'U' Closes First Half at Michigan
Dec. 8, 2015

 Minnesota vs. Michigan
 Game 1  Friday, Dec. 11 | 6 p.m. CT
 Game 2  Saturday, Dec. 12 | 7:30 p.m. CT
 Location  Yost Ice Arena | Ann Arbor, Mich.
 Television  Game 1: Big Ten Network
 Game 2: ESPNews
 Stream  Game 1: BTN2Go
 Game 2: WatchESPN
 Radio  1500 ESPN, Gopher Radio Network (Both Games)
 Live Stats  Game 1 | Game 2
 G.H.L.  Game 1 | Game 2
 Game Notes  Minnesota | Michigan | Big Ten
 Social Media  @GopherHockey | Facebook | Instagram

After sweeping Ohio State in the opening week of Big Ten play, the Gopher Hockey program closes out the first half of the season with a Big Ten series at No. 9 Michigan this weekend. Friday’s series opener is set for 6 p.m. CT (TV: Big Ten Network; Stream: BTN2Go; Radio: 1500 ESPN, Gopher Radio Network) while the Saturday finale is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT (TV: ESPNews; Stream: WatchESPN; Radio: 1500 ESPN, Gopher Radio Network)

Gophers Grab Back-to-Back Overtime Wins
The Maroon & Gold topped the Buckeyes with back-to-back overtime wins last weekend, winning 3-2 on Friday and 5-4 on Saturday. The back-to-back overtime wins by Minnesota mark the first time the Gophers have won two-straight games in overtime since March 15-16, 2008 when the Gophers rallied with two wins at Minnesota State in the WCHA First Round (lost Game One 1-0 in double overtime, won Game Two 2-1 in overtime and won the series in Game Three with a 3-2 double overtime victory).

Kloos Lets Loose
Team captain Justin Kloos notched four points (one goal, three assists) on Saturday in a career-best performance by the junior forward. The four-point showing was the most by a Gopher this season and the most by a Minnesota skater since Hudson Fasching had four points (two goals, two assists) on March 14, 2015 -- a 6-2 win over Penn State that clinched Minnesota’s fourth-straight regular-season conference championship and second-straight Big Ten regular-season conference championship.

Lucia Nets 400th Win with Gophers, Plus One
Gophers head coach Don Lucia became the program’s all-time winningest coach last season and is now the first coach in school history to reach 400 wins after Friday night’s 3-2 overtime victory over Ohio State. Lucia holds a 401-209-68 at Minnesota while the Grand Rapids, Minn., native now ranks eighth all-time in college hockey with a 680-364-97 record in 29 total seasons.

Sheehy Collects Big Ten First Star Honor
Freshman forward and Big Ten First Star of the Week Tyler Sheehy had four points in the Ohio State series including a career-best three points and two goals in Saturday’s series finale. Sheehy now has seven points in his last five games while ranking tied for second on the team (and first among the freshman class) with 11 points (six goals, five assists) this season.

Two of the Best in the Business
Two of the top coaches in college hockey will face off this weekend in Minnesota’s Don Lucia and Michigan’s Red Berenson. Berenson ranks second among active Division I coaches with 818 career wins while Lucia sits third in the category at 680 career victories. Only Boston College’s Jerry York ranks ahead of Berenson and Lucia among active coaches with 997 career wins.

Against the Wolverines
In a series that dates back to 1923, the Gophers hold a 134-120-14 all-time record against Michigan. Minnesota has won three straight against the Wolverines including a 4-2 victory on March 21, 2015 at Joe Louis Arena as the Gophers captured the 2015 Big Ten Tournament Title.

Big Ten Bullet Points
Now in its third year as members of the Big Ten Conference, the Gophers kick off conference play this weekend as two-time defending Big Ten regular-season champions as well as the defending Big Ten tournament champions. In 42 regular-season Big Ten games, Minnesota is 28-8-6-0 (.738) while the Maroon & Gold hold an impressive 19-1-2-0 (.909) record in conference games on home ice.

Collins Named to U.S. WJC Camp Roster
Sophomore defenseman Ryan Collins has been named to the preliminary roster for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team and will attend training camp Dec. 14-18 at Boston University in Boston followed by an additional camp in Vierumaki, Finland, from Dec. 19-24.The Bloomington, Minn., native is one of 29 players listed on the preliminary roster by USA Hockey with the final 23-man roster is expected to be named by Dec. 24. Team USA will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec.26-Jan.5, in Helsinki, Finland. Gopher Hockey has been represented at 38 of 39 IIHF World Junior Championships since the inaugural event in 1977 including 23-straight tournaments since 1993.

