Gophers Head to Bemidji State
Oct. 16, 2013
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. The rematch of in-state and former Western Collegiate Hockey Association rivals gets underway at 7:30 p.m. on Friday followed by a 7 p.m. matchup on Saturday.
Last Time Out
Minnesota picked up the program's second Ice Breaker Tournament title last weekend after opening the 2013-14 season with wins over Mercyhurst (6-0) and No. 12/13 New Hampshire (3-2). Thirteen Gophers tallied points over the weekend with Kyle Rau and Sam Warning leading the way with four points each. Adam Wilcox picked up both wins for Minnesota, moving to 2-0-0 to start his sophomore campaign with the Maroon and Gold.
Warning, Rau Honored by Big Ten
The first-ever Big Ten Three Stars of the Week came out on Tuesday with Sam Warning and Kyle Rau earning distinction from the conference. Warning was named the league's Second Star after his four-point weekend (two goals, two assists). The junior was also named the MVP of the Ice Breaker Tournament as well as an All-Tournament Team member. Rau picked up Third Star honors as a fellow All-Tournament Team member after picking up the game-winning goal on Friday and adding three assists over the weekend.
Fasching Paces Big Ten Rookies
While the season is just one weekend old, Gophers freshman forward Hudson Fasching is already making his presence felt in college hockey. The forward leads all Big Ten rookies (and ranks tied for third among all NCAA newcomers) with three points (one goal, two assists).
Wilcox Stands Out in Opener
Sophomore Adam Wilcox entered the season with two impressive performances over the weekend, earning his fourth career shutout in Friday's 6-0 win over Mercyhurst and then coming up with a big save to preserve Saturday's 3-2 win over New Hampshire. Wilcox's 25 saves on Friday night were the most for the netminder in a shutout win.
This weekend's series at Bemidji State is personal for senior forward Tom Serratore -- his uncle, also Tom Serratore, is the head coach of the Beavers. This weekend's series is also the Gopher senior's last scheduled games against his uncle's squad. In eight career games against Bemidji State, Serratore has been held without a point.
Rau Continues to Wow
Kyle Rau continues to be a force for the Minnesota hockey program -- tallying points in both of the Gophers' wins over the weekend including his game-winning goal on Friday night (Rau tied for first in the nation in the category last season). Friday also marked the junior's 25th career multi-point game while his assist on Saturday moved Minnesota's all-time record to 46-7-1 when the captain records a point.
Four Gopher freshmen tallied their first collegiate points over the weekend including several key scores throughout the tournament. Perhaps none were bigger than Vinni Lettieri's first career point -- the game-winning goal in Saturday's 3-2 win over New Hampshire in the Ice Breaker Tournament title game. Hudson Fasching tallied his first career poing (an assist) on Friday, evened Saturday's game at 1-1 with his first career goal and then re-tied the game at 2-2 with an assist later in the second. Freshmen Justin Kloos and Michael Brodzinski both tallied their first collegiate points -- goals for both -- in Friday's win over Mercyhurst.
Against Bemidji State
Minnesota's first road trip of the season is fittingly against one of its former conference rivals in Bemidji State. The Gophers own a seven-game winning streak against the Beavers (eight-game unbeaten streak) with Minnesota sweeping the final regular-season series of the 2012-13 season at Sanford Center and then taking another pair of games at Mariucci Arena the next weekend in WCHA Frist Round Action. While the Gophers have had success against the Beavers as of late, four of the last seven games have been decided by one goal.
Hockey City Classic Tickets On Sale Tuesday
TCF Bank Stadium and the University of Minnesota will host the state's first outdoor college hockey games of the modern era on Jan. 17, 2014. The Gopher men's program will host Ohio State at 8 p.m. with the Minnesota women's program taking on Minnesota State earlier in the day. Minnesota has partnered with Intersport, who also hosted the 2013 Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in Chicago, to put on the event. Tickets for the general public go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 22 and can be purchased at MyGophersports.com or by calling 612-624-8080.
