Mariucci Arena Celebrates 20 Years

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Go Gophers!Ticket from the grand opening of Mariucci Arena (courtesy of Gopher Puck Live). 
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Yesterday, Gopher Athletics celebrated a notable milestone on campus as Mariucci Arena celebrated its 20th birthday. The home of Gopher Hockey officially opened on Aug. 21, 1993 with an alumni game and has been one of the premiere hockey facilities in the nation ever since. 

We dug through our archives and came up with a couple notable Mariucci Arena facts in honor of yesterday's birthday. 

-Since opening Mariucci Arena, the Gophers are 275-112-42 at their home rink -- that's a .690 winning percentage. Recently, Minnesota went 14-3-3 at Mariucci Arena in 2012-13 while the team is 31-9-3 on home ice since the start of the 2011-12 season. 

-Mariucci Arena is made of 256,580 bricks including 2,000 from Memorial Stadium. 

-850 tons of steel and 1,917,754 pounds of reinforcing steel were used during the construction of Mariucci Arena. 

-The refrigeration piping under the ice would stretch 11.36 miles. 

We also asked our fans to share their favorite Mariucci Arena memory with us...here are some of the top responses. 

Eyes on Sweden: Brady Skjei Blog

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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, five current Gophers are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski are currently participating at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. Freshman defenseman Tommy Vannelli is also in the hunt for a roster spot for the U.S. team. 

Next year, 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".

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Editor's Note: Gophers sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei will contribute periodic blogs throughout the National Junior Evaluation Camp. In his first report, Skjei brings us up to speed with the first few days of camp. 

"Greetings from Lake Placid, 

We're a couple days into camp now, and so far things have gone really well. Having the experience from last year has been really helpful for me personally, and I'm doing my best to help out the new guys. So far, we've had a couple good practices/scrimmages, and I am pleased with my play so far.  I am trying to make the game simple and be a strong, shut-down guy but also jump up in the play once in a while.  

One of the best parts of the camp has been getting to know the other guys in camp and hanging out off the ice. All of the other Gopher guys have been playing strong too, and it's nice getting to know them more while we are out here.  

We had the first round of cuts yesterday, so we're down to around 30 guys. It's difficult because everyone is here for the same reason -- to help the U.S. win, and you don't want anyone to have to go home. But it's part of the game. At this point, we're all used to it, and you just move on one way or the other. For me personally, I'm just trying to work hard and compete and do what ever i can to make the team. 

One thing that everyone in Minnesota might enjoy knowing is how much respect everyone here has for Coach Lucia and the staff. 

We have a game today against Sweden, so I better wrap this up and start getting ready. Hope everybody is enjoying summer back home." 



Eyes on Sweden: Four Gophers Make Cut

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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, five current Gophers are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata, freshman defenseman Tommy Vannelli and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski are currently participating at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. 

Next year, 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 under using "Eyes on Sweden."to a spot to be kept and other guys we just want to get a better read." 

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USA Hockey trimmed the National Junior Evaluation Camp roster from 44 players down to 31 earlier this morning with four Gophers making the cut for the final week of camp. 

Defensemen Brady Skjei and Michael Brodzinski and forwards Taylor Cammarata and Hudson Fasching are among the players who made the cut and will take on Canada (Sat.), Finland (Thurs.) and Sweden (Wed.) later this week. 

"The whole point is for us as a staff to have the best evaluation and the best reads on these kids at the end of the week. Even though some kids are getting sent home doesn't mean they aren't candidates to make the team," Lucia said. "Certain guys have played their way to a spot to be kept and other guys we just want to get a better read." 

Eyes on Sweden: First Day of Camp

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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, five current Gophers are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata, freshman defenseman Tommy Vannelli and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski are currently participating at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. 

Next year, 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 under using "Eyes on Sweden." 

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From USA Hockey, 

Day 1 of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp began this morning with 45-minute practices for Team Blue and Team White. The skate was up-tempo and featured a brief introduction of the concepts and systems that Don Lucia, head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team, wants to implement for Team USA. Later this afternoon there will be a Blue-White intrasquad game at the Olympic Center's USA Rink.

                                
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    Don Lucia 
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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, five current Gophers will compete for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata, freshman defenseman Tommy Vannelli and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski will all be in action at the upcoming 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. 

Next year, 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 under using "Eyes on Sweden." 

