Showing posts with label Bob Motzko. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Motzko. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Afternoon pontifications

My impression on the weekend … On Friday, UND came out flat against a very good team and they got beat, there is no other way to sugar coat this.  I don’t think that anybody in UND’s locker room was happy with the results. Neither were the fans.
After the game the head coach was physically upset and didn’t say much in the postgame press conference. You can see his comments here if you haven’t seen them yet.
I think on Saturday that the guys in green and white did a very good job flushing Friday’s subpar effort and they were the better of the two teams on the ice all game long. North Dakota doubled up the Huskies in shots, but they were still unable to get anything past Ryan Faragher, who was rock solid all weekend long.
On Saturday night after the game, I told Mick Hatten beat writer from the Saint Cloud Times that I think SCSU is one of the better teams that I have seen in person this season. I truly believe that, the Huskies are pretty solid defensively and through the forward lines. They Huskies also have a good fore check and generate a lot of opportunities off of their opponent’s turnovers.
Perusing the messages boards and twitter, I see fans post that say that that losing to SCSU is unacceptable and that the Huskies are not a very good hockey team. Personally, I think those comments are short sighted, and I am going to disagree with that opinion. The Huskies are the first team since the 2008 season to sweep the Denver Pioneers in a weekend series.
While I don’t like watching UND lose to the Huskies, I do think we need to give credit where credit is due, the Huskies are not a bunch of talentless hacks and will be a force at the end of the season, baring injuries to key players.
 If UND doesn’t play the Huskies again this season, I won’t be disappointed.
While this isn’t earth shattering news, I do think that SCSU is probably going to win the WCHA this year, unless they have a total collapse, and baring a bunch of serious injuries. I am also admit, that it pains me to say that.  At the beginning of the season, I had UND winning the league in the Blogger Poll run by A Tradition of Excellence.
Saint Cloud State is a very good hockey team and if you don’t come and play well against them, they will bury you. You can’t take a shift off against a good team like the Huskies. During the game on Friday, UND took all but six minutes off.
The Huskies also have a pretty good freshman class that has paid dividends on the ice for the Huskies.
On the freshman that stuck out last weekend was freshman forward Jonny Brodzinski. The Huskies rookie Brodzinski scored (2g-1a—3pts) on the weekend and was the difference in Friday’s game. SCSU head coach Bob Motzko thinks very highly of his young forward and even compared him to former Sioux power forward Matt Frattin.
What is really interesting is that Brodzinski scored (11g-13a—24pts) in 64 games with the Fargo Force last year now is now tied for third with UND  forward  Rocco Grimaldi (9g-11a—20pts) for 20th overall in WCHA rookie scoring for all games with (11g-9a—20pts).
Fire Hakstol!!!
I have seen a few people that are dissatisfied with the status of the UND coaching staff. Last season, people were unhappy with Carey Eades, and wanted Brad Berry Back. Now that assistant coach Brad barry is back, I see fans that want coach Eades back.
I do get the anger, no one in the UND fan base likes seeing what transpired over the past two weekends,  but that’s hockey, even the Boston Bruins that won the Stanley Cup, had a short period where they lost  a couple of untimely games and had losing streaks.
Even the 2010-11 team, that went to the Frozen Four, and finished third over-all had a rough stretch where they lost three out of four games during the month of October. The Fighting Sioux also went 5-3 during the month of January as well during the 2010-11 season.
I also think that we need to put thing in perspective. UND isn’t going to fire Dave Hakstol, that’s a fact.  Last spring, coach Hakstol signed an extension for six years and he currently has five years left on his deal.
I will also, predict that UND isn’t going to buy coach Hakstol out at $300,000.00 a year. Honestly, I can’t imagine that UND has 1.5 million dollars just laying around to buy him out. Let’s just say that UND fired him, who would they replace him with. That would also set the program back 2-4 seasons; they would also lose a fair number of the recruits that are already committed to UND.  
Like it or not, Hakstol isn’t going anywhere, I can assure you that.
Personally, I am a fan of Dave Hakstol and I think that sooner rather than later UND is going to win another title. Just a gut feeling.
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

UND scratches out tie again Huskies

Seal of the University of North Dakota
Seal of the University of North Dakota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Grand Forks, ND – Last night, the University of North Dakota came out flat and stood around and watched the Saint Cloud State University Huskies make plays and were on the short end of a 3-1 game. Through two periods of hockey they had an unimpressive 8 shots on net.

