spartans and events of the past couple weeks.

The Gophers took four of a possible six points from the Spartans during a road trip in early December. 

"They are a good defensive team. (Goalie Jake Hildebrand) is very good," coach Lucia said. The Spartans dropped a pair of game last weekend to their archrival Michigan.

The last three weeks offered unique quirks with a Monday game, an outdoor game, and a trophy. 

"It was pretty crazy. It was a lot of new experiences, even for the guys who have been here for a few years," said forward Travis Boyd. "It was fun, but at the same time it was a little hectic."

This week's return to Mariucci means the Gophers can fall back into a routine. Minnesota recently completed a stretch of four games at four different venues.

"It is good to be at home again. We are looking forward to the Big Ten rivalries picking up again," said defenseman Mike Reilly.

The non-conference portion of the Gophers schedule is now complete with Minnesota posting an 11-2-3 record out of conference. The Gophers will face strictly Big Ten opposition prior to the NCAA postseason. 

"(The schedule) is starting to ramp up now," Lucia said. "We have not seen Michigan yet, we have to go to Madison, and we have a very difficult finish at Ohio State and at Michigan."

Minnesota is currently riding a 12-game unbeaten streak -- the longest active unbeaten streak in the nation -- but the players know their recent hockey hasn't been their best. 

"We have to give a ton of credit to Adam Wilcox for this past weekend," Reilly said. "We have to pick it up (going forward) and start focusing a little bit better."

The Gophers will be forced to play with five defensemen on Friday. Michael Brodzinski will be out a few weeks with a lower-body injury and Ben Marshall must miss out on Friday's action after receiving his third game misconduct of the year in the title tilt of the North Star College Cup. Marshall is eligible to return to the Gopher lineup on Saturday. Tom Serratore also sustained a lower-body injury on Saturday and will be sidelined a few weeks.

Friday's puck drop is at 8 p.m. CT and will be shown live on BTN. Saturday's contest begins at 7 p.m. CT and will be shown live on FSN Plus. Fans can listen to Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco call both games this weekend on 1500 ESPN.

-Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock