Duck Invitational Qualifying

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The Gophers held a qualifying tournament to determine their lineup for Oregon's Duck Invitational (March 24-25). Matt Rachey made the travel squad with the low 72-hole score. Jose Mendez, Alex Gaugert, Jon Trasamar and Jon DuToit were exempt.

Courses the Gophers played for the qualifier:
Round 1: Raven GC at Verrado - par 72 and 7,268 yards
Round 2: DC Ranch CC - par 71 and 7,060 yards
Round 3: Greyhawk Raven Course - par 72 and 7,180 yards
Round 4: Phoenix CC - par 71 and 6,763 yards

Matt Rachey 78-82-76-69--305
Daniel Luftspring 78-72-80-76--306
Grady Meyer 83-77-71-76--307
Charlie Braniff 81-86-78-76--321
Tyler Lowenstein 89-78-72-82--321
Genki Hirayama 80-83-82-77--322

Gophers in the News: WCHA Title, NCAA Quarterfinal and More

Catch up on Gopher women's hockey in the news this week. After the Gophers defeated Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota en route to the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off title last weekend, Minnesota's 2012-13 national championship team had the opportunity to visit the White House and meet President Obama on Monday. The Gophers have spent the rest of the week preparing for Saturday's NCAA quarterfinal game against Boston University. In addition, Noora Raty signed a contract with a professional men's hockey team in Finland this week.

Minnesota Daily: Gophers cruise to WCHA final
March 7, 2014

Star Tribune: Strong third period carries Gophers women over UMD
March 8, 2014

Pioneer Press: Gophers to host Boston U. in NCAA women's hockey quarterfinals
March 9, 2014

NCAA: Committee releases eight-team field for national championship tournament
March 10, 2014

KSTP: Gopher Women's Hockey Team Visits White House
March 10, 2014

Star Tribune: Obama praises U women's hockey
March 10, 2014

Fox 9: Gophers women's hockey team visits White House
March 10, 2014

KARE 11: U of M Women's Hockey Team makes the rounds in DC
March 10, 2014

Star Tribune: Gophers will play Boston U in quarterfinals of NCAA women's hockey tournament
March 10, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Gophers win WCHA tournament again, head to NCAAs
March 10, 2014

The Daily Gopher: Minnesota Women's Hockey: Thrice As Nice! WCHA Final Face-off Champions Again!
March 10, 2014

USCHO: Minnesota gets all 15 first-place votes, stays atop D-I women's poll
March 10, 2014

NBC Sports: Finland goalie Noora Raty signs with men's pro team
March 11, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Obama Applauds Gophers
March 11, 2014

USCHO: Wednesday Women: Checking the final eight
March 12, 2014

Star Tribune: Ex-Gopher Raty isn't finished yet, signs with Finnish men's team
March 13, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Gophers prepare for NCAA title defense
March 13, 2014

Gophers Meet the Media: Michigan

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The Gophers will close out the regular season with a trip this weekend to Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on the No. 13 Michigan Wolverines. Wednesday afternoon, coach Don Lucia and members of the team met with the media to discuss the opportunity in front of them. 

Players and coaches have made a point all season not to focus on the Big Ten standings, but now the title is within their grasps. "It is a goal when the year begins to put yourself in the position to [win the regular-season championship,]" Lucia said. "We have had a great regular season and played very consistently from start to finish. Now, we have to do our job and try to get a win on the road this weekend."

The players want to go down as the first team to be Big Ten champions. "It would be a great start to our future in the Big Ten," defensemen Brady Skjei said. 

With the Big Ten Tournament a week away, the team wants to build good postseason habits against the Wolverines. "I think the playoff mentality really kicked in last week," junior forward Travis Boyd said. "I think we learn a pretty good lesson [last Saturday] about what it takes to win at this time of year."

This is the Gophers first trip to Yost Ice Arena since 2009. "There is not a more difficult place to play in college hockey than Yost," Lucia said.

Michigan has lost just two games on home ice this season, but Minnesota is embracing the late-season challenge. "The tempo is going to be really high against Michigan. If we make a mistake, we are going to pay. These are important lessons this time a year as we head into the playoffs," Lucia said.  

Travis Boyd is one of three current Gophers, with Brady Skjei and Hudson Fasching, who have experience playing at Yost as part of the National Team Development Program. However, entering Yost as a conference rival is an entirely different beast. "We were just a bunch of 17-year-old kids trying to go out and play," Boyd said. 

