Minnesota is Frozen Four Bound
April 7, 2014
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In the NCAA Tournament
Minnesota is 54-35 (.607) all-time in the NCAA tournament, now with 35 all-time appearances and 21 Frozen Four berths. The Gophers have won five national titles including two under Don Lucia (1974, 1976, 1979, 2002, 2003).
Lucia Earns 650th Win
Sunday's 4-0 win over St. Cloud State in the NCAA West Regional finals advanced the Gophers to the Frozen Four, but it also gave Minnesota head coach Don Lucia his 650th career coaching victory. Lucia is 650-343-94 all-time including 371-190-65 at Minnesota. Only Doug Woog has more coaching wins behind the Gophers' bench with 390.
Wilcox Moves Up the Record Book
Sunday's game also gave Adam Wilcox his 50th career win as a Gopher as well as his seventh career shutout. The sophomore ranks tied for eighth all-time at Minnesota in wins and tied for third all-time in shutouts. Wilcox's .934 is also on pace to set a new Gophers' single-season record after the South St. Paul native set a school GAA record as a freshman last year at 1.88.
Kloos Make an Impact
Freshman Justin Kloos tallied three goals in the NCAA West Regional with two in the finals including the game winner to earn regional Most Outstanding Player honors. The forward leads all Big Ten rookies with 15 goals this season (Kloos leads all Gophers in goals) and is one point off the Big Ten rookie point lead. Kloos notched his first career multi-goal game against the Huskies after tallying 13 games with one goal this season.
Boyd Breaks Out
Forward Travis Boyd has seven assists in the last six games including two in the NCAA West Regional championship game against St. Cloud State. Boyd's six-game point streak is a career high for the junior while his 31 points, nine goals and 22 assists this season are all career highs.
Rau Lights the Lamp
Junior forward Kyle Rau has seven goals and eight points in the last seven games. During that span, the captain has failed to tally a point in just one game. Rau leads Minnesota with 37 points this season.
Putting the Puck on Net
Minnesota's 50 shots on goal against Robert Morris on Saturday were a season-high for the team and the most by the Gophers since 51 in a 2-1 overtime win over Bemidji State on March 15, 2013. The team's seven goals were also a team high for the season and the most since a 7-1 win over Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 12, 2013.
Big Ten Champions
Kyle Rau scored 2:44 into overtime to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory over Michigan and capture the inaugural Big Ten regular-season championship. Justin Kloos and Brady Skjei also tallied for Minnesota. For the first time in program history, the Gophers have now won three-straight conference regular-season titles while the Minnesota senior class is the first in program history to earn three conference titles. Minnesota won back-to-back MacNaughton Cups as WCHA regular-season champions in 2012 and 2013.
Big Ten Awards
The Big Ten handed out its annual awards with the top-ranked Gophers taking home four major awards and four all-conference honors. Adam Wilcox was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Goaltender of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten while Mike Reilly joined him as First Team All-Big Ten and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Kyle Rau was named Second Team All-Big Ten, and Hudson Fasching was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Don Lucia was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year after guiding the team to the regular-season title. Sam Warning, Ben Marshall, Brady Skjei and Fasching also represented the Gophers with All-Big Ten Honorable Mention accolades while Nate Condon was honored as a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.
Captain Condon Hits 100
Senior captain Nate Condon tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the NCAA West Regional including his 100th career point. Condon has skated in 157 consecutive games for Minnesota entering the weekend and is the program's most veteran player at 158 games (40-62--102). Condon has only missed one game in his four years with the program -- Oct. 9, 2010 against UMass (the second game of his freshman season). The senior is the second Gopher to hit 100 points this season after Kyle Rau.
Minnesota is the least penalized team in the Big Ten, averaging just 8.8 penalty minutes per game. In fact, the Gophers rank 55th out of 59 team in the NCAA this season in penalty minutes per game.
There's No Place Like Home
The 2013-14 season marks the 20th campaign in which the Gophers have called Mariucci Arena home. The facility was officially opened on Aug. 21, 1993 with an alumni game. Since opening Mariucci Arena, Minnesota is 290-113-45 (.696) on home ice. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, the Gophers are 48-10-6 (.790) on home ice including an 15-1-3 (.853) mark this year (Minnesota's outdoor game at TCF Bank Stadium was technically scored as a home game, but does not factor into this record). The one loss at Mariucci Arena this season marks the fewest losses at the venue in its 20-year history.
The Gophers freshman class has contributed 56 goals this season -- the most of any rookie class in the NCAA this season. The Minnesota newcomers have tallied .409 of the team's 137 goals this season and are averaging 1.42 goals per game -- the highest ratio of any freshman class in the nation this year.
Wilcox Stands Out in Net
Sophomore Adam Wilcox is a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award and the new Mike Richter Award (given to the nation's top goaltender) as well as an All-America candidate. In 74 career games played, Wilcox has posted a 50-13-11 overall record. Out of those games, 34 have been played against nationally ranked foes with the sophomore netminder recording a 21-10-3 record against ranked teams. Wilcox (25-4-6) is third in the nation with 25 wins this season, second nationally in goals against average at 1.89 and third nationally in save percentage at .934.The sophomore leads the Big Ten in all three categories.
Best Offense is a Good Defense
Minnesota has given up an Big Ten-low 78 goals against this season and rank second nationally with an average of just 2.00 goals against per game (first in the Big Ten). Additionally, 27 of the Gophers' 137 goals this season have come from defensemen.
No player on Minnesota's roster has been more of a lightning rod for the team's success that junior captain Kyle Rau. The team is 64-10-6 all-time when the forward tallies a point including an incredible 43-5-5 mark since the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Additionally, the Gophers are 31-2-0 all-time when Rau tallies more than one point in a game (9-0-0 this season) and are 6-0-0 when he tallies more than one goal in a game (1-0-0 this season).