The Gophers get their first road test of this season this
weekend as they travel to the Sanford Center to take on the Bemidji State
Beavers. This early-season clash will be the only regular-season meeting
between these old WCHA foes. Today, coach Don Lucia and some of the players
meet with the media to discuss the challenge that awaits the Gophers this
weekend in Bemidji.
Minnesota is very familiar with the Beavers. After this
weekend, the Gophers will have faced the Beavers in six of their last 10 games,
dating back to last season.
"They play very well defensively. They are very
structured," Coach Lucia said about what he expects to see from Bemidji this
weekend. "It is their home opener, so they will be excited to play with an
influx of new players." Minnesota seeks to continue their success against
Bemidji. The Gophers are 14-1-1 all-time against their in-state foes.
Even through Bemidji State no longer shares a conference
with the Gophers coach Lucia believes it is crucial to continue to play them
and all the other Division I teams in the state.
The team is looking forward to getting away from the Twin
Cities and developing a little team chemistry on the bus up to Bemidji.
always fun to get away and get in a hostile environment. It will be a good
experience for the young guys," forward Tom Serratore said. Coach Lucia likes
what this trip provides the team. "I think early in the year that getting on a
bus is good for everybody."
A trip to Bemidji means Gopher forward Tom Serratore goes up
against his uncle - Bemidji State Head Coach Tom Serratore. "It is really
exciting. It is go to see my family. My family flies up (to Bemidji) and my
Grandpa comes down, so it is a good family atmosphere up there."
Sam Warning led the team - along with line-mate and roommate
Kyle Rau -- with four points during the Ice Breaker. He wants to contribute
more offensively this season as he takes on a larger role.
"Now that I am on
the top line with Rau and Fasching, I need to be more of a goal scorer. I need
to be on the stat sheet every weekend."
Friday's face-off in Bemidji is set for 7:37 p.m. CT and can
be seen on Fox Sports North. Saturday's game is a 7:07
p.m. CT start time and will be broadcasted live on FSN Plus. You can listen to
both games this weekend on 1500 ESPN.
-Story By University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh
Tuesday night was full of former Gophers in NHL action including a trio of Gopher vs. Gopher games.
Among those in action was Thomas Vanek, whose Buffalo Sabres took down Kyle Okposo and the New York Islanders 4-1 in overtime. Vanek gave his team an even slate in the second period, tying the game at 2-2 with a power-play tally for his third goal of the season. Vanek now has five points (three goals, two assists) in eight games this season.
*The Florida Panthers added Nick Bjugstad to the active roster yesterday with the former Gopher making his season debut in a 4-3 loss to Nashville last night. Bjugstad is now the 12th former Gopher to skate in the NHL this season after Nate Schmidt made his pro debut over the weekend.
*Paul Martin tallied the primary assist on Pittsburgh's game winner in a 3-2 win over Edmonton.
*Erik Johnson followed suit with a helper on Colorado's game winner in a 3-2 win against Alex Goligoski and the Dallas Stars.
*Phil Kessel and Toronto bested Keith Ballard and the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Tuesday with Kessel tallying an assist in the victory.
The Golden Gopher women's hockey team is the unanimous number one selection in both the USCHO.com national poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll this week.
The No. 1 selection in each poll so far this season, Minnesota has received almost all of the first place votes in the four weeks of rankings this year. However, this week marks the first time the Gophers have collected all of the first place votes in both polls in the same week this season.
USCHO.com Poll: Minnesota's First-Place Votes
Preseason Poll: 14 of 15
(No Poll Sept. 30)
Oct. 7 Poll: 15 of 15
Oct. 14 Poll: 15 of 15
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll: Minnesota's First-Place Votes
Preseason Poll: 18 of 19
Oct. 1 Poll: 19 of 19
Oct. 8 Poll: 18 of 19
Oct. 15 Poll: 19 of 19
The Gophers (4-0-0, 2-0-0-0 WCHA) take their 53-game winning streak on the road to No. 7 Minnesota Duluth (2-1-1, 0-1-1-0 WCHA) this weekend. Puck drop is set for 6:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights at AMSOIL Arena.