Tonight, it was a different game as UND would outshoot the Huskies 36-18, but they were still only able to garner a single point in the standing with a 2-2 tie.

After last night’s game, North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol was not pleased with his teams play, and he let it be known in his post game comments.

“We didn’t play very well tonight,” Hakstol said. “We got our tails kicked in our own building.

Tonight, while his team played better, the head coach still didn’t seem all that pleased with the end results.
“Disappointed to come out of the weekend with one point,” Hakstol said. “Yet in terms of our team, and our team play, the performance and effort that we put out tonight, I think we feel good about that. But to come with one point it’s hard to feel good about anything.”

After last night’s game, you had to figure that there would be changes to the lineup, and there was.

Tonight, the North Dakota hockey team came out with more energy and were able to put 15 shot net, and take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission with goals by senior forwards Danny Kristo and Corban Knight.

UND would relinquish that lead at the 01:59 mark of the second period with a goal by Husky senior forward Ben Hanowski on the delayed penaly. That goal was Hanowski’s 11th of the year for the senior forward from Little Falls, MN. UND would again out-shoot the Huskies during the second period 9-4.

That would be all of the scoring for the rest of the evening as neither team was able to dent the twine again. UND would get the better of the opportunities, but they were unable to put the puck past sophomore goalie Ryan Faragher who was tough in net all weekend long.

The Huskies head coach Bob Motzko seemed pleased with his team’s effort this weekend

“We will be pleased,” Motzko said. They came out hard tonight, and fought like mad. We made some critical mistakes early, and they capitalized on them. Bad penalties again, which is uncharacteristic, and we let the heat of the moment get to us again. But then Ben Hanowski there’s one of our captains taking over again. Got the first one – got the second one – it was all determination to start the second period there. Then we lost for about six minutes and then I thought we hunkered down. Our goalie had to make a couple of big saves. Their guy had to make a couple [saves]. We got the one off of the pipe from Brodzinski there. It was just a classic WCHA battles.”

While a tie is better than a loss in the WCHA standings, it would appear that the tie left a bad taste in the mouths of the UND players. A subdued senior forward Danny Kristo shared his feeling after the games.
“Definitely stings,” Kristo said. “I thought we deserved a better outcome. I thought we outplayed them for all three periods. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

Senior forward Corban Knight seemed to echo Kristo’s sentiments.

“Right now, it’s still pretty fresh,” Knight said. Obviously we left a point out there on a Saturday night at home – important game – I don’t think anyone is satisfied in that room right now. So, it’s defiantly something that is frustrating right now.”

While the tie leaves UND 3-3-2 in eight games to start the year, the team still controls its own destiny. Because of the strength of their schedule, and who they have left on the schedule these types of games will prepare UND for the playoffs.

UND head coach Dave Hakstol expounded on that fact.

“The reality of this stretch is we play good team’s week in and week out,” Hakstol said. “Our schedule is very difficult. That’s going to make us better. That’s going to stress us, and its going make going to make points harder to come by, but it’s going to make us better. We became a better team this weekend, but we didn’t walk away with the number of points that we wanted.”

Next weekend, UND plays another good team that is coming into Ralph Engelstad Arena having won seven of the last eight games, and 10-1-2 in their last 13 games.