Big Ten Bound
The 93rd season of Gopher Hockey brings a new era to the program as Minnesota will compete in the new Big Ten Conference for the 2013-14 season. Six conference teams are set for the first campaign in the Big Ten with Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State joining the Gophers. Prior to the 2013-14 season, the Gophers were members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and helped found the conference in 1951.
Condon, Rau Named Captains
Senior forward Nate Condon and junior forward Kyle Rau will lead the 2013-14 Gophers as team captains. Minnesota's top two returning scorers from a year ago, Rau finished second overall on the team with 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) while Condon posted 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists). A native of Wausau, Wis., Condon is just the third-ever native of Wisconsin to play for Minnesota and the first non-Minnesotan to be named captain since current Gophers assistant coach Grant Potulny (2002-04).
2012-13 Season Review
Minnesota's final campaign in the WCHA was a bittersweet one for the Gophers. The team won a share of its second-straight MacNaughton Cup (and fourth in eight years) as regular-season conference co-champions and led the league in scoring offense (first nationally), scoring defense, power play (first nationally) and penalty kill. Minnesota boasted a 26-9-5 overall record including an NCAA-best 8-0-0 mark in regular-season nonconference play. Minnesota's season came to an end in a 3-2 overtime loss to eventual national champion Yale in the NCAA tournament -- marking the second-straight year the Gophers fell to the eventual national champion in tournament action.
Gophers in the Draft Minnesota
lists 14 student-athletes on this year's roster that have been selected in the NHL Entry Draft including four incoming freshmen. Taylor Cammarata was selected in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders (76th overall), Hudson Fasching was selected in the fourth round of this year's draft by the Los Angeles Kings (118th overall and Michael Brodzinski was selected in the fifth round (141st overall) by the San Jose Sharks. Additionally, freshman Jake Bischoff was selected 185th overall in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. Brady Skjei is the highest drafted Gopher on this year's team with the defenseman being taken 28th overall by the New York Rangers in 2012.
Lucia to Coach U.S. Junior Team
Gophers coach Don Lucia will serve in the same capacity for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team as it competes in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden. The Gophers have a long-standing history of representing the U.S. in international competitions. Last year, Mike Reilly and assistant coach Grant Potulny helped the U.S. team earn gold at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships in Russia -- giving the U.S. its third medal in four years. This year, Brady Skjei, Hudson Fasching, Taylor Cammarata and Michael Brodzinski will compete for roster spots.
New to Mariucci Arena
With the Gophers joining the Big Ten Conference in 2013-14, game operations at Mariucci Arena will have a bit of a new look this season. Shootouts will now be used to decide games following the traditional five-minute overtime period. Big Ten Conference shootout procedures call for a three-player shootout for each team. If the game remains tied following the first series of players, each coach will select a different player until all dressed players have attempted a shot.
Big Ten Preseason Coaches Poll
The first-ever Big Ten Conference season will kick off with the Gophers ranked second in the league's inaugural preseason poll. Only Wisconsin was selected ahead of Minnesota in this year's coaches poll with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State rounding out the poll, respectively.
Big Ten Preseason Watch List
Three Gophers were named to the first-ever Big Ten Preseason Watch List with Kyle Rau, Mike Reilly and Adam Wilcox earning preseason distinction from the conference. Rau was pegged as the only unanimous choice for the list.
Wilcox Back for More
Netminder Adam Wilcox started the last 37 games of the 2012-13 season for Minnesota and picked up his 25th win of the season in the WCHA First Round to tie Kellen Briggs for the Minnesota rookie wins record. Wilcox (25-8-5) also set a new school record with a 1.88 GAA (first in the WCHA this season and sixth in the nation). The freshman also ranked second in the nation with 25 wins and third in the nation with 2,331 minutes played.
North Star College Cup
Minnesota will participate in the inaugural North Star College Cup this January in a tournament featuring all of Minnesota's Division I men's college hockey programs. Xcel Energy Center hosts the event with the Gophers serving as permanent host institution. The remaining four programs will rotate through the tournament with Bemidji State sitting out the first year of competition. The inaugural North Star College Cup is set for Jan. 24-25 with Minnesota taking on St. Cloud State to open the weekend.
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