Our team held a scrimmage on Saturday at Williams Arena, a 30-minute game that saw the Maroon team defeat the Gold team 58-55 (click here for a full box score
Played with great energy at the front of the press
His length and athleticism is perfect for the way we want to play
Still only a freshman
Has room to grow
0 offensive rebounds
Only 1 deflection
8 rebounds in 28 minutes
7 deflections and 3 blocks
Played very good post defense and ran the court well
Body language has improved
5 for 9 from the free throw line
4 missed screens
Very good on the ball defensively
Was active in the press
Got to the FT line 7 times
2 unforced turnovers
Consummate pro on the court
Didn't have a sub and didn't play tired
Only 4 rebounds in 30 minutes of play
Showed good leadership
Got to the foul line 10 times
Showed a good understanding of what we were doing offensively
6 missed screens
Only 1 deflection
0 offensive rebounds
Showed very good poise during a close game
That is his strength
Only 2 deflections in 28 minutes
Can't settle on just being a jump shooter
Has to impact the game in other ways
Stayed within himself
Took 9 high percentage shots
Great disposition on the court
Only 3 deflections
3 unforced turnovers
Made big shots down the stretch
Played with a good motor
Tried him at the 4 briefly and he adapted well
0 offensive rebounds
That needs to be a huge strength for him
Took 2 charges and attempted to take 5 of them
Communicated very well
Had an identity crisis and thought he was Malik Smith (took seven 3s)
Didn't attempt a 2pt shot
Didn't get to the free throw line
Only had one rebound
Took 13 very good shots, none of them were forced
Did a great job of running the team
Was most impressed with him
Only had 4 deflections
He has the speed and quickness to get more
Coming off an injury looked better physically
Played with a better motor
Guarded the ball well
Had a good attitude
Has a bright future
Only 2 deflections
Great attitude and leadership
Brings something positive to the team every single day
Was efficient offensively
Did a good job defensive rebounding and blocking out
Ran the floor well
Zero offensive rebounds
Needs to demand the ball more in the post
Minnesota women's basketball players had a busy Monday. In addition to their class schedules for the day, members of the team who didn't have a class conflict got together this morning to head over to Hennepin Avenue and watch the Minnesota Lynx victory parade. Pictured above are (l-r) Rachel Banham, Kayla Hirt, Amanda Zahui B., Sari Noga, Jackie Johnson, Stabresa McDaniel and Shayne Mullaney.
The Gophers joined thousands of others who gathered in the cool weather to celebrate Minnesota's second WNBA title in three years. Two key members of the Lynx are former Golden Gopher stars Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville. It was the second WNBA title for Whalen, while McCarville enjoyed her first-ever victory parade.
The stay at the parade was somewhat brief, as the team had been scheduled to practice from Noon to 3:00 p.m., but bumped the start of practice back an hour to allow those who wanted to see the parade the chance to go. So, once back on campus, the players geared up for a two-hour workout at Williams Arena.
Head coach Pam Borton's team is entering its third week of full workouts, and the Gophers' first exhibition game is just two weeks away! Minnesota will play host to Winona State on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that exhibition game, as well as the Gophers' game against Minnesota State Moorhead on Nov. 2, are on sale for $6.
To purchase tickets to any game, or to become season ticket-holders, contact Minnesota's Athletics Ticket Office at 612.624.8080 | 1.800.U.GOPHER, or online at mygophersports.com
Speaking of tickets, members of the team ended their busy day by dividing up into three small groups after practice, and they headed off to personally deliver 2013-14 season tickets to several lucky Gopher women's basketball fans.
As they did last season, the Gophers added a personal touch to some of their biggest fans by showing up at their door to drop off the season tickets the fans ordered. Minnesota's players and coaches are so appreciative of the tremendous following they have from their loyal fans, and the team can't wait to have the chance to play games with those fans in their seats at Williams Arena. Go Gophers!
