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.”
Sacchetti said the Gophers coaches didn’t expect midseason form from the players.
“Technically, does this game even count? They [the coach] talked to us before the game. Basically they said they can’t get mad at us for making mistakes. They just want us to get out there and work hard. They just want to see what we can do.
“Like [a reporter] said, we’ve had one official day of practice this year. It’s not like we have systems down, power plays down. He just wants us to go out there, have fun, work hard and see what happens. He was definitely happy with how we played tonight.”
It was an approach that worked very well in this game. But the Thunderbirds of British Columbia are a bit below the caliber of the top WCHA teams. BC lost to Minnesota Duluth 4-0 on Saturday.