NHL: Helgeson to Make NHL Debut Tuesday

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Seth Helgeson

MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) -- Gopher Hockey alum Seth Helgeson has been recalled by the New Jersey Devils and will make his NHL debut tonight against the Minnesota Wild. 

Tonight's game is set for a 6 p.m. (TV: FOX Sports North, Radio: KFAN) at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. 


"He's got fresh legs, which is good coming in," coach Pete DeBoer said. "We were young prior to him coming in, so it's nothing we haven't dealt with this year. I'm excited to see him. He had a great training camp and he deserved to be the guy called up here."

Helgeson is a physical presence.

"Not exactly the way you want to inject energy, but we'll take it and hopefully he'll come in and give us a good game," DeBoer said.

"He's a big guy. Physical. Long stick. We don't have a lot of that, physical defensemen, back there. With Sal, who is that type of defenseman, going out, it's nice to have a guy in the minors that plays a similar type game." 

A Faribault, Minn., native, Helgeson was a four-year letter winner at the University of Minnesota and served as an alternate captain as the team's lone senior in 2012-13. The defenseman skated in 150 career games for the Gophers and amassed 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists). He also proved to be incredibly durable despite his physical play -- ending his college career with 122-straight appearances including every game of his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. 

In his final two campaigns with the program, the Gophers earned two-straight MacNaughton Cups as Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season champions as well as two NCAA tournament berths including the team's run to the Frozen Four in 2011-12.

Helgeson signed with the Albany Devils following his senior season and played four games for New Jersey's AHL affiliate that year. He added 10 points (one goal, nine assists) and 100 penalty minutes in 75 regular-season games during the 2013-14 campaign and also played in four playoff games for Albany. So far in 2014-15, Helgeson has played in 12 games with one assist and 11 penalty minutes. 

With Helgeson expected to play tonight, we'll have a contest between two former teammates as well as four Gopher Hockey alums on the ice at Prudential Center. Helgeson and Wild forward Erik Haula played together for three seasons at Minnesota while Thomas Vanek and Keith Ballard will both be in the Wild lineup as well. 

Gopher Hockey now boasts 14 alums in the NHL this season: Keith Ballard (Minnesota Wild), Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers), Alex Goligoski (Dallas Stars), Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild), Seth Helgeson (New Jersey Devils), Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche), Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs), Nick Leddy (New York Islanders), Jordan Leopold (St. Louis Blues), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders), Nate Schmidt (Washington Capitals), Thomas Vanek (Minnesota Wild) and Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets). 

Wrapping up the Fall Season

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Another fall season is complete at Gopher Golf. We enjoyed competing against 11 of the best college golf programs in the country in our final outing at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, Texas. Baylor University hosted the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate on a recently renovated golf course open just three short weeks, featuring firm greens and added length. Uniquely, the event consisted of a format counting the best five scores each round from six players on each team. Although we finished 11th out of 12 teams in the event, we had a few players step up in this event. 

Go Gophers! Runar Arnorsson
Go Gophers!
Runar Arnorsson
Go Gophers!
Not shockingly, Jose Mendez gave himself another opportunity to win, eventually finishing fourth in a field comprised of 42 players ranked in the top 100 in the country. Jose battled the strong breeze in the final round with precision iron shots and a world class short game! After the five events this fall, Jose finished with a 71.07 scoring average that ranks second in Gopher history behind only James McLean's 1998-99 year, where he boasted a total scoring average of 70.89. Jose has put himself into elite company at the young age of 19 as a part of Gopher Golf history that has included 43 All-Americans and two NCAA Individual Champions.  

Also playing well in long stretches in the event was true freshman Runar Arnorsson.  The Icelander was tied for eighth through 33 holes in the event only to finish +4 in his final three holes on Day 1. Day 2 was no exception to his solid play as he stiffed his iron shot on his 10th hole of the final round from 155 yards to get back to even. Unfortunately a few loose shots and one poor decision into the sixth cost him a shot at his first top 10 in a collegiate event. All other scores from our final fall event can be found here.

Each and every Gopher Golf fan should check out our team page at gophersports.com as Justine Buerkle, our communications contact, updates it frequently. You can find recent news, roster information, statistics from the past 10 years, the 2014-15 team schedule, camp information, Carlson's Corner archived blogs, historical facts within our program and even a link to buy official Gopher Golf apparel worn by our current team members. These are just a few reasons to follow our team using gophersports.com and the social media sites.

With the offseason comes planning for the winter months and spring schedule preparation. We have an outstanding track record in making waves on the course in the spring semester after months of preparation. We train our players mentally and physically harder than most programs from Dec. 1 to Feb. 1 in order to compete for championships come April. 