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced today additional details surrounding its 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp set to take place in Lake Placid, N.Y., at the Olympic Training Center from Aug. 3-10.

COOPER/KLEINEDORST TO SERVE AS CAMP ASSISTANT COACHES

Jon Cooper (Tampa, Fla.) and Kurt Kleinendorst (Grand Rapids, Minn.) will serve as assistant camp coaches.

Cooper is the head coach of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning, a position he was promoted to midway through the 2012-13 campaign. Previously, he was head coach of the Lightning's top American Hockey League affiliates in Syracuse (2012-13) and Norfolk (2010-12). He led the Norfolk Admirals to the 2012 Calder Cup Championship. Cooper also spent two seasons (2008-10) as head coach of the United States Hockey League's Green Bay Gamblers. The Gamblers won the 2010 Clark Cup Championship and Cooper received the General Manager and Coach of the Year Awards.

Kleinendorst has been a head coach at the AHL, ECHL, NCAA Men's Division I, USHL and international levels. During the 2009-10 campaign, he was head coach of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 Team. He led Team USA to the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship. In 2008, he was an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Team. Most recently, Kleinendorst was head coach of the University of Alabama-Huntsville men's ice hockey team for the 2012-13 season. In the AHL, he was head coach of the Binghamton Senators from 2010-12 and the Lowell Devils from 2006-09. He coached the ECHL's Raleigh IceCaps from 1991-94 and 1995-97. For the NHL's New Jersey Devils, Kleinendorst was an assistant coach (2000-01), professional scout (2001-02) and special assistant scout (2002-06).

ROSTERS FOR TEAM BLUE/TEAM WHITE ANNOUNCED

The 44 athletes participating in the NJEC have been separated into two groups for the first three days of practices and games vs. Finland and Sweden.

For the Team Blue roster, click here

For the Team White roster, click here

On Aug. 6, Team USA will trim its roster and a single U.S. squad will finish the camp with practices and games against Canada, Finland and Sweden.

Team Blue will be coached by Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State Univ.) and Jon Cooper(Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Lightning). Team White will be coached by Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass./Boston College) and Kurt Kleinendorst (Grand Rapids, Minn.).

FASTHOCKEY TO STREAM ALL CAMP GAMES LIVE

USA Hockey, in partnership with FASTHockey, is providing live streaming coverage of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. Games will be offered on a pay-per-view basis. FASTHockey uses a unique game-credit system for viewing games, offering discounts to customers who watch multiple games. Users who want to watch one or more games must first sign up for a free account at USAHockey.FASTHockey.com. Users can then buy game credits - a single game ranges from $7.99 (when one game credit is purchased) to $5.99 (when 50 game credits are purchased). Game credits never expire and can be used to watch live games or access on-demand content.

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The NJEC will convene 44 U.S. players, all vying for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden. In addition to daily practices, the U.S. will play international games against Canada, Finland and Sweden.

For a complete schedule of the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp click here. Tickets for all games that are part of the camp can be purchased online at WhiteFaceLakePlacid.com, by phone at (518) 523-3330 or in person at the Olympic Center Box Office.

NOTES: Use the hashtag #NJEC on Twitter to join the conversation surrounding the camp ... The 2014 U.S. National Junior Team will be selected following a pre-tournament camp Dec. 15-18 to be held in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area ... Don Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.), head coach of the University of Minnesota men's ice hockey team, was named head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team on March 23. Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.), head coach of the St. Cloud State University men's ice hockey team, Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), associate head coach of the Boston College men's ice hockey team and David Lassonde (Denver, Colo.) assistant coach of the University of Denver's men's ice hockey team will serve as assistant coaches. The video coordinator is Dan Muse (Clinton, Conn.), assistant coach of Yale University's men's ice hockey team ... Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the fifth consecutive year.

Jordan Schroeder Re-Signs with Vancouver Canucks

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Gopher Hockey alum Jordan Schroeder has re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL organization announced on Wednesday. The one-year, one-way contract keeps Schroeder with the organization that drafted him 22nd overall in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. 

A native of Prior Lake, Minn. Schroeder split last season between the Canucks and the team's AHL affiliate -- the Chicago Wolves. Schroeder made his NHL debut in 2013, scoring three goals and six assists in 31 games. He finished fourth on the Wolves in scoring with 12 goals and added 21 assists in 42 games. 

ProHockeyTalk notes that Schroeder is the current favorite to start the season as the Canucks' third-line center. 

