Watch a video of senior Steffen Beck working on his still rings routine last month. The Gophers begin the 2014 season with their annual Alumni Meet at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Beck returns to the Gophers' line-up this season after missing the 2013 season due to injury. Head coach Mike Burns expects Beck to be a contributor on pommel horse and still rings as a senior. As a sophomore in 2012, Beck competed on these two events in every meet, scoring a career high of 14.600 on rings against Penn State.
Four former Gophers will be headed to Sochi next month as part of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. USA Hockey announced the squad on Wednesday as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic festivities in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Former Gophers Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Paul Martin were named to the U.S. roster while current Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards will serve as an assistant coach with the U.S. team.
"We went through a very thorough process to get to today and could not be happier with the team we've selected," said David Poile, general manager of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and also the GM and president of hockey operations for the NHL's Nashville Predators. "We're fortunate to have probably the deepest talent pool we've ever had in our country and that made for some very difficult decisions. In the end, however, we're confident we've selected a group of players that puts us in the best position to have success in Sochi."
The Gophers have had at least one representative in the last 18 Winter Olympic Games, dating back to 1936. While all three Gophers have skated for USA Hockey in the past only Kessel hasskated for the U.S. Olympic team previously, earning a silver medal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Richards, meanwhile, competed as a defenseman for the U.S. at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer.
"We appreciate the work done by David (Poile) and all those involved in putting this roster together," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "We look forward to what will be a great Olympics in Sochi, where hockey will be at the center of attention."
The men's ice hockey competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi runs from Feb. 13-23. For more information on the games as well as the U.S. squad, visit USAHockey.com.
USA Hockey has revealed the Team USA women's ice hockey roster for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Five current and former Gophers are set to represent the U.S. in Sochi, Russia, in Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper and Lee Stecklein.
USA Hockey, in cooperation with the United States Olympic Committee and National Hockey League, unveiled the Olympic roster during the second intermission of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Gigi Marvin is the lone Olympic veteran among the Gopher representatives. A silver medalist at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., Marvin has also played in six International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships (gold-2008, 2009, 2011, 2013; silver-2007, 2012) and seven Four Nations Cups (1st-2008, 2011-12; 2nd-2006-07, 2009, 3rd-2013) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team.
The remaining four Gophers will make their first Olympic appearances this winter.
Megan Bozek has played in two International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships (gold-2013; silver-2012) and two Four Nations Cups (1st-2012, 3rd-2013) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Amanda Kessel has played in two IIHF Women's World Championships (gold-2013; silver-2012), two Four Nations Cups (1st-2011, 2012) and one International Ice Hockey Federation Twelve Nations Invitational Series (2011) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team. She was on the 2013 USWNT at the Four Nations Cup but did not play.
Thank you so much for all the support today! Lifelong dream came true today, such an emotional but amazing feeling. pic.twitter.com/JPle2Qja7h
Anne Schleper has played in three International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships (gold-2011, 2013; silver-2012) and four Four Nations Cups (1st-2008, 2012; 2nd-2010, 3rd-2013) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team.
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.
For tonight's show, associate head coach Mike Guentzel fills in for Lucia with the show airing live from 6:00-6:30 p.m. CT on 1500 ESPN with co-hosts Wally Shaver and Jeff Dubay.
With Lucia serving as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden, Guentzel will serve as acting head coach during the winter break as well as Minnesota's two games of the Mariucci Classic (against Colgate at 7 p.m. CT on Jan. 3 and against either Ferris State or RPI at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4).
This week's radio show will examine Minnesota's preparations for a busy month of January as the Gophers return to action with the Mariucci Classic, then travel to Penn State for the first time in program history in a rare Sunday-Monday series before returning home for a short week of practice before the Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium on Friday, Jan. 17. The Gophers then participate in Hockey Day Minnesota the following day at Mariucci Arena. The following week, Minnesota hosts the inaugural North Star College Cup on Jan. 24-25 at Xcel Energy Center.