Cross posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine...
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pre-Season Predictions (by Sioux 7)

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
PRESEASON PREDICTIONS The last WCHA season as we currently know it is about to start, this season will mark the end of epic an era. The WCHA has been one of the top conferences for as long as I can remember, and it will be reborn with some schools remaining (Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, Alaska-Anchorage, and Bemidji State) and new ones (Alaska (Fairbanks), Northern Michigan (they return after leaving the WCHA in ‘92), Ferris State, & Lake Superior State) joining. Before I get into this year’s predictions, let’s look back on how last year finished up, below are the final regular season records.


1. Minnesota…………...…20-8-0…..…….40
2. Minnesota-Duluth……..16-7-5….……..37
3. Denver…………...........16-8-4………....36
4. North Dakota.………....16-11-1….….…33
5. Colorado College …….15-12-1…….….31
6. St. Cloud St…………...12-12-4……..…28
7. Nebraska-Omaha……...11-12-5…….....27
8. Michigan Tech………..11-13-4………..26
9. Bemidji State……..…..11-14-3.…….....25
10. Wisconsin…....………11-15-2..….…..24
11. Minnesota State……...8-18-2..…….....18
12. Alaska-Anchorage…...5-22-1………...11

The Final 5 in St. Paul featured MTU, SCSU, UND, DU, UMD, and UM. The WCHA tournament went like this – Thursday, DU defeated MTU 3-2 in OT, and UND defeated SCSU 4-1 – Friday DU beat UMD 4-3 in a 2-ot thriller, and UND defeat UM in an exciting 6-3 comeback win – Saturday UND defeated DU 4-0, to claim their 3rd consecutive Broadmoor Trophy. With that in mind here are my less than well-educated guesses as to who will finish where…

12 – Alaska-Anchorage – Let’s face facts, the Seawolves have been in the bottom half of the standings every year. That doesn’t mean they are doormats though, they are in most of their games and they don’t give up. Dave Shyiak is a good coach; he keeps his teams competitive with the recruits/players he gets. Alaska isn’t high on most kid’s list of places to go to college, and all the long flights taking their toll on these college students. I don’t see them in the top half of the standings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished out of the twelve spot.

11 – Minnesota State – The Mavericks will have a new coach this year, Mike Hastings, he replaces Troy Jutting, who was at MSUM for the previous 12 years. Hastings was an assistant coach with UNO the past 3 years, and was with Minnesota before that, he is a 1993 alumni of SCSU. With a new coach at the helm, players will have to adjust to their new leader. I think a year or two down the road these purple pucksters could make a run up the new WCHA standings.

10 – Bemidji State – The Beavers were one of four teams last year that had eleven wins in league play and where three games below .500. Like most of the bottom half teams, they need to get more scoring from their top lines, if they want to finish with a winning record.

9 – Michigan Tech – The Huskies from Houghton almost made it to an even record to end the season. But they did make the Final Five and gave DU all they could handle in their play-in game. You could say that BSU has a “favorable” schedule this year, in that they don’t play four games against many of the “powers that be”. Don’t be too surprised if you hear the Huskies do some howling this year.

8 – Wisconsin – The Badgers struggled last year, we’ll call last season a rebuilding year. They have been a defense first team, starting with the goalie and working out from there. Now that they have some experienced goaltending in their Badger burrow, they can start building themselves back up. Coach Eaves knows what it takes to win, so we’ll all have to watch and see how fast they put it all together in Madison.

7 – Nebraska-Omaha – The Mavericks lost assistant coach Mike Hastings to Mankato in the off season, but gained Mankato’s old head coach Troy Jutting as an assistant. MSUM and UNO games could turn into a rivalry now that they have swapped coaches. UNO needs to be more consistent across the board, last year it seemed as if the offense was good, then defense and goaltending were off, and vise versa. If they get that squared away they could be a top half team.

6 – Colorado College – The Tigers won four of their last twelve games to finish out their year, and lost their first round playoff series at home to visiting MTU. Last year they started off hot and cold off, I’m sure they want the same start this year, but a different finish…We’ll just have to wait and see…

5 – St. Cloud State The Huskies have a heavy sophomore class this season, which means they should all be improved from their freshman campaign. They have three seniors and they will be the backbone for the team, seniors Hanowski and Lee will be the keys to taking this year’s Huskies back to the Final Five and beyond. This season will also mark head coach Bob Motzko’s 8th season as the lead musher of SCSU hockey.

