As they head to Notre Dame for their final series before three players depart for the Olympics, the Minnesota Gophers men's hockey team is hoping the turbulence of January is in the past. Also: AHCA honors a former Gopher for his coaching success.
While central Ohio is a nice enough place to visit, few from outside the Buckeyes' rabid fan base look forward to stepping inside OSU Ice Rink, one of the smallest and oldest facilities in college hockey.
Former Gophers All-American played in three Olympic Games and was a standout for the University of Minnesota and Warroad High School. She is in her first full season of working as an analyst for hockey broadcasts on Bally Sports North.
All of Michigan's individual talent has not kept them immune to the injury bug, or to COVID, in advance of their series versus the Gophers in Minneapolis. Also: Gophers women blessed in goal, and Motzko's memories of Hockey Day are good ones.
When Gophers hockey practice ends, defenseman Ryan Johnson will sometimes spend an extra hour or more on the ice by himself, working on his game solo like a classic Minnesota rink rat, which is odd because Johnson hails from Southern California.
Knowing that they will lose a defenseman to the Olympics soon, the Minnesota Gophers welcomed a familiar face back to their locker room this week. Sam Rossini, who had played 49 games over the previous four years, re-joined the team as a graduate student.
It would be easy for Minnesota Gophers backup goaltender Justen Close to have a negative outlook on life, with limited playing time and the pandemic keeping him from visiting his family for more than a year. Instead, he has always got a smile, and a habit of stopping pucks whenever he is called upon.
Two Minnesota Gophers scored their first goals of the season, and goalie Justen Close got a win in his first collegiate start as they won a nonconference game versus the Alaska Nanooks after a crazy week of off-ice changes and challenges.