Pictured above (l-r): Kayla Hirt, Mikayla Bailey, Sue Corbin, Karen Lueck, Micaella Riche, and Jackie Johnson.
Pictured above (l-r): Kayla Hirt, Jackie Johnson, Mary Beth Barry, Micaella Riche, and Mikayla Bailey.
Pictured above (l-r): Amanda Zahui B., Rachel Banham, Karen and Cordell Guse, Shayne Mullaney.
Pictured above (l-r): Amanda Zahui B., Betsy Mitchell, Rachel Banham, Paul Mitchell, Shayne Mullaney.
Pictured above (l-r): Cynthia Fay, Shayne Mullaney, Amanda Zahui B., Rachel Banham, Stephanie Fay.
Pictured above (l-r): Sari Noga, Dave Mona, Stabresa McDaniel.
Pictured above (l-r): Stabresa McDaniel, Annette Margarit, Sari Noga.
Pictured above (l-r): Stabresa McDaniel, Pam and Robert Berkwitz, Sari Noga.
Pictured above (l-r): Stabresa McDaniel, Olivia, Margaret Chutich, and Sari Noga.
The University of Minnesota volleyball program hosts No.
7 Michigan State and No. 17 Michigan, Thursday and Saturday nights at the
Sports Pavilion. Here are this week's promotions as the Gophers take on the
Spartans and Wolverines.
Michigan State, Thursday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m.
-Watch two of the top teams in the Big Ten Conference as
the Spartans are undefeated (4-0) and take on your No. 11 Gophers
- In honor of the match being aired on ESPN2, all general
admission tickets are just $2! (advance sale only!-No walk up rate)
Michigan, Oct. 19, 7 p.m.
-High School Night- High school teams receive free
admission with the submission of their roster to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: Gopher Volleyball
High School Day - Round 1
-Stewartville, Minnesota Community Day-Community members
can help us honor Paige and Hannah Tapp and receive $4 general admission
The Gophers captured the 2013 Ice Breaker this weekend at
Mariucci Arena with victories over Mercyhurst and New Hampshire. Here is what
we learned from the Gophers' first weekend:
Scoring Depth Looks Good
Coach Lucia said leading into the weekend that he didn't
think the team has a 25-goal scorer this season, but he believed the team has
more scoring depth than last year. Based on this week's results, he was right.
The nine total goals scored this weekend by Minnesota came from eight different
skaters. This accomplishment was even more impressive considering all four
forward lines chipped in and two defensemen found the back of the net. In
total, 14 different Gophers registered at least a point this weekend, including
Justin Holl who assisted on two goals from his natural defensive position after
playing forward last season.
These Freshmen Can Play
The most impressive young forward was Hudson Fasching. He
combined with Kyle Rau and Sam Warning to create the Gophers' dangerous line
during the Ice Breaker. Hudson showed play-making ability and speed to burn
this weekend en-route to posting his first career goal and a pair of assists.
Fasching is in the power-forward mold and he displayed no fear in going right
to the net on many occasions. He was named to the 2013 Ice Breaker
Justin Kloos sparkled on Friday night against Mercyhurst. He
displayed allusiveness on the rush and scored a power-play goal in the second
period. Vinni Lettieri earned praise from coach Lucia for his energy and scored
the game-winning goal against New Hampshire. Defensively, two Gophers got their
first taste of college hockey. Michael Brodzinski scored Friday night in his
first game and Jake Bischoff earned key ice time as the Gophers were protecting
a one-goal lead late Saturday night.
Wilcox Continues to
Heading into the season, the area the Gophers felt the most
confident about was goaltending. Sophomore Adam Wilcox demonstrated why this
weekend. On Friday, Wilcox made 25 saves against the Lakers to pick up the
fourth shutout of his career. On Saturday, he made the timely save again
continuing the trend from last year. New Hampshire's Dalton Speelman thought he
had tied the game with seven seconds left until Wilcox robbed him with a
miraculous glove save. Adam would be the first to give the defense a lot of
credit for how they preformed in front of him this weekend. The Gophers did not
give up a goal all weekend at full strength.