4 – Minnesota Duluth – The Bulldogs are coming off a strong season, unfortunately they watch last year’s McNaughton cup slip away from them and into the hands of Minnesota. When you look at the losses of seniors from last year, you might think of this season as a rebuilding year. I think it’ll be more of a reloading year.

3 – Minnesota – The Gophers had excellent year last, capturing the WCHA regular season title and advancing to the Frozen Four. The maroon and gold return plenty of talent from last year team. The big question will be goaltending, with the little or no college game experience; luckily they have some seasoned d-men.

2 – North Dakota – The teams formerly known as the Fighting Sioux, now just know as North Dakota (I’ll just use ND), will be in a similar boat as Minnesota. They have a question mark about the goaltending and how that will develop through the season. Also this year ND will have brothers playing for them at the same time, the MacMillan men, Mark and Mitch. (I believe that last time that happened was 03-04, with the Parise’s Zack and Jordan.) This will be coach Hakstol’s 9th season with ND, the coach staff has changed in the off season with Cary Eades departing the program.

1 – Denver – The Pioneers are my preseason predicted number one. How can I give them that honor over my favorite ND team, you ask? They return their goalie’s from last season and they both had playing time. And as for scoring, let’s just say DU has always been offensive, wink, wink. Win or lose the last WCHA title as we currently know it, coach Gwozdecky will still be the snazziest dressed coach in the league.
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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

College Hockey going to the 3/4 shields?

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA...
Division I college hockey is considering getting rid of the full cages and going to the three quarter shields. According to Mike McMahon about 95 percerent of the division I college hockey coaches are in favor of this move.

Losing the face mask/bird cage seems like a no-brainier to me because it would clean up the game of college hockey and cut down on unnecessary injuries. There is way to much stick work in the game of college hockey a some of it can be blame on "the mask."
Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff --- The rules committee will make a decision on those issues at their meeting in Indianapolis on June 6-8.

However, Whitehead pointed out that their recommendation on the three-quarter shield will have to be approved by the NCAA’s Committee of Competitive Safeguards.

The others won’t have to be approved by any other committees.

Whitehead likes the idea of going to the three-quarter shield for a number of reasons.

First, he said the players will have better peripheral vision, which could reduce the number of concussions.

“They won’t be losing the puck in their skates and looking down for it as much,” said Whitehead, noting that players are more vulnerable when they’re searching for the puck.

He also said players won’t be playing with as much reckless abandon and getting their sticks up.
Personally I think it’s a great idea to get rid of the bird cages and move into the 21st century, I think that the bird cage or full shield make players fell like they are invincible and they also lead to players to not be responsible with their sticks because they tend to worry less about their opponents.

Mick Hatten beat writer of the SCSU Huskies wrote an article on this subject this past week and this is what SCSU head hockey coach Bob Motzko had to say on the subject, it would appear that there is a consensus among college hockey coaches and players that they want to get rid of the awkward full cages. Actually, from what I have read in the past it's that's been the consensus for a while now.
“I think everyone in college hockey is unanimous in favor of it,” St. Cloud State men’s head coach Bob Motzko said. “It’s going to be overwhelming to go in that direction. They did a survey of the players this year and the players want to do it. 
I have never understood why it's okay for the USHL and the NAHL to be able to wear the full cage while the NCAA players have to play down with full cage/face mask.  This rule makes no sense to me what-so-ever.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sioux grind out 4-1 win against Huskies

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux athl...
Image via Wikipedia
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Saint Cloud State Huskies are always a tough draw; they have only been swept once all season long. The Huskies managed to get points every single weekend this season.

Tonight was no different, as the Fighting Sioux had to work hard to get the win against the Huskies. One can markup tonight’s game as another hard fought epic battle tonight as well.