"I'll play anywhere they want me to play, Schroeder told The Province. "I've just got to do what I do, use my speed and be confident." 

The 2009 WCHA Rookie of the Year, Schroeder spent two years with the Gophers, tallying 73 points in 72 career games before signing with Vancouver. On the international stage, Schroeder has appeared in three World Junior Championships; his 27 points (20 goals) in the World Junior Championships are the most ever by an American. 
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Link: Future Ice Breaker Tournament Sites Announced (College Hockey Inc.)

The start of the 2013-14 season is now just 80 days away, but the 2014-15 schedule is beginning to take shape already as College Hockey, Inc., announced today that Minnesota will compete at the  2014 Ice Breaker Tournament to open the season. Notre Dame will host the 2014 competition at Compton Family Ice Arena with Minnesota Duluth  and RPI also competing in the tournament. 

Minnesota, which also opens the 2013-14 season by hosting the 2013 Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena on Oct. 11-12  (Clarkson, Mercyhurst and New Hampshire also competing), has made two previous appearances at the Ice Breaker Tournament. In 1998, the second year of the tournament, Boston College won the title at Mariucci Arena. In 2007, the event took place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul with the host Golden Gophers winning the tournament.

College Hockey Inc., which manages the Ice Breaker Tournament on behalf of the Hockey Commissioners Association, also announced that Maine will host the 2015 tournament at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. The rest of the 2015 field will be announced at a later date. 
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Link: USA Hockey Names Assistant Coaches (USA Hockey)
Link: Men's Orientation Roster Set (USA Hockey

A total of eight former Gophers have the potential to represent the United States with the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. 

USA Hockey has announced its 48 player roster -- including seven Minnesota alums -- for its U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp from Aug. 26-27 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. Minnesota leads all college programs with seven camp invitees as Erik Johnson, Nick Leddy, Paul Martin, Nick Bjugstad, Phil Kessel, Kyle Okposo and Blake Wheeler will compete for a spot on the U.S. Men's National Team. 

USA Hockey also announced assistant coaches for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday morning with former Gopher All-American and current Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards serving as an assistant for the U.S. Men's National Team. 

The Gophers have had at least one representative in the last 18 Winter Olympic Games, dating back to 1936. Of the Minnesota players invited to camp in August, both Johnson and Kessel have skated 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. 

The men's hockey competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia is set for Feb. 12-23. 


 

Nick Leddy, Stanley Cup to Visit Mariucci Arena on Friday

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We're proud to welcome back former Gopher and Stanley Cup champion Nick Leddy to Mariucci Arena on Friday afternoon in honor of the Eden Prairie native's accomplishments this year with the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Leddy and the Stanley Cup will be at Mariucci Arena from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Friday. The public event will be held in the main lobby of Mariucci Arena. 


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16 Gophers Set for NHL Development Camps

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A total of 16 players with ties to Gopher hockey will participate in NHL development camps over the following weeks including nine current Gophers. Check out the list below to see who is playing where and how you can follow their camp performances. 

Columbus Blue Jackets
July 9-10
OhioHealth Ice Haus

Seth Ambroz -- The junior forward was selected by Columbus in the fifth round (128th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Ambroz posted career highs in points (16), goals (nine) and assists (7) during the 2012-13 campaign, doubling his production from his freshmen season the year before. 

Mike Reilly -- The sophomore defenseman -- one of three Reilly brothers on Minnesota's roster this season -- was the Gophers' leading freshman scorer with 14 points (three goals, 11 assists). Selected by Columbus in the fourth round (98th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Reilly also skated with the U.S. National Junior Team and won gold at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. The defenseman had a goal and two assists in seven games at the tournament. 

Jake Hansen -- The former Gopher skated in 46 regular-season games for the AHL's Springfield Falcons this season and helped Springfield make the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Hansen was selected 86th overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. 

Tampa Bay Lightning
July 6-10
Brandon Ice Sports Forum

Adam Wilcox -- A Third Team All-WCHA pick as a freshman in 2012-13, Wilcox set a new Minnesota record for goals against average in a season at 1.88 (first in the WCHA, sixth in the nation) and also tied Kellen Briggs for the school rookie wins record with 25 victories in his rookie campaign. The Frank Pond Rookie of the Year for Minnesota last season, Wilcox was was selected by the Lightning with the organization's sixth-round pick (178th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. 

