U men’s puck: Good-bye, moving to another blog site

Posted on October 27th, 2009 – 8:16 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

This posting is the last one on this site. Goal Gophers will be at a new site:  http://www.startribune.com/blogs/

I will keep writing about Gophers men’s hockey primarily and the WCHA. Hope you follow me there and also on twitter where I can be found at twitter.com/eyeonupuk

U men’s puck: Fairchild said D-men will score more this season

Posted on October 5th, 2009 – 6:02 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

Junior defenseman Cade Fairchild had a goal and two assists in the Gophers’ 6-1 victory over British Columbia on Sunday. “It was a good game for us just to get our feet wet,” he said. “Some of the freshmen got a chance to get in there, maybe take out some of their nerves, get used to playing in Mariucci.

“It was definitely a confidence-builder for our team. It was good for us to play an opponent that we did not know anything about. It was a chance for us to try out our systems and that kind of thing.”

Fairchild scored midway through the second period on a shot from the top of the right circle. His assists came on Jay Barriball’s power-play goal in the first period and Nico Sacchetti’s goal in the third. BC had only 11 shots on goal. 

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U men’s puck: Sacchetti happy to be on ice again

Posted on October 5th, 2009 – 5:08 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

Sophomore center Nico Sacchetti had a goal and two assists as the Gophers beat British Columbia. On his goal, he spun around and fired a shot from the top of the right circle. His goal came at 12 minutes, 20 seconds of the third period. Late last season, Gophers coach Don Lucia called Sacchetti as natural goal-scorer but he didn’t score much as a freshmen.

 ”It just felt good to get back out there,” Sacchetti said. “It has been a long summer of working out hard.

“We didn’t have line combinations. I played with different guys, every line. When I scored I was with Tony [Lucia] and Jay [Barriball]. And they said, ‘You guys had a good shift. You can get one more shift together.’

“[Coach Don Lucia] doesn’t know who is going to play together. It is so early. There are so many guys and there is so much competition for lines right now.

“Everybody is skating as hard as they can. He is trying to figure out who meshes well with who.”

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U men’s puck: Lot of positives from exhibition win

Posted on October 5th, 2009 – 4:42 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

After the Gophers-British Columbia game, coach Don Lucia and two of his players came out for postgame interviews. The U won 6-1 on Sunday.

Lucia came out first and said his players were all excited about the Twins’ playoff game versus the Detroit Tigers at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. They asked him if practice could be canceled that day.

His reply? “No,” Lucia said. “I said, ‘They [the Twins] don’t get a day off if we have a big game.’ ”

* Assessment of the game: “We had the puck a lot, which was good. It’s typical, you give up a goal when you turn one over. But I thought our seniors did a good job tonight. We talked about, they have to lead. I thought we moved the puck well. Our power play did a good job, a couple of goals. We did a good job killing [penalties.]

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U women’s bkb: Borton speaks in Chi-town

Posted on October 5th, 2009 – 10:38 AM
By Roman Augustoviz

 Pam Borton, the Gophers’ women’s basketball coach, spoke in Chicago on Saturday at a clinic. Here is the slightly edited story from the U of M media relations staff:

Minnesota women’s basketball coach Pam Borton spoke on Saturday  at the Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Chicago. Borton’s presentation was titled, “Fundamental Drills to Improve Individual Players and Your Team.” She is the lone collegiate women’s coach presenting at the clinic, joining such top men’s collegiate coaches as West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Missouri’s Mike Anderson.

Borton heads into the 2009-10 season, her eighth at Minnesota, with a record of 152-73 with the Golden Gophers. She has guided Minnesota to NCAA Tournament appearances in six of her previous seven seasons, including a year ago when the Gophers advanced to the Second Round.

U women’s puck: Gophers sweep Orange

Posted on October 4th, 2009 – 11:02 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

The Gophers swept Syracuse 4-3 and 4-1 this weekend. I saw all of the first game and half the second period on Sunday. Then I left for the U of M men’s hockey game.

Here is what I missed, written by the Gophers media relations office: 

 The No. 3 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team earned a series sweep and a 4-1 win over Syracuse on Sunday at Ridder Arena. Anne Schleper and Chelsey Jones each netted two goals for the win. The Golden Gophers improve to 2-0-0.

Minnesota got on the board twice in the first period when Anne Schleper scored back-to-back power-play goals 50 seconds in between each other at 7:03 and 7:53. A Syracuse penalty-killer was trying to clear the puck from the left corner before Schleper’s first goal. She was camped at the blue line and fired the puck back into play. The puck slid through Syracuse goalie Lucy Schoedel’s pads. She was screened. On her second goal, Schleper fired a shot just inside the blue line. Chelsey Jones won the faceoff and was credited with the single assist.