Guentzel will also talk about Minnesota's first half of the season that saw the Gophers go 12-2-2 including the first-ever Big Ten win and sweep against Wisconsin and the league's first-ever shootout last Friday against Michigan State.
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.
The U.S. women's national team defeated Canada, 3-2 in a shootout at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday afternoon. Catch up on the game and the ties to Gopher women's hockey along with some of the media coverage surrounding the win.
Although their collegiate careers may be finished, Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman will continue their volleyball careers, beginning as early as January 2014. Both have signed contracts for the remainder of this season as the duo will compete professionally.
Dixon signed a contract with Rabita Baku as she will play in Azerbaijan for the next two and a half years. Dixon, a middle blocker, follows former Gopher middle blocker, Lauren Gibbemeyer, who also plays in Azerbaijan for Lokomotiv Baku.
Wittman leaves January 2 and will compete for four months in Puerto Rico. The outside hitter signed a contract with Indias de Mayaguez for the rest of the season and joins Northwestern standout Stephanie Holthus. Former Gopher Katherine Harms is also playing professionally as she plays in Italy for Agil Novara.
The Dixon/Wittman duo capped off their collegiate careers with a pair of All-America honors. Dixon a First Team All-American, finished her college career ranking fifth all time
in total blocks (507), the best career hitting percentage (.369) and
ninth all-time in career kills (1,479). Wittman, a Second Team All-American, ranks sixth in Minnesota history in career kills (1,778) and fourth in career digs (1,510).
The Gopher women's hockey team is pleased to host a Teddy Bear Toss during its game against Ohio State at Ridder Arena on Saturday, Jan. 11.
The Teddy Bear Toss will occur after the first Gopher goal. Fans are invited to bring teddy bears or other stuffed animals to the game and throw them on the ice after the first Minnesota goal. All of the stuffed animals will be donated to charity as part of the Gophers' annual toy drive.
The Gophers hosted a Teddy Bear Toss last season during a 2-0 win over Wisconsin on Dec. 2, 2012. Senior Mira Jalosuo broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal in the third period. After the goal, fans tossed nearly 200 bears onto the ice. Staff members collected the bears, and members of the Gopher women's hockey team delivered them to a Toys for Tots collection site.
The Jan. 11 Gopher game will air live on the Big Ten Network, so fans not in attendance will be able to see the Teddy Bear Toss as it happens!
Gophers alum Ryan Potulny has signed an American Hockey League (AHL) contract with the Hershey Bears, Bears President/General Manager Doug Yingst announced over the weekend.
The two-time All-WCHA selection was a member of the Minnesota hockey program from 2003-06 and registered 118 career points (68 goals, 50 assists) in 100 games.The Gophers made the NCAA tournament in each of his three years at the 'U' including a run to the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four in his sophomore season. As a freshman, Potulny helped Minnesota to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoff title.
In 2005-06 (his final year at Minnesota), Potulny was a First Team All-American and led the nation in scoring with 38 goals and 63 points. The forward was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the Gophers captured the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular-season champions.
Potulny joins former Gophers Nate Schmidt, Jeff Taffe and Ryan Stoa on Hershey's roster.
Following his signing by the Washington Capitals to a two-year deal in July of 2011, Potulny played a total of 127 regular-season games in a Hershey sweater. In his first season with the Bears, the 6-0, 179-pound native of Grand Forks, North Dakota led the team and tied for third in the AHL with 33 goals. His 65 points placed him third among his Hershey teammates. Of his 33 tallies, 19 came on the power play, which paced the entire American Hockey League. Potulny also led the Bears with five game-winning goals.
In 2012-13, Potulny led the Bears with 19 goals, while his 41 points ranked fourth on the squad.
During through the season prior to joining the Bears, Potulny was acquired by the Ottawa Senators and came to the AHL to help the Binghamton Senators capture the Calder Cup championship. His 14 goals and 26 points in the 2011 run to the title led all postseason players.