What Needs Work:
No game is perfect, especially at the beginning of the
season. The Gophers will be working on special teams during practice this week.
The power play features a lot of new faces playing in new roles and looks like
it will take time for everything to click. After the power play succeeded twice
on Friday, it went 0-6 Saturday night and failed to generate many quality
chances. The penalty kill also proved to be a weak point during the second
period of Saturday's game. New Hampshire's two goals came with the man advantage
and both came, in part, because Minnesota penalty killers gave the puck away cheaply
in their own zone. The other area where the team will look for improvement is
in the face-off dot. It may take time with a pair of new centers in the top
Minnesota travels to Bemidji State next weekend to take on
the Beavers. The trip will give us a first look at how this under-sized team
will fare on an NHL-sized rink. Bemidji State will certainly try to take away
the Gophers speed advantage. It will be interesting to see what, if any,
changes are made to the Gophers lineup as the team searches to find what
players will develop the best chemistry. The Beavers lost and tied this weekend
at St. Cloud State and are working in many new faces to their lineup.
Story By University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh
The Gophers topped Mercyhurst, 6-0, tonight
First Victory in the
The Gophers won their season opener for the fourth-straight
year. Their last loss on opening night came in 2009 to North Dakota. Tonight,
the Gophers blew the game open with three goals in the second after having just
a 1-0 lead after one period. The victory also continued a trend of lopsided
victories to start the season. Two years ago, the Gophers bested Sacred Heart
by a score of 9-0 and last season Michigan State was on the short end of a 5-1
Rau Steps UP
Kyle Rau scored the Gophers first goal of the season. It was
a power-play marker 5:25 into the period. It was a typical-Rau goal. He was
stationed at the side of the net and found himself with just enough room to
shovel the puck home after it trickled to him. Kyle will be asked to shoulder a
lot of the scoring load this season after the departures of talented players
like Bjugstad, Haula, and Budish. Travis Boyd picked up a
helper on the tally. He is hoping to spark his offensive output this year, so
that should be a good confidence booster for him.
The Rau goal from Travis Boyd kicked off a great night for
Minnesota's junior class. Rau later set up a goal for fellow classmate Sam
Warning. Seth Ambroz also tallied an unassisted goal to add to the party. He threw the puck between his legs from below the goal line and it banked off of a Laker defender and into the net. The
coaching staff said this week that they are hoping to see returning players
elevate their games. The junior class certainly did that tonight. As mentioned
above, with the loss of some talented players, the Gophers need someone to pick
up the scoring slack.
Minnesota dressed five fresh faces in the lineup tonight.
They wasted little time making an impact. Justin Kloos was the first rookie to
score, notching his goal on the power play during the second period. Fellow
freshman Michael Brodzinski capped the scoring for the night with a point shot
late in the third period. Hudson Fasching also showed moments of glory. He
set up Mike Reilly for a goal, registering an assist, and displayed blazing
speed on an end-to-end rush before passing to Kyle Rau.
The Gophers will battle New Hampshire tomorrow night in the
Ice Breaker Championship Game. New Hampshire downed Clarkson, , in Friday's
other semifinal. The Gophers and Wildcats have a long history against each
other, dating back to 1979. Many Gopher fans remember the 2003 NCAA
Championship Game when Minnesota topped New Hampshire, 5-1. Overall, Minnesota
owns a 13-2-2 record against the Wildcats. The puck drops tomorrow evening at 7
Good afternoon Gopher fans!
I am currently en route back from the west coast on a recruiting trip. Our guys had two very good practices this week on Monday and Tuesday. The second practice of the week was the most competitive. It was the first time I saw our team take pride in the press. It was our players first look at our 2-2-1 and 2-3 zone. Or as my assistant and loyal Big Ten traditionalist Ben Johnson calls it "junk defense." One of the keys to building a culture is getting to a point where our players hold each other accountable on their own. Every good team I have been a part of has had that element. Tuesday was the first time I saw our guys do that. That is always very encouraging to see.
