Gophers at the Frozen Four

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PHILADELPHIA (GopherSports.com) -- The University of Minnesota men's hockey program prepped for the program's 21st Frozen Four appearance on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. 

The Gophers open the event on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. CT against North Dakota  in semifinal action on ESPN2/Watch ESPN while radio broadcast is set for the Gopher Radio Network and 1500 ESPN. Boston College and Union compete the in the first semifinal game earlier in the day. 


Minnesota started the day of preparation by meeting with national broadcasting partners including ESPN talent John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich. For many of the Gophers, visiting with the trio was the day's highlight.


The low-point of the day? Well for some of the team that may have been competing in Adam Wilcox's Rubik's Cube Challenge. The Big Ten Player and Goaltender of the Year proved his skill with the gadget earlier this year (see the original video here) and challenged his teammates, as well as coach Don Lucia, with the help of NCAA.com. 


After practicing for the first time at Wells Fargo Center and then meeting with the media, the Gophers had one final on-camera moment for the night -- taking a team photo with the famous Rocky statue in downtown Philadelphia. 



For those in Philly, check out the full list of Frozen Four fan activities happening around town (Click Here). Back home? Head to Joe Senser's in Roseville or Bloomington for the official viewing parties in the Twin Cities (Click Here).


Strike Out Cancer Updates

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Starting on April 1, every strikeout by a Gopher pitcher and by alum Glen Perkins is helping to fight cancer as part of pitching coach Todd Oakes' Strike Out Cancer campaign through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Perkins has pledged $100 for each of his strikeouts during the month, and the Gophers have collected pledges for each of theirs as well. Check out this interview Perkins held with Pioneer Press' Charley Walters.

Strikeout Tracker
Gophers   87
Perkins     16
Stats through April 26

Fans were able to donate at the Saturday, April 12 game against Nebraska. Fans added nearly another $250 towards the cause.

KFAN's Justin Gaard sat down with "T.O." to talk about his story, and his Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man of the Year campaign. The interview starts at about the 30:10 mark of the show.

Gophers Open Spring Competition vs. Wisconsin

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Hawkeye Invitational Qualifying

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The Gopher men's golf team will play at the Hawkeye Invitational this weekend (April 12-13). The team held a qualifying tournament to determine the travel squad. Jon Trasamar and Jose Mendez were exempt. The Gophers played at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa, and Pioneer Creek GC in Maple Plain, Minn.

The travel squad will be Mendez, Trasamar, Alex Gaugert, Jon DuToit and Matt Rachey. Qualifying scores are below:

Alex Gaugert 213
Matt Rachey 219
Jon DuToit 221
Grady Meyer 231
Tyler Lowenstein 234
Daniel Luftspring 239

Gophers Meet the Media: Frozen Four

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The University of Minnesota will make its 21st Frozen Four appearance when it squares off with North Dakota April 10 in Philadelphia. Coach Don Lucia and select players met with the local media to discuss the NCAA West Regional and what waits ahead at the Frozen Four.


The national semifinal will be the 291th meeting between Minnesota and North Dakota. "I love playing North Dakota," senior forward Nate Condon said. "Everyone knows who North Dakota is. Everyone has someone they grew up playing with or against that they want to beat."

Lucia is doing his best to downplay the fact that the Gophers await their longtime arch-rival. "It is a national semifinal. Who you play is not as important as playing well." 

The Gophers earned the right to go to Philadelphia by defeating Robert Morris, 7-3, and St. Cloud State, 4-0, at the NCAA West Regional. 

"I thought last weekend was the best two games we have played all year," goaltender and Mike Richter Award finalist Adam Wilcox said. "It is good to be hitting our stride this time of year." 

A big component of the Gophers success at the regional was the ability for the defense to stymie St. Cloud State's quality forwards. 

"I think the key for us is the emergence of Mike Reilly and Brady Skjei," coach Lucia said. "Both those guys have really improved from last year."