We have had to be much more creative than most teams in the past, as we are one of the only Big Ten golf programs that currently are without our own indoor/outdoor practice facility. This will be changing soon though as we are deep into our campaign to raise private funding for a new men's and women's golf team facility that will be built on our existing Tom Lehman Outdoor Facility at the Les Bolstad GC. The pre-planning stage is complete and we will be looking to break ground in the near future. We are grateful to our generous donors for both our facility and program needs. I also would like to invite those who have not been involved in financial support for either our program or Gopher Athletics to visit the Golden Gopher Fund website and make your contribution today using the "Make a Gift" icon. You can also call me at 612-321-1307 to learn more about how to get involved as all donations to our program are tax deductible and are applied towards your Gopher Score for ticket/seating priority.

Gopher Golf and the Carlson family wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!

Coach Carlson

Four Nations Cup: Final Recap

 2014 Four Nations Cup
 Schedule Tuesday, Nov. 4 through Saturday, Nov. 8
 Location Interior Savings Centre | Kamloops, British Columbia
 Tickets Buy Tickets Now | Full-tournament ticket package ­- $99 (plus fees)
 Official Sites USA Hockey | Hockey Canada | Finland | Sweden
 Social Media @4NationsCup | @USAHockey | @HC_Women | #4NationsCup

The 2014 Four Nations Cup concluded on Saturday with Canada taking home the gold medal with a shootout win over the U.S. and Sweden claiming bronze with a 2-1 overtime win over Finland. Dani Cameranesi finished the tournament tied for the scoring lead with four points (2g-2a) in four games. Hannah Brandt (2a) and Lee Stecklein (1a) also logged points for the U.S. Meanwhile, Kelly Terry played in all four games for Canada, Mira Jalosuo played in three for Finland and Megan Bozek played in two for the U.S.

Bronze Medal Game: Sweden 2, Finland 1 (overtime)

Mira Jalosuo's Finland team fell to Sweden in overtime in the bronze-medal game. Finland took a 1-0 lead late in the second period, but Sweden tied it with 3:33 remaining in regulation and sealed the 2-1 win at the 9:00 mark of overtime. Jalosuo was not in Finland's lineup after playing in the first three games of the tournament. 

Gold Medal Game: Canada 3, United States 2 (shootout)

Five Gophers took the ice in the gold medal game as Hannah Brandt, Megan Bozek, Dani Cameranesi and Lee Stecklein skated for the U.S. and Kelly Terry represented her native Canada. Canada took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the U.S. responded with two goals to take a 2-1 lead in the second period. Canada tied it up at 2-2 with 2:11 remaining in the middle frame, and the teams played a scoreless third period and overtime before deciding the game with a shootout.

2014 Four Nations Cup Results

Tuesday, Nov. 4:
Preliminary: United States 5, Finland 0
Preliminary: Canada 2, Sweden 0

Wednesday, Nov. 5:
Preliminary: Finland 1, Sweden 0
Preliminary: Canada 3, United States 2

Friday, Nov. 7:
Preliminary: United States 3, Sweden 0
Preliminary: Canada 3, Finland 1

Saturday, Nov. 8:
Bronze: Sweden 2, Finland 1 (overtime)
Gold: Canada 3, United States 2 (shootout)

Four Nations Cup: Day Three Recap

 2014 Four Nations Cup
 Schedule Tuesday, Nov. 4 through Saturday, Nov. 8
 Location Interior Savings Centre | Kamloops, British Columbia
 Tickets Buy Tickets Now | Full-tournament ticket package ­- $99 (plus fees)
 Official Sites USA Hockey | Hockey Canada | Finland | Sweden
 Social Media @4NationsCup | @USAHockey | @HC_Women | #4NationsCup

In the final day of preliminary round play at the 2014 Four Nations Cup on Friday, the U.S. secured a place in Saturday's gold-medal game with a 3-0 win over Sweden. Meanwhile, Canada improved to 3-0-0 in preliminary round action with a 3-1 win over Finland.

Game 5: U.S 3, Sweden 0

Lee Stecklein and Dani Cameranesi each picked up an assist in the U.S.'s shutout win over Sweden. The U.S. outshot Sweden, 50-11, for the game. Cameranesi (2g-2a) is now tied with teammate Shiann Darkangelo (1g-3a) for the scoring lead among all players in the Four Nations Cup.

Game 6: Canada 3, Finland 1

Two Gopher alums faced off as Kelly Terry took the ice for Canada and Mira Jalosuo skated for Finland. Canada got on the board in the first period and extended its lead to 2-0 early in the third period, but Finland cut the lead to one with 9:24 remaining. However, the host team added its third goal in the final minute to seal the 3-1 win.