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U men’s puck: Regional ticket news

Posted on October 4th, 2009 – 10:04 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

Here is a U of M release on tickets for the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey West Regional:

A year after hosting the 2009 event at Mariucci Arena, the University of Minnesota is teaming up with the Xcel Energy Center to bring the 2010 West Regional to St. Paul on Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27.

All-session packages for the two-day event are priced at $94. The packages went on sale Thursday.

Each 2010 Men’s Ice Hockey West Regional package includes one ticket to Session I (Friday, March 26 – two games) and one ticket to Session II (Saturday, March 27).

If Minnesota qualifies for the NCAA tournament, the Gophers will automatically be assigned to the West Regional.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Xcel Energy Center box office, by calling Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone using Ticketmaster TDD/TTY, call 800-359-2525.

Fans purchasing their tickets during the month of October will have the opportunity to win two tickets to the 2010 Men’s Frozen Four, which will also be held at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.

For more information on the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey West Regional please visit www.xcelenergycenter.com or www.gophersports.com.

NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey West Regional

Friday, March 26, 2010 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, Minn.

West Regional Semifinal #1 – 4:30 p.m.

West Regional Semifinal #2 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, Minn.

West Regional Final – 8 p.m.

U men’s puck: The party line on Gophers’ win

Posted on October 4th, 2009 – 9:55 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

Jim Strick, the sports information guy at the U for men’s hockey, ran the Twin Cities Marathon in the morning, just missing a Boston Marathon qualifying time for next year. But by late afternoon, he was the Gophers exhibition game. Here is his story on the game: 

Minnesota looked in midseason form despite just one day of official practice prior to Sunday’s 6-1 exhibition men’s hockey victory over British Columbia at Mariucci Arena.

Six different players scored goals as the Gophers scored two goals in each period and used a shutdown defense to limit the Thunderbirds to 11 shots, including two in the third period. Minnesota also had a solid night on special teams, finishing two-for-three on the power play and holding British Columbia scoreless on all three of its power play tries.

The Gophers outshot the Thunderbirds 44-11 and reached a scoring total they hit just four times in 37 games last season. Cade Fairchild, Jay Barriball and Nico Sacchetti each finished with a goal and two assists for Minnesota, while Jordan Schroeder and Tony Lucia each had a goal and an assist.

(Oops, that’s wrong. Schroeder did not have a goal. He had two assists and almost got a goal short-handed but officials watch the play and ruled the goalie stopped the puck before it crossed the goal line.)

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WCHA: St. Cloud State squeaks by

Posted on October 4th, 2009 – 9:16 PM
By Roman Augustoviz

Unlike the Gophers, St. Cloud State had a tough exhibition game on Sunday. The Huskies beat Lethbridge 4-3. Here is the report on that game from the Huskies’ public relations staff, with some minor editing by me:

The No. 13-rated St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team opened its 2009-10 season with a 4-3 exhibition victory over the University of Lethbridge on Sunday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. 

Freshman forward Ben Hanowski of Little Falls and junior forward Brian Volpei of Burbank, Calif. each tallied two goals apiece. Volpei got the game-winner at 13:41 of the third period with assists from junior defenseman Nic Rioux and junior forward Garrett Roe.

Hanowski opened the SCSU attack with a power play goal at 2:29 of the first period.  Sophomore defender Sam Zabkowicz and junior forward Tony Mosey had the assists .  Volpei made the score 2-0 with a goal just second later at 3:11 on a breakaway.

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WCHA: UMD shuts out Gophers opponent

Posted on October 4th, 2009 – 11:04 AM
By Roman Augustoviz

Minnesota Duluth played British Columbia on Satuday at the DECC and beat the Thunderbirds 4-0. Today BC plays the Gophers at 4 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.

Here is the UMD-BC story from the Bulldogs’ web site: 

In its first — and only — dress rehearsal before it begins playing for keeps in six days, the University of Minnesota Duluth skated off with a convincing 4-0 exhibition triumph over the University of British Columbia Saturday night at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

The Bulldogs, who outshot the Thunderbirds 39-22, got a pair of goals from sophomore center Jack Connolly to take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission before Connolly’s linemate, junior right winger Justin Fontaine, scored twice (including a shorthander) within a span of 86 seconds in the third period to seal the win. The sophomore goaltending tandem of Brady Hjelle (15 saves in 31: 00 of work) and Kenny Reiter (seven stops) combined for the shutout.

Twenty three of the 26 players on Bulldog roster took part in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs (defensemen Trent Palm and Chase Ryan were both sidelined with injuries while rookie goaltender Aaron Crandall suited up but did not play).

UMD, which hiked its lifetime record to 30-3-2 versus Canadian Universities, will open the 2009-10 regular season next Friday by taking on Lake Superior State University at the DECC before hosting another Central Collegiate Hockey Association foe, Northern Michigan University, two nights later in a pair of Superior Cup games.