Colorado Avalanche 
July

Nate Condon -- As a junior forward in 2012-13, Condon set new career highs with 31 points and 12 goals for the Gophers. Minnesota's John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award winner this season, Condon was selected by the Avalanche in the seventh round (200th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. 

Buffalo Sabres
July 10-12
First Niagara Center

Christian Isackson -- Selected with Buffalo's seventh-round pick (203rd overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Isackson found his groove as a sophomore with the Gophers in 2012-13 -- notching 20 points (four goals, 16 assists). Isackson skated in all 40 games for the Gophers last season after being held scoreless in 11 games as a freshman. 

Washington Capitals
July 8-10
Kettler Capitals Iceplex

Travis Boyd -- As a sophomore in 2012-13, Boyd set new career highs with three goals, 11 assists and 14 points. The Hopkins, Minn., native was selected with Washington's sixth-round pick (177th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. 

Nate Schmidt -- The junior defenseman closed out his collegiate career with Second Team All-America and First Team All-WCHA honors after leading the WCHA in scoring by a defenseman and ranking third nationally in the category. Minnesota's John Mariucci Most Valuable Player totaled nine goals and 23 assists in his junior season. Schmidt signed with Washington as a free agent following the 2012-13 season and skated with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. 

WATCH: Nate Schmidt Addresses the Media at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (WashingtonCapitals.com)

Florida Panthers 
July 8-12
JetBlue Practice Facility at Saveology.com Iceplex 

Nick Bjugstad -- A Third Team All-WCHA team member in his final year with the Gophers, Bjugstad's 21 goals were a team high while the junior forward also tallied 36 points and 15 assists. An alternate captain for the Gophers last season, Bjugstad was selected 19th overall by the Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Following the season, Bjugstad signed with Florida and had one goal in 11 games for the NHL club. 

Minnesota Wild
July 9-14
Xcel Energy Center

Erik Haula -- The junior forward led Minnesota in scoring for the second-straight year in 2012-13, tallying a career-high 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists). Haula -- a Second Team All-WCHA selection -- was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round (182th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The alternate captain signed with the Wild following the season and skated with the Houston Aeros of the AHL. 

Chicago Blackhawks
July 8-12
Johnny's IceHouse West

Justin Holl -- Chicago's second-round pick (54th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Holl split time between his natural position on defense and forward for the Gophers in 2012-13. The junior tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) and was named the team's Dr. V. George Nagobads Unsung Hero. 

Philadelphia Flyers
July 7-11
The Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone

Mark Alt -- Alt tallied seven assists in his final season with the Gophers after skating in 39 games for the 2012-13 season. The junior defenseman was selected by Carolina with the Hurricanes' second-round pick (53rd overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and then traded to the Flyers during the 2012-13 season. Alt signed with Philadelphia following the season and skated with the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms. 

Nashville Predators
July 9-12
Centennial Sportsplex

Zach Budish -- Minnesota's captain in 2012-13 was selected with Nashville's second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The redshirt junior tallied 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in his final year with the Gophers. Following the season, Budish signed with Nashville and skated with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals. 

New York Islanders
Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage
July 11
Nassau Coliseium

Taylor Cammarata -- The incoming Gopher forward is expected to compete at the Islanders' prospect scrimmage this weekend after being selected by New York with the 76th overall pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft. Cammarata was named the USHL's Forward of the Year and Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring. Playing with Waterloo, Cammarata recorded 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) in 59 regular-season games - the performance marks the second-highest point total for a season in league history. The forward also earned USHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2011-12, making him the first player in league history to win all three awards.

New Jersey Devils
July 15-
NewJerseyDevils.com 

Seth Helgeson -- New Jersey's fourth-round selection (114th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Helgeson had five assists as Minnesota's lone senior in 2012-13. An alternate captain for the Gophers, Helgeson signed with New Jersey following the season and skated with the team's AHL affiliate -- the Albany Devils. 

New York Rangers 
July 1-5
MSG Training Center

Brady Skjei -- Skjei competed at the Rangers' prospect camp earlier this month after his freshman season with the Gophers in 2012-13 (Catch up with Skjei at camp here). The defenseman was selected 28th overall by the Rangers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with the team's first-round pick. As a freshman, Skjei tallied three points (one goal, two assists). 

Link: Brady Skjei Stands Out at Rangers Camp (Gophersports.com