|| U.S. Under-18 Team at Minnesota; Canisus at Minnesota
Oct. 24, 2012
The University of Minnesota men's hockey program hosts its final exhibition game of the season on Friday night when the U.S. Under-18 Team comes to Mariucci Arena. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Last Time Out
Minnesota helped open the Western Collegiate Hockey Association season last weekend, splitting a pair of games at Michigan Tech. The Huskies surprised the Gophers with a 5-3 win in Friday's opener although Minnesota would rally to salvage a split with a 3-2 win on Saturday.
Saturday's 3-2 win over Michigan Tech gave Minnesota head coach Don Lucia his 600th career win. Lucia -- in his 26th year as a Division I head coach -- currently sits with a 600-329-83 career record and a 321-174-54 record with the Gophers. Lucia is just the 10th coach in NCAA history to win 600 games and the ninth to do so exclusively as a Division I head coach.
Looking Ahead to Canisius
Minnesota will host Canisius of the Atlantic Hockey Association for the first time in program history on Sunday, Oct. 28. The Gophers are 9-2-1 all-time against teams from the AHA including two wins against Sacred Heart last season. The Golden Griffins feature a trio of Minnesotans on their roster in forward Ryan Bohrer (West St. Paul), defenseman Ben Danford (Stillwater) and goalie Keegan Asmundson (Inver Grove Heights). Canisius enters the weekend with a 1-3-0 overall record.
Military Appreciation Night
The Gophers will celebrate Military Appreciation Night during Friday's exhibition contest. Minnesota has partnered with Defending The Blue Line for numerous promotions aimed at aiding members of the military and their families including ticket donations, an equipment drive, a silent auction and an autograph session with Hobey Baker Award winners Brian Bonin and Robb Stauber. Military appreciation at Mariucci Arena continues all weekend as the University of Minnesota and Defending The Blue Line will also host a charity game on Sunday with numerous professional players and Gophers alumni participating in the game.
Gophers in the Polls
Following last weekend's split with Michigan Tech, the Gophers now find themselves ranked second in both the USCHO.com poll (12 first-place votes, 908 total points) and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll (11 first-place votes, 461 total points). Defending national champion Boston College sits atop the rankings in both polls (USCHO.com: 27, 962; USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine: 18, 477).
Lethbridge Exhibition Recap
Minnesota kicked off its final season in the WCHA with a 7-0 exhibition win over Lethbridge on Oct. 6. Christian Isackson led the way for Minnesota -- starting the game off with a natural hat trick -- while 12 Gophers tallied points in the win. The Gophers outshot the Pronghorns 65-16 in the contest while Minnesota went 3-for-8 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Ambroz Lights the Lamp
Sophomore forward Seth Ambroz's two-goal night on Saturday powered the Gophers to a 3-2 victory and ended a 12-game goal drought for the Columbus Blue Jackets' draft pick. The two-goal showing also tied a career high for Ambroz, who also notched a pair of goals in his collegiate debut on Oct. 7, 2011 (9-0 Minnesota win over Sacred Heart). In 45 career games, Ambroz has seven goals and five assists.
Learning from Last Year
Minnesota's Saturday win over the Huskies continued a pair of trends from last year's squad. The Gophers were 9-3-1 in games following a loss last season and also put together a 16-3-1 record on Saturdays in 2011-12.
One More for Condon
For the second-straight season, junior forward Nate Condon is off to a hot start. The Colorado Avalanche draft pick leads Minnesota with five points (1g, 4a) through the first four games of the season and is one of two Gophers (Ben Marshall) to notch a point in all four games. A point on Sunday will match Condon's career best scoring streak of five set in the first five games of the 2011-12 season when the forward tallied seven points (3g-4a).