Co-captain Nate Condon sparked the Gophers at the regional by scoring the team's first goal against Robert Morris and collecting four points on the weekend. He spoke about the seeds for this team's success being planted by former captain - and Condon's former roommate -- Taylor Matson. 

"One of the things he taught me is how hard you have to work to get to that next level."

As the team begins to focus on their trip to Pennsylvania, Lucia wants to make sure the players are primed for a positive experience. 

"It never gets old playing in the Frozen Four. There is no guarantee that any of our guys will get an opportunity to do this again," Lucia said. "The most important thing is to play well. The disappointment comes if the team does not play the way they are capable of."

The other national semifinal pits Boston College against Union College. It will be just the second all-time meeting between the Eagles and Dutchmen.

The Gophers will hit the ice against North Dakota on Thursday April 10 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The game will be shown live on ESPN2 and can be heard on 1500 ESPN. The national championship game takes place Saturday April 12 at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.

"It is going to be awesome to play [North Dakota]," Wilcox said. "It is a huge rivalry game and there is not a better time to have it than on the big stage."

-Story written by Josh Brennock

Gophers Set to Begin Spring Season

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As the month of April rolls around, so does the start of spring volleyball competition. After waiting a few months since the end of the season, the Gopher volleyball team will be back in action this weekend.

Minnesota travels to Wisconsin to compete in a spring scrimmage against the Badgers on Sunday, April 6 at 3 p.m. Admission is free for the event, located at the UW Field House. Gametracker will also be made available for the scrimmage, located here.

Following the Wisconsin scrimmage, the Gophers travel to Northern Iowa, April 12. Action begins at 9 a.m. on four courts and admission is free. Seating is limited, but fans are encouraged to bring their own chairs. Along with Minnesota and host UNI, Iowa, Iowa State, Omaha, North Dakota State, South Dakota and Iowa Ice will also compete. A two-set format has been established with wins (by two points) to 25. Full court schedule located here.

UNI Spring Tournament Schedule of Events (subject to change)

9 a.m.
Court 1 - UNI vs. South Dakota
Court 3 - Minnesota vs. Iowa
Court 8 - Iowa State vs. Nebraska-Omaha

10 a.m.
Court 1 - Iowa Ice vs. UNI
Court 3 - Iowa State vs. Minnesota
Court 7 - Nebraska-Omaha vs. South Dakota
Court 8 - Iowa vs. North Dakota State

11 a.m.
Court 1 - Minnesota vs. UNI
Court 3 - Iowa vs. Iowa State
Court 7 - Iowa Ice vs. South Dakota
Court 8 - Nebraska-Omaha vs. North Dakota State

1 p.m.
Court 1 - Iowa vs. UNI
Court 3 - Minnesota vs. Nebraska-Omaha
Court 7 - North Dakota State vs. South Dakota
Court 8 - Iowa Ice vs. Iowa State

2 p.m.
Court 1 - UNI vs. Nebraska-Omaha
Court 3 - Minnesota vs. South Dakota
Court 8 - Iowa Ice vs. North Dakota State

3 p.m.
Court 1 - Northern Iowa vs. North Dakota State
Court 3 - Court available to play extra sets




The University of Minnesota hosted Feedback Friday in the Bierman Field Athletic Building on Friday, March 28th.
 
The professional development event organized by University of Minnesota Student-Athlete Development and sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car presented student-athletes with an opportunity to prepare for post-college careers.
 
Student-athletes participated in practice interviews and resume reviews. They also had the chance to speak with a Talent Acquisition Specialist about employment openings at Enterprise.

"Feedback Friday and other professional development events are incredibly beneficial to me," Anne Ferguson from the women's cross country/track & field said. "Having my resume reviews and most importantly speaking with employers gives me confidence when I attend other professional events."

Written by Andrew Doughty
University of Minnesota Student-Athlete Development Intern



Gophers Meet the Media: RMU

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SAINT PAUL, Minn. (GopherSports.com) - The Minnesota men's hockey program kicked off the 2014 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey West Regional on Friday with practice and a media session at Xcel Energy Center. 