The U.S. and Canada face off for gold at 9 p.m. CT Saturday night, and Finland and Sweden meet in the bronze medal game at 4 p.m. CT Saturday.

Tuesday, Nov. 4:
Preliminary: United States 5, Finland 0
Preliminary: Canada 2, Sweden 0

Wednesday, Nov. 5:
Preliminary: Finland 1, Sweden 0
Preliminary: Canada 3, United States 2

Friday, Nov. 7:
Preliminary: United States 3, Sweden 0
Preliminary: Canada 3, Finland 1

Saturday, Nov. 8:
Bronze: Sweden vs. Finland, 4 p.m. CT
Gold: United States vs. Canada, 9 p.m. CT

2014 Skate with the Gophers Recap

Minnesota hosted its annual Skate with the Gophers event at Ridder Arena last Saturday. The Gophers welcomed 300 fans to join them on the ice along with signing autographs and posing for pictures. 

Four Nations Cup: Day Two Recap

 2014 Four Nations Cup
 Schedule Tuesday, Nov. 4 through Saturday, Nov. 8
 Location Interior Savings Centre | Kamloops, British Columbia
 Tickets Buy Tickets Now | Full-tournament ticket package ­- $99 (plus fees)
 Official Sites USA Hockey | Hockey Canada | Finland | Sweden
 Social Media @4NationsCup | @USAHockey | @HC_Women | #4NationsCup

In day two preliminary round action at the 2014 Four Nations Cup, Canada rallied for a 3-2 win over the U.S. and Finland topped Sweden by a score of 1-0.

Game 3: Finland 1, Sweden 0

Mira Jalosuo and Finland got their first win of the Four Nations Cup with a 1-0 victory over Sweden on Wednesday. Minnamari Tuominen scored with just over eight minutes remaining in the third and Vilma Vaattovaara made 15 saves in the win for Finland.

Game 4: Canada 3, U.S. 2

Canada rallied from a 2-1 deficit, scoring two goals 46 seconds apart in the last five minutes of the game, to secure a 3-2 victory over the U.S. Wednesday night. Playing for her native Canada, Kelly Terry faced former Gopher teammates Lee Stecklein, Dani Cameranesi and Hannah Brandt in Red, White and Blue. The U.S. outshot Canada 32-21 for the game.

Cameranesi scored the first goal of the game to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. She now has three points (2g-1a) in two games at the Four Nations Cup to tie for the lead among all players. Brandt has two points with one assist in each game so far.

The teams are off Thursday, and the preliminary round concludes Friday at the Four Nations Cup. The gold and bronze medal game matchups are set for Saturday.

Tuesday, Nov. 4:
Preliminary: United States 5, Finland 0
Preliminary: Canada 2, Sweden 0

Wednesday, Nov. 5:
Preliminary: Finland 1, Sweden 0
Preliminary: Canada 3, United States 2

Friday, Nov. 7:
Preliminary: United States vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. CT
Preliminary: Canada vs. Finland, 9 p.m. CT

Saturday, Nov. 8:
Bronze: 4th place vs. 3rd place, 4 p.m. CT
Gold: 2nd place vs. 1st place, 9 p.m. CT

Four Nations Cup: Day One Recap

 2014 Four Nations Cup
 Schedule Tuesday, Nov. 4 through Saturday, Nov. 8
 Location Interior Savings Centre | Kamloops, British Columbia
 Tickets Buy Tickets Now | Full-tournament ticket package ­- $99 (plus fees)
 Official Sites USA Hockey | Hockey Canada | Finland | Sweden
 Social Media @4NationsCup | @USAHockey | @HC_Women | #4NationsCup

Day one preliminary round matchups at the 2014 Four Nations Cup in Kamloops, B.C., saw the U.S. skate to a 5-0 victory over Finland before Canada defeated Sweden, 2-0.

Game 1: USA 5, Finland 0

Four Gophers took the ice in the first game of the day as Hannah Brandt (1a), Dani Cameranesi (1g-1a) and Lee Stecklein represented the U.S., and Mira Jalosuo skated for her native Finland. Cameranesi was named the U.S. Player of the Game. She set up the second goal of the game before scoring the third U.S. goal off a feed from Brandt. Catch up on the action and the full recap from USA Hockey below.

Game 2: Canada 2, Sweden 0

Gopher alum Kelly Terry made her debut with the Canadian Women's National Team at the Four Nations Cup. Wearing No. 41, the Whitby, Ont., native helped the tournament hosts shut out Sweden, 2-0.

