The No. 2 Minnesota men's hockey program returns to action this weekend with a Big Ten Conference series against No. 10/11 Michigan at Mariucci Arena.
Both Skjei and Fasching are products of the U.S. National Development Team Program (USNDTP) in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The top-ranked Minnesota men's hockey program continues the 2013-14 season this weekend with a pair of nonconference games against in-state rival Minnesota Duluth at Mariucci Arena.
Four different players scored for Minnesota, which got 34 saves from Adam Wilcox
The No. 3 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher men's hockey program hits the road for the first time in 2013-14 this weekend with a nonconference series at Bemidji State.
In the third episode of Gopher Hockey: Pride on Ice the Gopher men's hockey team reflects on the 2013 Hockey City Classic outdoor game vs. Wisconsin and ahead to the WCHA Final Five and NCAA Tournament.
Pride on Ice: Webisode 2 takes you on the road with the Gophers for their showdown with Wisconsin.
Go behind the scenes with the storied Minnesota Gopher men's hockey team in GopherSports.com's exclusive three-part web series, Pride On Ice!
One of Gophers' best on-ice leaders as a player, Grant Potulny begins his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Minnesota hockey program in 2013-14.
The Grand Forks, N.D., native has taken naturally to the college coaching profession after serving as a three-year captain for the Gophers program as a player. Potulny, who works primarily with the Minnesota forwards, serves as guiding voice during practice and games but is also a relatable presence on the recruiting trail.
Under Potulny's tutelage, the Minnesota offense has led the nation in scoring offense over the last two seasons while Potulny has also coached Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula to All-WCHA honors in the last two years. Bjugstad and Jordan Schroeder, another former Gopher under Potulny, both made their NHL debuts in 2012-13 while Haula is likely to see NHL action in 2013-14.
In 2012-13, Minnesota ranked first in college hockey with an average of 3.48 goals per game offensively. The Gophers captured a share of their second-straight Western Collegiate Hockey Association MacNaughton Cup as regular-season co-champions in 2012-13 while the Minnesota power play also ranked first nationally. The Gophers celebrated a pair of All-WCHA forwards in 2012-13 with Bjugstad earning Second Team honors and Haula following suit on the league's Third Team. The duo were two of three Minnesota forwards to sign NHL contracts following the season, joined by Zach Budish.
The 2011-12 season marked a resurgence in the Gophers program. Not only did the Gophers lead the nation in scoring -- averaging 3.60 goals-per-game -- but the Gophers also finished first in the WCHA for the first time since 2006-07. More importantly, the Gophers returned to the NCAA Frozen Four with Bjugstad earning Third Team All-WCHA honors along the way.
In addition to his duties with the Gophers, Potulny has also helped develop the sport of hockey at the youth and international levels.
In 2013, Potulny served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. The U.S. team, which included Minnesota's Mike Reilly, captured gold at the tournament -- giving the U.S. its third medal in four years.
The Gophers assistant coach also runs Potulny Camps each year with a focus on skill instruction and fun for youth hockey players.During his coaching career, Potulny has worked as a clinician at coach Lucia's model camp and has coached at the Under-17 Select Festival in Rochester, N.Y.
Potulny was a three-year captain at Minnesota during his career from 2000-04. He was an assistant captain as a sophomore for Minnesota's 2002 national championship team and then captained the team the following two years, including the Gophers' 2003 national title squad. Potulny is Minnesota's only three-year captain since 1947.Potulny played in 146 games for the Gophers, totaling 68 goals and 48 assists for 116 points. He is best-known for scoring the overtime game-winning goal in Minnesota's 4-3 win against Maine in the 2002 national championship game at Xcel Energy Center.
He played three full seasons with the Ottawa Senators' AHL affiliate in Binghamton (N.Y.) from 2004-07 before spending one season each with the Washington Capitals' affiliate in Hershey (Pa.) and the Edmonton Oilers' affiliate in Springfield (Mass.).He spent the 2008-09 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate in Norfolk, Va.He retired from pro hockey after battling injuries throughout his career.
Potulny attended Red River High School and led his team to three North Dakota state championships from 1996-98. He won a total of nine varsity letters in hockey, football and baseball.
Potulny was selected in the fifth round, 157th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by Ottawa. He played two seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Lincoln Stars and helped his squad claim an Anderson Cup regular season championship as the team's MVP in 1999-2000.
Potulny and his wife, Melissa, have three children.