Hudson Fasching is less than a year removed from his time in Ann Arbor and will face many of his former National Team Development Program teammates. "There will probably be some chirping going around and I am ready for that," Fasching said.

A trip back to the eastern time zone this week means the games begin earlier than normal. Friday's puck drop takes place at 5:30 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPNews. Saturday's regular-season finale begins at 6:00 p.m. CT and can be seen on the Big Ten Network. Fans can listen to both games on 1500 ESPN with Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco.

-Story by University of Minnesota Communications In

Gophers Visit the White House

The 2012-13 national champion Gopher women's hockey team visited Washington, D.C., March 9-10, 2014, including a special invitation to the White House to meet President Obama.

Watch Live: Gophers Visit White House

The University of Minnesota women's hockey team is capping off its perfect 2012-13 season with an invitation to meet United States President Barack Obama at the White House today. The White House is scheduled to live stream the visit, which features several other 2012-13 NCAA Division I men's and women's championship teams as well. The live stream is set to begin at 4 p.m. CT Monday.

The direct link to the stream is:

Gophers Win 2014 WCHA Final Face-off

The Gophers won the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off title with a 3-1 win over North Dakota in the championship game Saturday night in Bemidji. Check out the reaction to the Gophers' success this weekend.

Windle Pitches in Big League Spring Game

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Go Gophers! Tom Windle
Go Gophers!
Windle was the 56th overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Go Gophers!

Former Gophers pitcher Tom Windle made his Major League spring training debut Friday. He earned a two-inning save for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their game against the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

Windle struck out one batter and gave up a hit and a walk in his scoreless outing. The left-hander, who was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft following his junior season, pitched for the Class A Great Lakes Loons last year.

As a Gopher last season, Windle was the Friday starter throughout the year and earned All-Big Ten honors. He held a 2.14 ERA and struck out 86 batters in 92 2/3 innings, with a 6-4 record. Windle's no-hitter against Western Illinois was the first by a Minnesota pitcher since 1931.

Another former Gopher, Seth Rosin, is also in the Dodgers' system. The righty has impressed early, striking out eight batters in five scoreless, walk-free innings.

Rosin was traded to the Dodgers from the New York Mets, who acquired him in the Rule 5 Draft. He was earlier part of a trade that sent him from the San Francisco Giants to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Giants picked Rosin in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He had a 9-4 record as a junior and threw 103 innings. Rosin was a two-time All-Big Ten Second Team selection.

Rosin has impressed and has a chance to see Major League action this season:
-From Sports on Earth

Best wishes for Tom, Seth and all our other former Gophers at spring training!

Trip to California Ends with a Win

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MG- DWC2  1.jpg

I have been fortunate to take many golf trips, whether with friends or during competition, in my 25 years of playing golf...starting at the age of 9 for everyone counting.  But I hold one golf trip above them all!  A friend of mine, Joe Winkels from Wayzata Country Club, and I toured some of the most historic clubs in America while there.  Riviera CC, Bel Air CC (current head golf professional is Dave Podas who was the head golf professional at Minneapolis GC until 2007), Valencia CC and Trump National GC made up our trip and certainly surpassed our expectations. 

I only mention this trip as our golf team is embarked on another fine trip, including a round of golf at the other historic golf club in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Country Club-North Course.  Rated as the No. 41 golf course in America by Golf Digest, this George Thomas par 70 design was certainly on my bucket list of golf courses yet to play in the US Top 100.  Many say it is as private as Cypress Point GC and Pine Valley, only finishing a close second in exclusivity to the home of the Masters, Augusta National.

Los Angeles Country Club certainly grabs your attention immediately as the flowers surrounding the  clubhouse are something out of a fairy tale, 350 trees have been removed from the recent remodel by 2016 Olympics Course designer, Gil Hanse,  and there is a stunning view of the Beverly Hills Hilton from the first tee. 

Coach Stith and I both played that day in a grouping with Kurt Schuette, who is the director of golf at USC and a close friend of mine.  He was our historian for the round as we had an amazing day with Matt Rachey, freshman golfer, also in our pairing.  Birdies are tough to come by at LACC as it plays to a par 70 at nearly 7,400 yards from the tips.  The 2017 Walker Cup will be played on these grounds, which certainly caught the attention of my players knowing the US Amateur that year will also be played in Los Angeles at Rivera CC and Bel Air CC.  I know this day will rate very highly in the memories of our players as they look back at their amazing college golf experiences.

