Haula Makes NHL Debut with Wild

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Former Gopher Erik Haula made his NHL debut last night with the Minnesota Wild and picked up his first NHL point with an assist in the Wild's 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. 

Wearing No. 56 for the Wild, Haula is the 15th former Gopher to play in the NHL this season, joining Keith Ballard (Minnesota), Nick Bjugstad (Florida), Alex Goligoski (Dallas), 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 (New York Islanders) and Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg). Former Gopher defenseman Seth Helgeson was re-called by the New Jersey Devils earlier this week but has not seen action. 

Here's the first NHL point for Haula, who was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round (182nd overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft:


Three former Gophers played in the Wild/Avalanche game with Keith Ballard (Minnesota) and Erik Johnson (Colorado) joining in on Haula's debut. Johnson assisted on the eventual game winner and finished the contest +2 with two blocks and two hits. Ballard contributed a pair of blocks and a hit in the loss for the Wild. 

A native of Pori, Finland, Haula totaled 124 points (42-82--124) in 114 career games for the Gophers from 2010-13 and was the first Gopher since Ryan Potulny (2003-06) to finish his collegiate career with an average of more than a point a game. The forward ranks 49th all-time at Minnesota in scoring. 

The forward led Minnesota in scoring each of the last two years as the Gophers earned two-straight MacNaughton cups as Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season champions and two NCAA tournament berths including the team's run to the Frozen Four in 2011-12.

Haula improved his offensive performance in each of his three seasons with Minnesota, starting with a 24-point freshman campaign in 2010-11. Haula's sophomore season saw the forward lead Minnesota in scoring with 49 points and a career-high 20 goals as the Gophers captured the team's first MacNaughton Cup since 2006-07 and returned to the NCAA Frozen Four for the 20th time in program history and the first time since 2005.  

In his final season with the team, Haula served as an alternate captain and recorded Minnesota's first 50-point season since 2005-06, finishing the season with a career-best 51 points and 35 assists. An All-WCHA Second Team selection in 2012-13, Haula recorded 19 power-play points to spark the nation's best team on the advantage. Minnesota, which added a second-straight MacNaughton Cup in 2012-13, also led the nation in scoring offense during Haula's final two seasons with the program.  







Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Don Lucia
Go Gophers!


Listen to tonight's show: 1500ESPN.com Archived Radio Broadcasts

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. 

Join Lucia and co-hosts Wally Shaver and Jeff Dubay on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing on 1500 ESPN. Tonight's show will be taped at 6 p.m. and will air following the Minnesota men's basketball team's game against Syracuse. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at the Gophers' nonconference split with Minnesota Duluth last weekend and looks ahead to the first-ever Big Ten Conference league games this weekend when Wisconsin comes to Mariucci Arena. 

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

Gopher Hockey Press Report: Minnesota Duluth

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Catch up on all the news around Gopher Hockey with this week's Gopher Hockey Press Report.

Reminder -- Friday's game is set for 7:10 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS (channel guide) while the series finale has been moved to Sunday at 4:10 p.m. on FOX Sports North's main channel. Both games will also be available on BTN2Go.com with Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco calling the action for both games on 1500 ESPN

*Tom Serratore steps up, fills important role (Pioneer Press)

*Condon settles in as Gophers captain despite Wisconsin roots (Star Tribune)

*Bischoff looks to stay in starting lineup (Minnesota Daily)

*Minnesota faces some in-state, former WCHA rivals (FOX Sports North)

*Problems for Gophers' Bischoff were just a pain in the neck (Duluth News Tribune)

*Gopher Continue Homestand with Bulldogs (Gophersports.com)

*Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota Duluth (Gophersports.com)

NHL: Kessel Notches 400th NHL Point

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A belated congratulations to former Gopher Phil Kessel, who scored his 400th NHL point on Tuesday night. The forward tallied a pair of goals in Toronto's 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. 


In 525 career games, Kessel has tallied 197 goals and 203 assists including 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 21 games this season. 


Martin Nets Game Winner, Two Points
Two former Gophers were in action last night, and unfortunately they were facing each other as Paul Martin and the Pittsburgh Penguins topped Nate Schmidt and the Washington Capitals 4-0 on the road. 

Martin's first period goal -- his second of the season -- proved to be the game winner as the defenseman finished the night with two points after adding an assist later in the night. Through 20 games this season, Martin has nine points (two goals, seven assists) and needs four more points to hit 250 for his career (39-207--246 in 604 career games). 

Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota Duluth

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This weekend the Gophers continue their six-game home stand with two games against Minnesota Duluth. The Gophers will look to build off last weekend's sweep of Minnesota State. Wednesday afternoon, coach Don Lucia and players met with the media to discuss the upcoming matchup with the Bulldogs and the events of last week.

Minnesota Duluth will arrive at Mariucci Arena Friday night ranked No. 19 in the USCHO.com Poll. 

"They have a lot of good young talent," Lucia said. "They have good team speed and their goaltending is very good." 

Last week, the Bulldogs split a two-game series in Grand Forks, N.D. Forward Seth Ambroz knows the rivalry is one the Bulldogs have circled on their calendar. "It is a big in-state rivalry. They are always ready to play us."

Senior Tom Serratore scored his first goal of the season in the third period Saturday night.

 "I try not to focus on [goals] to much, but it felt great. I had a bit of a drought and you like to get on the board here and there," Serratore said. 

Coach Lucia wants to see production from everyone in the lineup.

"If you are playing every night you have to chip in offensively. I think he was feeling [the pressure] a little bit, and (Tommy) responded with his best game of the year on Saturday night."

Another senior that shined Saturday night was Michael Shibrowski. He made 25 saves on his way to earning a shutout against the Mavericks. 

"It is nice to have Mike come in and play as well as he did. It gives him, his teammates, and coaches confidence," Lucia said. "We do not need him to play every night, but he needs to play a handful of games, and he did a great job in the first one." 

Mike's teammates were ecstatic to see him have success. 

"He comes to the rink and works everyday. He does not have a negative bone in his body. It is great to see him have success," Serratore said. Shibrowski was named the Big Ten Conference's Second Star of the Week for his performance against the Mavericks.

The series with Duluth starts Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The contest can be seen on FOX Sports North PLUS. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., a contest that can be seen on FOX Sports North. Both games between the Gophers and the Bulldogs can be heard on 1500 ESPN and BTN2Go.com will stream both games. 

Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

 

NHL: Wheeler's Shootout Score

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Only three NHL games and two former Gophers were on the schedule Monday, but Paul Martin and Blake Wheeler certainly didn't disappoint hockey fans. 

Martin had an impressive 24:47 of ice time -- a game high -- in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over Anaheim while Wheeler had two assists and this terrific shootout goal for Winnipeg in a 5-4 shootout loss to Calgary. 

Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

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Listen to tonight's show: 1500ESPN.com | Archived Radio Broadcasts

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. 

Join Coach Lucia and co-hosts Wally Shaver and Jeff Dubay on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing live on 1500 ESPN from 6-6:30 p.m. CT. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at the top-ranked Gophers' nonconference sweep over Minnesota State including Michael Shibrowski's first career shutout. The trio will also look ahead to this weekend's series with Minnesota Duluth at Mariucci Arena. 

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

Gopher Hockey Press Report: Minnesota State

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Catch up on all the news around Gopher Hockey with this week's Gopher Hockey Press Report.

Reminder both of this weekend's games against Minnesota State are slated for 7:10 p.m. CT puck drops on FOX Sports North PLUS (Channel Guide). Both games will also be available on BTN2Go.com. Friday's opener will remain on 1500 ESPN while Saturday's radio broadcast moves to MyTalk 107.1


*Fresmen class living up to Gophers hockey hype by scoring (Star Tribune)

*Gophers Kick Off Homestand with Mavericks (Gophersports.com

*Mavericks look for better numbers this weekend (FoxSportsNorth.com)

*Pair of freshmen adjust on the ice (Minnesota Daily)

*Freshmen finding success early (Pioneer Press)

*Don Lucia coaches against son in return to alma mater (NHL.com)

*Freshmen make seamless transition on top-ranked Gophers (FoxSportsNorth.com)

*Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota State (Gophersports.com)

*Fasching Earns Big Ten Honor (Gophersports.com)

Alumni News: 

*Congrats to Gophers alum Aaron Ness on his first career NHL goal last night for the New York Islanders. 


Gophers Meet the Media: Minnesota State

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The top-ranked Gophers open up a six-game home stand this weekend by welcoming Minnesota State to Minneapolis. The Mavericks were the surprise team in the WCHA last year and beat the Gophers twice, including once at Mariucci Arena. Gopher players and coach Lucia met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss last week at Notre Dame and what to look for this weekend.

Minnesota State was picked to win the WCHA at the start of this season and they have found recent success in Mariucci. "We are going to have our hands full. They have good team speed. Even though their record is 4-4, I think that is attributed to injuries," Lucia said. The veteran Gophers will know not to take the Mavericks lightly. The last 10 meeting between the two programs have been split evenly.

Last week, the Gophers split a pair of games at Notre Dame. After a disappointing outcome on Friday night, the Gophers responded to collect a victory on Saturday. "I thought we did not have a good push back in the second and third periods," Lucia said, reflecting on Friday night. "I give our guys a lot of credit for rebounding and finding a way to win on Saturday."

This was the first week that freshman were made available to the media. Based off their hot start, they were front and center Wednesday. "For the most part they were all gifted scorers a year ago. That is why we put them in positions to have success," Lucia said. The freshman accounted for all five goals Saturday at Notre Dame.

 The freshmen themselves were quick to say how the upperclassmen have helped them learn the finer points of the college game. Hudson Fasching has been the star of the freshman class to this point. He has 11 points on the season, which ranks second on the team. From the start of the season Hudson has been on the score sheet playing alongside Kyle Rau and Sam Warning, "I have worked hard and I am on a pretty good line right now," Fasching said. (Rau and Warning) have been tremendous, they are great leaders."

Fellow freshman Justin Kloos' strong work ethic has been acclaimed by upperclassmen this year. Justin has stepped into the second-line center role and has posted 10 points so far. "The older guys and captains have led the way and allowed us to show what we are capable of," Kloos said.

Kloos' line mate Taylor Cammarata has nine points in his last six games. He played with Kloos with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL last year, and it has helped his comfort level as a Gopher. "It took us a little time last year to get used to each other. It clicked about ten games in, and it has been clicking ever since," Cammarata said.

Both of this weekend's games at Mariucci will start at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen live on FSN Plus. Friday's game can be heard on 1500 ESPN, and Saturday you can hear Wally and Frank on MyTalk 107.1.

Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

 

Don Lucia Radio Show Airs Tonight

| No TrackBacks
Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Don LuciaGo Gophers!

Listen to tonight's show: 1500ESPN.com | Archived Radio Broadcasts

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. 

Join Coach Lucia and co-hosts Wally Shaver and Jeff Dubay on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing live on 1500 ESPN from 6-6:30 p.m. CT. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks ahead to Minnesota's series against Minnesota State this weekend at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers are 33-10-6 all-time against the Mavericks, who are coached by former Gophers assistant coach Mike Hastings. While the teams have met 49 times since 1998, this weekend's series marks their first meeting as nonconference opponents. The Gophers are 16-4-6 all-time against Minnesota State at home with this weekend's series kicking off a six-game, three-week home stand for Minnesota. 

Tonight's show will also look back on last weekend's split at Notre Dame. Lucia, a 1981 graduate of Notre Dame, saw his squad fall 4-1 to his alma mater on Friday before rallying for a 5-4 win over the Irish in Saturday's series finale. Saturday's win marked Lucia's 350th win as head coach of the Gophers. 

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