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.]

“UBC was a lot like last year. They are a bunch of guys from Western Hockey [League]. They know how to play the game. They were physical, but I thought they were clean in how they played. It was a good game for us. Ideally, it would have been better next week than this week. But that’s the way it goes.”

* On six players scoring goals for the Gophers: “That was nice to see. Nico [Sacchetti] had a goal. I think he had a goal and an assist. Tony [Lucia] had a goal and an assist. The guys we need to score, scored. I thought Jake Hansen, although he didn’t score, had a good game. Taylor [Matson] hit the post. [Zach] Budish hit the post. Some of the younger guys — Taylor didn’t play last year after the first month. It was good to see him back out there.

* Line combinations: We wanted to look at [Mike] Hoeffel at left wing with Jordan. I thought he did a good job, he’s big, strong like Ryan Stoa was. We played [Mike] Carman at left wing. He played center most of his career. We have to evaluate whether we want to do that or not as we head to North Dakota.

* On goalie Alex Kangas having the flu: “From my perspective, I am glad he got sick now. Now, hopefully that will it for him for the year. Because it is going to go through people, there is no question.

* On the play of freshman defenseman Nick Leddy: “I thought Nick played well. I was happy with all of the freshmen. Nick and Seth [Helgeson] are a good combination. Not necessarily to play together but they bring opposites to the game. Nick is going to jump up into the play and be real offensive. He had that goal on the back door. We need Seth to make the breakout passes and be physical and I thought he was. He made some big hits tonight.”

Helgeson is 6-5, 220 pounds.

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