California rates very highly in the minds of one of our players, Jon Trasamar.  I wouldn't be shocked if he moves immediately after he receives his graduate degree in May.  We drove by the Oscars festivities, took in Rodeo and Sunset Drive before setting our sights on the main reason we were in California--the Del Walker Classic at Virginia CC, hosted by Long Beach State University.  Virginia CC is famous among PGA Tour conversations as it is host to one of the top 100 golf instructors in the country, Jamie Mulligan.  Jamie teaches John Cook, Paul Goydos, John Merrick, John Mallinger and Patrick Cantlay and many others that are making a significant impact in the professional golf world.  Virginia CC was founded in 1909 and it plays to a par 70 at a yardage of 6,560 yards.  

Eleven teams from six different conferences came to Long Beach looking for a win.  The field was comprised of:  Minnesota, Wichita State, Grand Canyon, Colorado State, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Santa Barbara, Arizona, Cal State Northridge, Kansas State, Denver and Long Beach State.  After torrential rain fall that was apparently the largest storm that had hit the area in three years, the golf course would play very long throughout the week.

Round 1 started off with our team on fire.  Making the turn at 8 under, led by Alex Gaugert and Jon Trasamar, our team vaulted to the lead against this very strong field.  The inward nine holes play at a par 34 with no par 5s.  We struggled to finish off our rounds as a team with the exception of Jon Trasamar, who carded a 4-under-par 66 in his first round.  Other scores would see Alex Gaugert with 69, Jose Mendez at 72, Matt Rachey carding 73 and rounding out with a 4-over round of 74 by Jon DuToit.  Even par (280) had our team in fourth place following the morning round.  

The second round again started off well for each of the players and would end even better with a team score of 4-under-par 276.  Jon DuToit chipped in for birdie on his 34th hole of the day to lead our team in the afternoon session with 68.  Alex Gaugert played steadily in round 2 to shoot 69.  Jose Mendez, the team's scoring average leader as a freshman, posted his lowest score of the year with 69.  Jon Trasamar (70) would finish the 36-hole day in a tie for fifth place.   We wouldn't be sleeping on the lead but certainly within striking distance at five shots back of first-place Cal State Fullerton.  Fullerton is currently ranked 45th in the nation highlighted by a fall season that saw them lose to only four opponents total over the course of four events, while notching three team victories.

I preach that we need to walk the course with confidence, play to our strengths and know our tendencies each time we meet as a team.  Virginia CC was a course where players have to stick to their game plan, as laying up is essential in spots.  The final round was filled with dramatics that included untimely double bogeys and plenty of eagles and birdies.  I was closely following our scoring on the entire day.  This also caused me to have a slight headache after the first 10 holes knowing that we were not scoring up to our full potential. 

Standing on the 12th tee of the tournament, senior captain Jon Trasamar was 1 under for the week and needed a strong finish to secure his second top-five finish of the 2013-14 season.  He would draw from his experience winning the 2013 Pine to Palm Championship at Detroit CC with an eagle on No. 12, followed by a birdie on No. 14 to help set the stage for another big comeback for our team.  Jose Mendez birdied four of his final seven holes, capped off by a wedge shot to 9 feet and burying his putt like the true champion he already is at the tender age of 18. 

Go Gophers! Jose Mendez
Go Gophers!
Look for a feature on Jose Mendez in the next issue of Ski-U-Mah Magazine.
Go Gophers!

One of our most consistent players in his first two years at college has been Jon DuToit.  Jon is a MN High School Class AAA Champion, MN State Open Champion and a caddy in the summer at Hazeltine National Golf Club.  He has worked with Mike Barge for many years honing his golf swing and that work paid off in the final round as he made three birdies in his closing stretch of five holes for a final round 72.  Alex Gaugert, senior from Lake Geneva, Wis., played very solid golf all week finishing with 69-69-69 to secure a tie for fifth place in the event.  Although Matt Rachey had his score count in only one round, his scores of 73-73-74 certainly proved he belongs on the biggest stage in college golf. 

The dramatics finally ended at 3 p.m. with our team securing a one-shot victory over the University of Arizona.  This victory is significant for all Northern teams as it is one of the only team wins by any major conference, Northern school in the first half of the spring semester.  I am proud of our team for their resiliency, patience and determination in practice and certainly in our eight events this year.

