MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) --Luke Notermann has appeared in 10 games as a Gopher this season and made his debut against Mercyhurst in the Mariucci classic.
A forward from Blaine, Minn., Notermann was tied for third in the state in points (28-50--78) and was third in the state for assists his senior year of high school.
After his high school playoff run ended his senior year, the Austin Bruins (NAHL) were calling his name, where he played in 12 regular season and seven playoff games.
This season, the freshman joined the Gophers and tallied an assist in his first regular-season game at the Mariucci Classic.
GopherSports.com had an opportunity to sit down and talk about the college hockey experience so far at the University of Minnesota ahead of this weekend’s final regular-season series.
Gophersports.com: To begin, when did you first start playing hockey?
Luke Notermann: I started hockey as soon as I could walk. I was probably just a few years old, and had a stick in my hands as much as possible.
GS: You had a quick turnaround from being a top high school player at Blaine to then playing in Austin in the NAHL. Can you talk about that experience and how it helped prepare you for college hockey?
LN: It’s a lot different hockey at that level. You have to play a lot heavier and always protect the puck. Everybody is good at that level, so you can’t just rely on skill. I had to add a lot of grit to my game so that helped with my aggressiveness moving into college hockey.
GS: We are about three-fourths of the way through the academic school year now and being a student-athlete can be demanding. How has the transition been as far as balancing college academics and playing hockey?
LN: With our schedule, it makes it pretty easy since there is so much structure. We have everything we need, from tutors to perfect class schedules. Hockey is definitely been the best part since we get to come here to Mariucci, play every day and be together as a team.
GS: Was being a Gopher always something that you had your eyes set on from when you were young?
LN: Ever since I moved to Minnesota in seventh grade, I always wanted to be a Gopher. When I lived in Iowa, I had my hopes set on being a Badger. Once I came to the state, there was no doubt I wanted to be a part of this incredible program.
GS: What is your favorite part of the U of M campus?
LN: Mariucci is definitely the highlight, and I’m sure most of the guys would say that too. Walking in here is awesome, and taking the ice in front of a packed crowd is just an amazing feeling. The fans show so much support and being able to play in front of them is very special.
GS: You’ve played in ten games this year so far, and debuted in the Mariucci Classic. What was it like to come out in front of the Mariucci crowd for the first time and end up earning an assist?
LN: I was in awe of everything. I’ve never had an atmosphere like the one at Mariucci, since the closest thing I could compare it to was the Minnesota State High School Hockey tournament. It was awesome knowing that I had finally achieved a dream and goal of mine to play at the University of Minnesota.
GS: We are right around the corner from the Big Ten Tournament, and then the NCAA Tournament which will follow. Do you have any goals for this season or your time here as a Gopher?
LN: The main thing this year is going far in the playoffs and winning a National Championship. I think we have the team to do it this year as we are plenty talented, we just have to play our game every night.
Quick Hits: Luke Notermann
Favorite Food: Burritos
NHL Player: Zach Parise
Gopher: Kyle Okposo
Hobby: Being on the Lake
Sports Memory: MN State tourney
Smartest Teammate: Mitch Rogge
Funniest Teammate: Ryan Lindgren
Other Sports: Senior year HS - Football
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