Action continues at the Four Nations Cup with Finland and Sweden facing off at 4 p.m. CT Wednesday before the U.S. and Canada take the ice at 9 p.m. CT Wednesday night. The Four Nations Cup runs through Saturday with three days of preliminary games to determine the gold and bronze medal game matchups on Saturday.

Tuesday, Nov. 4:
Preliminary: United States 5, Finland 0
Preliminary: Canada 2, Sweden 0

Wednesday, Nov. 5:
Preliminary: Sweden vs. Finland, 4 p.m. CT
Preliminary: United States vs. Canada, 9 p.m. CT

Friday, Nov. 7:
Preliminary: United States vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. CT
Preliminary: Canada vs. Finland, 9 p.m. CT

Saturday, Nov. 8:
Bronze: 4th place vs. 3rd place, 4 p.m. CT
Gold: 2nd place vs. 1st place, 9 p.m. CT

MAGIC Update (10/27/14)

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Pitino Blog: Maroon-Gold Scrimmage

Some thoughts and observations from head coach Richard Pitino after Sunday's Maroon-Gold First Look Scrimmage at the Barn...

Maroon

Zach Lofton-  Allowed early missed shots to bother him mentally and affect other parts of his game.
DeAndre Mathieu - Seven turnovers is obviously alarming.  Did some very good things on offense and defense.
Daquein McNeil- MVP of the game.  Has put in the work and it shows.  All about the team and all about winning.  Very proud of him.
Mo Walker-  Was very efficient offensively before he got hurt.  Will evaluate that hamstring today.  Hope it isn't anything serious. Something good always happens when he touches the ball on the block.
Joey King-  Has a lethal shot fake.  Happy with his effort on the glass.  Eight rebounds is great.  He also did a good job of staying away from silly fouls.  He makes winning plays.
Charles Buggs-  Had a great block and a good steal in the press.  Needs to embrace contact, not shy away from it.  Has been working very hard in practice.  I was encouraged.

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!
Nate Mason
Go Gophers!
Darin Haugh-  Has been good in practice.  Still trying to figure out his role.  Somewhere along the way he will understand he's a good player.
Bakary Konate- Obviously has the talent but is still a bit raw.  I love how he demands the ball in the post.  Needs to get deeper post touches.  Also needs to slow down when he catches.  The sky is the limit.

Gold

Andre Hollins-  Five assists and three steals was nice to see.  Not concerned with his 1-for-9 from the field.  Has shown tremendous leadership this fall.  Special person.
Nate Mason-  Did a lot of good things.  Four turnovers needs to be cut down. Has to move on mentally after a mistake quicker.
Carlos Morris-  Similar to Nate and Zach.  Was visibly frustrated when he made a mistake.  He needs to live in the paint because he can go by anyone.
Josh Martin-  Has really embraced his role.  He has the size and athleticism to impact the game on every possession.  His future is very bright.
Elliott Eliason-  Was quietly very good.  Nine rebounds and four blocks were great. He is in great shape.  Allowed the ball in the post too much.
Kendal Shell- Great effort and attitude as always.

Overall

Positives-  We moved the ball well at times in the half court and made the extra pass.  We need to constantly try to attack the paint because we will have three ball handlers in the game at all times.  Much is said about our backcourt but Mo and Elliott shouldn't be overlooked. Daquein has obviously improved.  Loved his attitude during the game. He even called a play for himself in a timeout.  That shows great growth for him.  Love guys like "Day Day" who quietly do their job everyday.  I think we all saw the potential of the newcomers.  All of them have the physical ability to make a difference.

Negatives-  Body language!  First scrimmage in the Barn in front of our great fans and some guys seemed very frustrated.  A lot of that, in my opinion, is normal.  Guys get so excited over the offseason and when adversity hits they quickly get down.  Collectively as a team we need to get mentally tougher.  I spoke to the team about being energy givers not energy takers.  That will be a big emphasis this week.

The theme for this team all preseason has been TODAY.  That is all that matters.  Last year is over and the future is irrelevant.  All we can do is focus on getting better TODAY.  Thanks again for those who came out yesterday.  Hope you enjoyed it.  See everybody a week from Thursday!

Go Gophers,

Richard Pitino

Young Team Getting Better Each Day

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The first full month of the 2014-15 golf season has already elapsed. Having lost two seniors who made a tremendous impact on our victorious Big Ten Championship team last year, I knew the fall could produce inconsistent results. Rolling into our fifth  event of the fall, my premonitions were accurate as we have endured a few "bumps in the road" already. Having said this, my new assistant, Justin Smith, and I have enjoyed these 10 guys as much as any team in my coaching career at the U.