Two victories in eight events marks the first time since the 2006-07 season that Gopher Golf has won twice in a season.  We will look for our third victory March 24-25 when we travel to the Duck Classic at Emerald Valley GC in Eugene, Ore.  Only three tournaments remaining until the Big Ten Championship in the first week of May, so now is the time for Gopher golf to firmly supplant ourselves on the National stage in college golf.  Come along for the ride!

Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!

John Carlson


Go Gophers! Grady Meyer
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Congratulations to Grady Meyer, who was named the McNamara Academic Center's Student-Athlete of the Month! Here is what the golf team's academic counselor, Chelsie Schafer, had to say about Grady: 

"Grady Meyer is an excellent choice for Student-Athlete of the Month. Grady earned a 4.0 his first semester as a Gopher and appears to be on track to work at that level again this spring based on feedback from his instructors. I couldn't be more excited for his academic success. He is an excellent example of an all-around student-athlete and a pleasure to work with. I am confident he will submit an outstanding application to transfer into the Carlson School of Management."

Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Vanek with the Austrian National Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Go Gophers!

The NHL trade deadline came to pass once again on Wednesday with several Gopher-related transactions and news including Thomas Vanek being dealt to Montreal, Hudson Fasching's NHL rights moving to Buffalo and Ryan Stoa making his season debut with the Washington Capitals.

Now on his third team for the 2013-14 season, Vanek has 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 60 games with the Islanders and Sabres this season.  The forward, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season,  has recorded 541 points (271 goals, 270 assists) and 396 penalty minutes in 645 NHL career games with the Sabres and Islanders.

"Knowing the history behind the team, I was very happy to learn the news," admitted Vanek, who was acquired alongside a conditional fifth round pick in the 2014 draft in exchange for prospect Sebastian Collberg and a conditional second round pick in 2014. "I've played in Montreal so often when I was with the Sabres and I've always loved coming here. The atmosphere at the Bell Centre is electric."

A native of Baden, near Vienna, Vanek was the Sabres' first round selection, fifth overall, at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Vanek will join the team on Thursday in Phoenix.  

Vanek's trade was the second related to the Gophers on Wednesday with Fasching's rights moving from Los Angeles to Buffalo earlier in the day.

Fasching leads all Big Ten rookies with 12 goals this season and ranks second in points scored by conference newcomers (one off the Big Ten lead). Fasching was originally drafted by Los Angeles in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Meanwhile, Stoa made his season debut in the NHL last night as the Washington Capitals fell to Philadelphia 6-4.

The Bloomington, Minn., native and former First Team All-American was selected 34th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and has appeared in 37 career NHL games with Colorado, registering seven points (four goals, three assists) and 20 penalty minutes.

Stoa is the 16th former Gopher to skate in the NHL this season joining Keith Ballard (Minnesota), Nick Bjugstad (Florida), Alex Goligoski (Dallas), Erik Haula (Minnesota), Erik Johnson (Colorado), Phil Kessel (Toronto), Nick Leddy (Chicago), Jordan Leopold (St. Louis), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh), Aaron Ness (New York Islanders), Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders), Nate Schmidt (Washington), Jordan Schroeder (Vancouver), Thomas Vanek (Montreal Canadiens) and Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg).

Gophers in the News: WCHA Postseason, Patty Kaz

Catch up on media coverage of the Gophers this week, including news about the WCHA playoffs and the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalists.

Star Tribune: Gophers women win playoff hockey opener over St. Cloud State
March 1, 2014 

Minnesota Daily: Minnesota blows past SCSU in WCHA first round
March 3, 2014 

Star Tribune: U women's hockey will face UMD in WCHA semis
March 3, 2014 

USA Hockey: Kaz Watch: Minnesota has a new "Bona" fide star
March 4, 2014 

Minnesota Daily: Gophers reflect on Olympic experience
March 5, 2014 

Minnesota Daily: Bona emerges as a legit threat on ice
March 6, 2014 

USA Hockey: Three Finalists Named for 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award
March 6, 2014

Star Tribune: Gophers' Brandt finalist for top women's hockey award
March 6, 2014

Star Tribune: Obama to host Gophers women's hockey team at White House on Monday
March 7, 2014

USCHO: Yale men, Minnesota women to be honored at White House ceremony
March 7, 2014

KMSP-TV: Obama invites Gopher women's hockey to White House
March 9, 2014