Four Championships -- A Program First
For the first time in Gopher Hockey history, the Maroon & Gold have earned four-straight regular-season conference titles after repeating as Big Ten champions last year. Minnesota’s 6-2 win over Penn State in the regular-season finale clinched the championship for Minnesota with the title standing as the 16th regular-season conference crown in program history. Prior to the back-to-back Big Ten titles, Minnesota won two-straight MacNaughton Cups as WCHA regular-season champions in the team’s final two years in the league (co-champions in 2012-13).

Our Home, Our Hockey
Now entering its 22nd season at Mariucci Arena, Minnesota has been incredibly successful on its home ice, boasting a 308-122-46 all-time record at the venue. The dominance has never been more apparent than the last four years with the Gophers leading the nation in home wins (63), home winning percentage (.801) and fewest home losses (13) entering the 2015-16 season. In Big Ten play, Minnesota holds a 19-1-2 all-time record on home ice. (All statistics except for Mariucci Arena record include Minnesota’s win at TCF Bank Stadium in 2013-14.).

Four to Lead in 2015-16
The Gophers will see a new crop of leaders in the locker room this season with junior forward Justin Kloos serving as team captain while redshirt junior forward Connor Reilly, junior forward Hudson Fasching, and junior defenseman Jake Bischoff will act as alternate captains for the Maroon & Gold. Kloos, who returns as Minnesota’s active leading scorer, replaces two-year team captain Kyle Rau while the cadre of alternate captains take over for Ben Marshall and Seth Ambroz. This year’s group of leaders mark the 161st-164th players to serve as either captain or alternate captain for the Gophers in a tradition that dates back to the program’s first year of play in 1921-22 when Chet Bros led the Maroon & Gold.

Gophers Sign Five in Early Period
The newest crop of Golden Gophers signed their National Letters of Intent earlier this year with five Minnesota natives looking to join the ranks of the Maroon & Gold in the coming years. Defensemen Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn.), Sam Rossini (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and Ryan Zuhlsdof (Edina, Minn.) as well as forwards Rem Pitlick (Plymouth, Minn.) and Garrett Wait (Edina, Minn.) all inked National Letters of Intent with Minnesota.

Fresh Faces on the Team
With six seniors graduating last season and three juniors signing professional contracts, a sizable rookie class will be joining the Gophers roster this year. Coach Lucia has added 10 incoming freshmen to bolster the roster (Jack Sadek, Curt Simonson, Brent Gates Jr., Brock Kautz, Tyler Sheehy, Ryan Norman, Tommy Novak, Jack Ramsey, Eric Schierhorn, Darian Romanko). Broken down by position, Minnesota adds two goalies, two defensemen and six forwards. Additionally, the Maroon & Gold have added junior forward Mike Szmatula to the roster following a transfer from Northeastern. (Szmatula will sit out the 2015-16 due to NCAA transfer rules.)

Gophers in the Draft
The University of Minnesota features 12 players whose rights have been drafted by NHL teams including four newcomers. Three freshmen were drafted in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft -- Brent Gates Jr. (Anaheim, third round, 80th overall), Tommy Novak (Nashville, third round, 85th overall), Jack Sadek (Minnesota, seventh round, 204th overall) -- while Jack Ramsey was selected in 2014 (Chicago, seventh round, 208th overall). The Minnesota Wild (Sadek, Nick Seeler) and the New York Islanders (Taylor Cammarata, Jake Bischoff) lead all NHL teams with two Gopher draftees each.

12 Gophers on NHL Rosters
Gopher Hockey has featured 12 NHL alums this season with Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers), Alex Goligoski (Dallas Stars), Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild), Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche), Phil Kessel (Pittsburgh Penguins), Nick Leddy (New York Islanders), Paul Martin (San Jose Sharks), Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders), Nate Schmidt (Washington Capitals), Jordan Schroeder (Minnesota Wild), Thomas Vanek (Minnesota Wild) and Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets) making the cut. Additionally, Darby Hendrickson continues to serve as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wild and Paul Holmgren is the president of the Philadelphia Flyers.




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