Starting this Saturday, we will have one maroon/gold scrimmage each week leading up to our first exhibition game. In each of these scrimmages we will play four, eight minute quarters and give them one media timeout under four minutes. We will have three referees and keep stats. We will try to make it as much like a game like as possible. In the first scrimmage, I will split up the staff and have each of them coach a team. This was always good for my development as a coach. It is also very entertaining to see which assistant coach has a few tricks up his sleeve. The safe bet would be that Coach Dan "Naismith" McHale comes out of a timeout with some defense that we have never worked on.
Next Friday, we will have another scrimmage open to the public. More info can be found here
. This will be a good opportunity for us to see how our student-athletes perform in front of fans. It is important for us to open our doors and give our loyal fans a look at the progress of our program. Many people have asked me my expectations for the year. It's very difficult for to speculate on wins and losses. I hope that on Nov. 8, when we play Lehigh, our coaching staff and fans will see a group of guys that leave everything out on the court. We won't have a "two, three, or four year plan." We will focus on a one-day plan. There is no point in dwelling on the past or concerning ourselves with the future. The goal will be to get the most out of each other every day.
Congratulations to Willie Burton, Al Nolen and Randy Carter! All three received their degrees from the University of Minnesota over the summer. The group of former players that we have is so strong and we appreciate all their support. I really enjoyed catching up with Bobby Jackson last week. It's nice to see him get a job with an NBA team in the city he loves so much. Many of our former players end up staying in Minneapolis, even having grown up in other parts of the country. We saw a few former Gophers at our football game recently: Damian Johnson, Kerry Wooldridge, Richard Coffey, Walter Bond, Quincy Lewis - all returned to Minneapolis after college because they enjoy the city.
On the other side of the coin, it's been great meeting the former players that wanted to play in front of their hometown crowd and the reasons they wanted to stay "home." I have met and heard about several former players that grew up in Minnesota and are new in their careers - John Thomas at Lifetime Fitness, Jamal Abu-Shamala and Travis Busch in medical device sales, and Blake Hoffarber who embodies the full "Gopher Experience." He and his family are in the stands at Williams Arena for every game. He was an outstanding student at the Carlson School of Management, took advantage of the thriving business community in Minneapolis/St Paul by interning with Cargill in the summers, and then had several different job offers after college. He had a hard time deciding what job he wanted to take! Blake's basketball recognition, his popularity around the state of Minnesota, and his outstanding character are what we hope for in our student-athletes.
Several publications will come out with their official rankings of colleges each year. Certainly we are rated highly in a lot of those lists, especially our highly touted Carlson School of Management, but in my opinion what makes University of Minnesota so special is the amount of opportunities that the Twin Cities provide after college. With 21 Fortune 500 companies within miles of our campus, our guys will have great job opportunities when they are done playing basketball. We talk to our players all the time about "filming a commercial" on themselves every day. You never know who you may meet! It's my hope that several of our players will get internships with the likes of a Best Buy, Target or a 3M this summer. To have those opportunities at our doorstep is special and our guys need to take advantage of it!
It's a big weekend for Gopher Athletics! Good luck to Men's Hockey, Women's Hockey and Volleyball who all take on conference opponents this weekend!
Gopher Golf Fans-
As we embark on our next challenge, or -- as I like to
tell my players -- another opportunity, I want to take a moment to reflect upon
our latest tournament performance in New Mexico. We have also been very busy
with qualifying, along with the first round of midterm exams for all
We have now had five practices and three qualifying
rounds since our last competitive round at the University of New Mexico
Championship GC, but it seems like just yesterday since I saw our sophomore,
Jon DuToit, hole his par putt from 12 feet on his last hole at the Tucker. The
Tucker, hosted by the University of New Mexico, is played at 5,000 feet of
elevation on a golf course that measures 7,678 yards from the back tees. The
elevation plays a huge role as it accounts for approximately 10 percent more
carry distance on every golf shot. In summary, here is how we determine the
actual yardage is shot was playing:
Yardage to Pin
yardage in elevation (measured by Bushnell Slope Laser in practice round)
percent is subtracted from Nos. 1 and 2
affected yardage-Frost each morning...in NEW MEXICO(was 85 degrees in MN)
Read a Q&A with Charlie Braniff below.