A 2009 member of the Planet USA All-Star squad, Potulny has produced 299 points (147 goals, 152 assists) in 370 AHL games with Philadelphia, Springfield, Rockford, Binghamton and Hershey.
Potulny has also appeared in 126 NHL games with Philadelphia, Edmonton, Chicago and Ottawa, registering 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). He was originally selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round (87th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
On Friday's 1500 ESPN morning show, Jeff Dubay talked at length about former Gopher Thomas Vanek's goal-scoring ability -- specifically his talent at tipping pucks in front of the net.
Last night, Vanek showed off that ability -- netting the eventual game winner 1:18 into the third period with a power-play goal as the New York Islanders topped the New York Rangers 5-3. The goal was Vanek's 11th of the season (23rd point) while fellow Gophers alum Kyle Okposo picked up the primary assist on the score (Okposo has 11-20--31 this season as well).
Speaking of tip-in, game-winning power-play goals, Blake Wheeler picked up one for Winnipeg in a 5-2 victory over Nick Bjugstad and the Florida Panthers. The former Gopher captain now has 12 goals and 26 points this season as the Jets ended Florida's five-game winning streak. Wheeler now has five goals in his last five games.
Bjugstad added a goal for the Panthers -- his seventh goal of the season and 14th point -- after picking off an errant pass in the Jets' defensive zone.
On March 23, 2013, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia was named the head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team by USA Hockey. With Lucia behind the bench, the Red, White and Blue will compete at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
In addition to Lucia, Gophers Brady Skjei and Hudson Fasching are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad.
The U.S. program will seek its fourth medal in five years including a gold-medal performance in 2013 with Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly on the roster and assistant coach Grant Potulny on staff. As the tournament approaches, Gophersports.com will provide updates using "Eyes on Sweden".
ANGELHOLM, Sweden (From USA Hockey) - The U.S. National Junior Team lost to Sweden, 4-2, tonight in pre-tournament action at Lindab Arena. Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.) and Dan O'Regan (Needham, Mass./Boston University) supplied the U.S. goals.
Team USA is holding training camp for the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Angelholm until Dec. 23. The U.S. has a final pre-tournament game Sunday (Dec. 22) vs. Finland. Tournament play in Malmo, Sweden, begins Dec. 26.
"There was a lot to like in how we played tonight," said Don Lucia, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "I thought we had vast improvement in our game since we last played. I thought we played with very good energy, especially after the first period. We got pucks in deep and a lot of good looks. Unfortunately, it was one of those nights where their goalie made some outstanding saves. Five-on-five, we scored a couple good deflection goals. The minus was that we gave up two power-play goals."
During a power play at 6:54 of the first period, Sweden's Andreas Johnson one-timed a shot from the left slot high into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Sweden doubled its lead with 21 seconds left in the opening frame when Alexander Wennberg swatted a high rebound into the goal from the edge of the crease.
Neither team scored in the second period, though USA doubled Sweden in shots on goal, 12-6, for a two-period shot advantage of 23-12.
Hartman cut the U.S. deficit in half at 1:43 of the third period. Ian McCoshen (Hudson, Wis./Boston College) stopped a Sweden clearing attempt and wristed a shot that Hartman tipped out of midair in the low slot.
Sebastian Collberg reclaimed Sweden's two-goal lead by speeding through the right circle and firing a hard wrist shot into the near top corner.
While on the power play, Sweden buried a rebound at 17:25 to gain a 4-1 advantage.
Team USA capped the scoring at 19:04 when O'Regan redirected a left point shot by Jaccob Slavin (Erie, Colo./Colorado College). Riley Barber (Pittsburgh, Pa./Miami Univ.) also assisted.
Anthony Stolarz (Edison, N.J.) made 19 saves in the loss. His counterpart, Oscar Dansk, stopped 36 shots.
Team USA is back on the ice Sunday (Dec. 22) when it takes on Finland in the pre-tournament finale in Angelholm, Sweden. Game time is 1:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET).