Guentzel Fills in for the Don Lucia Radio Show

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Mike GuentzelGo 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. 

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 as it prepares for 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

Gopher Hockey Press Report: Michigan State

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

*Gophers forward Ambroz breaking out on, off ice (Star Tribune)

*No. 1 Gophers Travel to Michigan State (FOXSportsNorth.com)

*Ambroz finds niche as vocal leader (Minnesota Daily)

*Gophers hockey pair Skjei, Fasching on preliminary U.S. Junior National Team roster (Star Tribune)

*Seth Ambroz leads with his own style (Pioneer Press)

*A Jester, A Scorer (FOXSportsNorth.com)

*Gophers Close First Half at Michigan State (Gophersports.com)

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

*Big Ten Honors Ambroz as First Star (Gophersports.com)

Reminder: Friday's game is a 6:06 p.m. CT puck drop (FOX Sports North PLUS, BTN2Go.com, 1500 ESPN) while Saturday is set for 3:06 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, BTN2Go.com, MyTalk 107.1). Here's the FSN PLUS Channel Guide for Friday night.


Gophers Meet the Media: Michigan State

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This weekend Minnesota will play its' first ever Big Ten-road series when it travels to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Michigan State Spartans. On Wednesday, players and coaches met with the media to discuss the team's final series of 2013 and the events of the previous week.

Michigan State enters this weekend with a record of 5-7-0, but Minnesota players and coaches caution that the Spartans are better than their record indicates. 

"I think they are an improving team," Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. "When the year began a couple of their key guys were out due to surgery, in John Deager and Matt Berry. They are just starting to play again, and I think that is why you saw them win a couple of games this weekend." 

The Spartans swept Princeton by scores of 4-1 and 8-2.

Seth Ambroz was named the Big Ten's First Star of the week after he tallied four goals against Wisconsin, including the game-winning goal late in Saturday's contest. 

"It was probably the biggest goal I have scored so far as a Gopher," Ambroz said. "It was against Wisconsin and the game winner."

Ambroz has become a vocal leader on the team, a role coach Lucia would not have initially pegged him for.

"I don't know if I have every been around a player who has grown so much as a person than Seth has from when I first met him at age 15 to where he is today." 

Seth says he likes to make sure his teammates are having fun on and off the ice. 

"We have a young team with a lot of quiet guys. I like to joke around and get them smiling."

Earlier Wednesday, USA Hockey announced their preliminary roster for the 2014 World Junior Championship. Lucia will be the head coach of this year's American entrant, who will look to repeat as gold medalists.

"We are excited about our group. I thought we had a good summer and improved a lot over the course of the evaluation camp in Lake Placid."

Two of the players that make up Lucia's American forces are Gopher teammates Hudson Fasching and Brady Skjei. Fasching is currently tied for the freshman scoring lead in the Big Ten with 14 points. 

"With the type of first half he has had offensively, he really earned his way on the team," Lucia said. "He put himself in good position this summer and continued to elevate his play during the course of the fall."

Brady Skjei was one of the last cuts off last year's American roster. He is eager to write a different script this year. 

"I definitely have a chip on my shoulder," Skjei said. "Anytime you put on the USA jersey it is pretty special, but you watch the U-20s on TV over Christmas. It is definitely something you look forward to your whole life."

Coach Lucia is familiar with Skjei's game and has a good idea about the role he will play for the USA. "He will have to play in a shutdown-type role with the team and be a good penalty killer."

This week's games at Michigan State will take place Friday night at 6:00 p.m. CT, and Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CT. Friday's game will be shown live on FSN Plus and Saturday's rematch will be live on Fox Sports North.

Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

 

Eyes on Sweden: Preliminary Roster Announced Wednesday

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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, four current Gophers are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Earlier this year, sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski participated 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 using "Eyes on Sweden".

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MINNEAPOLIS -- USA Hockey will announce the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster on Wednesday morning, the organization announced earlier this week. 

The training camp for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team is Dec. 15-18 at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena. For camp details, click here, and to request credentials, click here ... Practices at Mariucci Arena will be open to the public ... Training camp continues Dec. 19-23 in Angelholm, Sweden. The final roster will be named Dec. 23.

The 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is being held in Malmo, Sweden, Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014. Team USA will compete in a group with Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia For more information about the tournament, click here.



Don't Miss Tonight's Don Lucia Radio Show

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Go Gophers!Don Lucia


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 live at 6 p.m. CT on 1500 ESPN. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at the Gophers' sweep over Wisconsin in the program's first-ever Big Ten Conference series. Minnesota topped the Badgers 4-1 on Friday afternoon for the first-ever Big Ten game before battling to a 4-3 victory on Saturday. Seth Ambroz tallied a pair of goals in both games including both game winners and has now scored six goals in the last four games against Wisconsin. Tonight's show will also look ahead to this weekend's conference series at Michigan State -- the Gophers' final series before breaking for the holidays. Minnesota is 103-43-12 all-time against Michigan State including a two-game sweep over the Spartans to open the 2012-13 campaign. 

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

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!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