All in all, we have very intelligent players that made
the calculations perfectly, and now it was a matter of execution. Our execution
was superb through 33 holes as we were tied for second at that point. In a
tournament featuring nine teams ranked inside the top 50 in the NCAA rankings,
I finally realized how far the program had come in the last four years. But the
excitement in reflection would soon come to an abrupt halt as we finished our
final three holes that afternoon 10-over-par. Nevertheless, we had a firm
handle on sixth place, trailing USC and UNLV by three shots heading into the
final round. After the 20-plus mph winds and dust settled on Day 1, we were
once again led by our outstanding freshman, Jose Mendez, with a 36-hole total
of 148. Closely behind him were senior Alex Gaugert (73-77), junior Tyler Lowenstein
(71-81) and Jon DuToit (73-79).
It is never easy to finish a long day with a few bogeys
and despite the upbeat team meeting talking about the "positives" from Day 1,
our struggles carried over into the final round. A frost delay and tucked pins
greeted all the players on Day 2. We got off to a shaky start but found the
heart to battle all day long in tough conditions to secure an eighth-place
finish in this strong field. Jose Mendez continued his solid play by posting a
t-14th finish that led the team for the second straight week. This day would
serve as a great motivator for our practices to follow!
The five days of practice focused entirely on wedge
yardages, putting drills and bunker technique in order to alleviate the
pressure of missed greens when we play the tough college golf courses. Our 10
men have bought into a strong work ethic, detailed preparation and a more
confident mindset, which will prove valuable as we take on our next challenge
at Sonoma Golf Club. Before Sonoma
though, we qualified at Minikahda Club, Edina CC and Minneapolis GC because
each of these golf courses mirror the conditions we will face in Northern
California. Alex Gaugert won the qualifying with an even-par total of 216 by five
strokes over runner-up Jon Trasamar. Tyler Lowenstein and Jon DuToit grabbed
the final two spots over hard charging Charlie Braniff.
I have been very impressed by the play thus far of our redshirt
freshman, Matt Rachey, and one of our other freshmen, Grady Meyer. I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple freshmen
in the lineup throughout the remainder of the fall and into the Big Ten
Championship in May. Competition is alive and well within Gopher Golf, which
will help to maintain or improve our current ranking of 49th. At this time two
years ago, Gopher Golf was ranked No. 122 out of the 296 Division I golf
I will be giving daily interviews from California and all
fans can follow the live scoring from the Alister Mackenzie on Golfstat.com. Before
we compete at Sonoma Golf Club, I like to take my teams to fascinating places
on each trip and this experience will not disappoint. We will be playing
Mayacama Golf Club the day prior to the practice round, which is one of the finest
golf clubs in the country. Stay tuned to GopherSports.com, check out our player
feature in this blog on Charlie Braniff, and continue to support our program
each and every day!
Fairways, Fairways, Fairways--
Feature: Charlie Braniff (R-So./St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud Tech HS)
What are your goals for the season?
Charlie Braniff: My goal for the 2013-14
season is to continue to wake up each morning with a desire to get better and
begin to see some results from my hard work.
GS: What is the biggest strength of your game?
CB: My biggest strength in my golf
game is my creativity, I feel I can execute any shot I need in any situation by
GS: What is your favorite course in the Twin Cities?
CB: My favorite course in the twin
cities area is Somerset CC. That course has some of the most amazing views I've
GS: Do you have a favorite club in your bag?
CB: I have 14 of them.
GS: Is there anything interesting that you carry around in golf
CB: I carry around a Titleist No. 7 ball I found when I was younger and it has
a lucky charm stamp on it. I feel like it gives me good luck.
GS: What is your favorite part of being a Golden Gopher?
CB: My favorite part about being a Golden
Gopher is being from Minnesota and being able to wear the Maroon and Gold and
represent the university.