I wake up every morning wanting to get to practice knowing our group is so eager to get better. The strides freshmen Charlie Duensing and Riley Johnson have made in 45 days on campus is mind blowing. These young guys listen, concentrate, ask great questions and implement the on-course strategies our coaching staff directs. The trick is to ask each of our eight freshmen and sophomores to be patient, as it is a process. Drills are being completed after our designated practice time, players want to stay late in preparation for qualifying and tournament play, conversations surrounding golf swing are at a high level and the camaraderie within our team is the culture I envisioned starting five years ago. Finally, our traveling squad has been interchangeable thus far and although it creates a few more unpredictable variables, we loved every minute of our trips to Chicago, Cal and Albuquerque.

The Windon Memorial in Chicago was played at Evanston GC, which is one of the original Donald Ross designs. Coach Smith finally got to see firsthand our young phenom, Jose Mendez, in action after hearing from me just how talented he is. Jose held the lead wire-to-wire only to lose on the final three holes after a blazing round of 63 (-7) by Colton Staggs of Tulsa University. This was another example of the consistent play Jose has brought since stepping foot in Minnesota. Everyone asks me, "How good is Jose?" This is a fair question knowing the golf knowledge of our fan base in Minnesota and the number of All-Americans Gopher Golf has produced throughout the years. I tell each and every person, he has NO weaknesses in his game. He doesn't have bad days scoring on the course because he is one of the finest putters in the country. When reading putts for Jose as a coaching staff, the pressure is on us. He doesn't miss the chosen line. Jose drives it very straight, can work the ball either direction at will with any club in his bag and has a champion's mentality.

What is a champion's mentality in golf? Many of us had the good fortune of watching Tiger Woods in his prime birdie the last hole seemingly every round. Jose has birdied his last hole in 43 percent of his rounds as a Gopher! His playing competitors admire his game and personality, coaches speak highly of his character, he is a joy to coach and everyone who has been fortunate enough to get to know him within Gopher Athletics raves about his smile, humor and ambition. Next year's Gopher Invitational at Windsong Farm GC September 13-14 will be the next time you can watch him compete in person in Minnesota but in the meantime, check out our calendar on Gophersports.com to see if you might be close to us during the year. It is well worth your time as a fan of golf!

Go Gophers! Jose Mendez
Go Gophers!
Jose Mendez has a champion's mentality.
Go Gophers!
Coming off a disappointing 13th-place team finish in Chicago, we turned around three days later heading to the home course of the Lobos at the University of New Mexico. Thick rough, 7,700 yards and windy conditions were ordered up by the Golf Gods during tournament week. We amassed 20-plus double and triple bogies during the three rounds of the tournament, which proved to be our undoing. Driving the golf ball consistently has continued to be our issue throughout the fall with most of the players. Driving the ball well again and leading our team for the ninth consecutive tournament dating back to 2013 was our sophomore All-American, Mendez. His 16th-place finish led our team followed by Jon DuToit, Runar Arnorsson, Daniel Luftspring and Tyler Lowenstein.

Most of our lineup decisions have been influenced by team qualifiers. Qualifying...recruits ask how we do it, parents wonder whether their son make the next trip and our coaching staff gets the opportunity to evaluate each player's "State of the Game" multiple weeks each year in pressure-packed situations that will determine who is afforded the opportunity to travel to destinations like Sonoma, Calif.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Phoenix, Ariz., and Naples, Fla., just to name a few. I always attempt to stage our qualifying on golf courses similar to the upcoming tournament venue. Qualifying for the Alister MacKenzie was set at Southview CC, home of the Tapemark Charity Pro Am, and Edina CC. With Jose Mendez and Jon DuToit exempt based on picks that I reserve, Runar Arnorsson was able to take home the win at the qualifier, followed by freshman Riley Johnson and sophomore Matt Rachey. All qualifying scores can be found on our men's golf home page on GopherSports.com.

Jose Mendez, Jon DuToit, Runar Arnorsson (freshman from Iceland), Riley Johnson (making his first collegiate start as a member of the Gophers) and Matt Rachey competed for the team in the Alister Mackenzie Invitational at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif. Going a day early, our coaching staff treated the team members to a round of golf at the historic Sonoma GC, which sits amongst the vineyards in the Napa Wine Region. Whether it's Los Angeles CC, Sonoma GC or Calusa Pines GC, our players know wearing the Maroon and Gold is a privilege and will be one of the best rides of their lives. Check Gophersports.com for the results from the California event!

Whether you're playing golf in Minnesota still or have left to play golf in the Southern half of the United States already, always remember...Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!

John Carlson

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