After breakfast at Mariucci Arena early Friday morning, the Gophers moved over to Xcel Energy Center and met with ESPN talent Clay Matvick and Sean Ritchlin to preview Saturday's game against Robert Morris - the first-ever meeting between the two programs. 
Minnesota then practiced for an hour at the X before meeting the media. 

"It's the greatest time of the year for college hockey. The NCAA tournament's here," Gophers head coach Don Lucia said. "I'm proud of our guys, proud of our team for what they've been able to accomplish so far this year. Certainly, winning a Big Ten title this year and being part of three-straight league championships, it's a real credit to them and the process that we've gone through this year. They've played at a pretty consistently high level all season long. I know that they're excited and can't wait for the puck to drop tomorrow night." 
During Friday's press conference, Lucia (as well as captains Nate Condon and Kyle Rau) touched on facing off against an opponent they have never seen in the Colonials. 

"You look at what they've been able to do the second half of the season. They've won 17 games," Lucia said. "They've scored a ton of goals here in the second half of the year. They certainly had to play their way into the tournament by winning six playoff games in the league. One thing that we've seen over the years is that whoever has come out of that league has played awfully well." 
In addition to playing a new team, the Gophers also have a new crop of freshmen who will get their first taste of the NCAA tournament this weekend. 

"We've been trying to set an example of just working hard all week in practice," Rau said. "You get one chance, and you're done. One mistake - game over - just like last year against Yale. That's just the way it is this time of year, and we've been trying to show them that you need to work hard and not take anything for granted." 

The Gophers will take on Robert Morris in the regional opener on Saturday (4:30 p.m. CT, ESPN2)  while St. Cloud State and Notre Dame will play in the second regional semifinal on Saturday (8:00 p.m., ESPNU). The NCAA West Regional Championship is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday on ESPNU with the NCAA Men's Frozen Four slated for April 10-12 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Gophers in the News: Frozen Four Recap

Minnesota finished the 2014 season as the national runner-up, falling to Clarkson by a score of 5-4 in the national title game on Sunday, March 23. Catch up on the media's coverage of the Gophers' final game of 2013-14.

KARE11: Gophers' Brandt misses out on Kazmaier Award
March 22, 2014

Star Tribune: Clarkson ends Gophers women's quest for third NCAA hockey title
March 23, 2014

Pioneer Press: Gophers women's hockey stunned by Clarkson in NCAA title game
March 23, 2014

Pioneer Press: NCAA women's hockey: East beats West in a tournament first
March 23, 2014

KARE11: Gophers fall to Clarkson in NCAA hockey championship
March 23, 2014

NCAA.com: Clarkson earns first national title in school history, takes down Minnesota
March 23, 2014

USCHO: Clarkson upsets Minnesota to win NCAA championship
March 23, 2014

KMSP: Broadcast blackout of Gopher's women's hockey angers fans
March 23, 2014

Star Tribune: Chart: Perspective on the Gophers women's hockey team
March 24, 2014

Star Tribune: Gophers women look strong for another Frozen Four run
March 24, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Gophers miss three-peat with loss in NCAA final
March 24, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Column: Gophers will reload after title loss, ya feel me?
March 24, 2014

Minnesota Hockey Magazine: Beaten But Not Defeated
March 24, 2014

The Hockey Writers: Clarkson Stuns Minnesota: Steadfast Belief and the Definition of Success
March 25, 2014

Gopher Sports Update: Gopher Women's Hockey Forward Bethany Brausen recaps and reflects
March 25, 2014

Fox 9: Gopher women's hockey says farewell to 4 seniors
March 30

Frozen Four: Day One Press Conference

Watch highlights from the Gophers' first press conference at the 2014 NCAA Women's Frozen Four. Sophomore Hannah Brandt, senior Bethany Brausen and head coach Brad Frost met with the media after practice at Quinnipiac's High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center on Thursday.