Coming into tonight’s game, Huskies’ junior goalie Mike Lee has never won a game against the Fighting Sioux in his three seasons with the Huskies, going 0-5-1 during that run. With the 4-1 loss tonight, Lee’s record drops to 0-6-1.

While his junior goalie has yet to win a game against the Fighting Sioux, Saint Cloud State coach Bob Motzko described his goalie, “as a big time goaltender.”

The Huskies and the Sioux play a similar style of play as both teams like to limit the other’s time and space and get into the passing lanes making it difficult to generate scoring opportunities. That rang true tonight. At times the Huskies frustrated the Sioux by clogging up the neutral zone and they also did a good job getting the shooting lanes.

The Fighting Sioux also got in the passing lanes, took away the Huskies time and space and frustrated them as well.

Corbin Knight broke the defensive stalemate at the 7:40 mark of the first period, when the junior center curled in front of the net to center the puck. It went off of the SCSU defenseman Sam Zabkowicz and into the net past Lee.

With Knight in the box for charging, junior forward Ben Hanowski made the Fighting Sioux pay with his 23rd marker of the season.

Fighting Sioux sophomore forward Brock Nelson had been a little bit snake bitten as of late, but was able to get off of the snide with his 24th goal of the season as he snapped a shot over Lee’s blocker.
Motzko was impressed with Nelson’s first goal of the game.

“He’s coming down on his off side, a pretty good hockey player to, I think that’s the player in our league that you’re going to watch play in the NHL for a long time,” Motzko said. “He was able to cut back in the middle of the rink and that is where is he is going to go he is on his offside, kind of one on one and you can keep him on his back hand and you keep him down there, and he was perfect. Our guy crossed his feet over and he stepped back into the middle and was able to make a shot.”

The pesky Huskies wouldn’t go away quietly into the night.

With the Huskies goalie out of the net and pressing hard down low, Nelson would get his second goal of the game and his 25th goal of the season to ice it.

Fighting Sioux junior goalie Aaron Dell played well, and was the difference in the game stopping 28 of 29 shots.

When it was all said and done, this was a very even game and either team could have won. Motzko agreed.

“It was an extremely hard fought hockey game,” Motzko said. “It was a tough grinding game; it was a great game down on the bench. I don’t know if there were a ton of plays being made…”

With the win tonight, the Fighting Sioux improve to 23-12-3 and jump up to ninth in the PairWise Rankings.

The Fighting Sioux will play the top-seeded Minnesota Gophers in the semifinal game at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow night.

Coach Dave Hakstol seemed excited about the prospects of playing the Minnesota Gophers again.
“I said it yesterday, we are in the greatest venue possible for post season play in college hockey,” Hakstol said.“Saint Paul… the entire town is electric, this building is an awful lot of fun with the number of fans that are in the building, we have an opportunity to play a rival tomorrow night. If you like competition, you will like the game tomorrow.”

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's up SCSU?

I have been on vacation this past week and I am catching up on some of my reading when I came across this interesting article in the Saint Cloud Times. I am not sure why St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III is continuously making some of these statements, on one hand he said, that SCSU isn't going to accept an invitation to the NCHC, a league that his school was never invited to join, and then he does a one 180 and said he would be willing to listen "if" the NCHC wanted to add SCSU. Now we have this. Now Potter is trying to talk down the NCHC, two years before they play their first game.
Mick Hatten; SCTIMES ---- St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III has said that the university has looked at the numbers and win-loss records for teams in the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference and for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams.

“The NCHC doesn’t look like such a sweet deal for all of these teams,” Potter said.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers that Potter is talking about.

The past six seasons, St. Cloud State has been coached by Bob Motzko. So we’ll use the records of teams from the past six seasons as the base.

The NCHC will, as it stands, have five teams from the WCHA in its inaugural season of 2013-14: Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota.

Here are the records and winning percentage of those five teams when they competed against each other last season: Colorado College (5-5-1, .500), Denver (5-7, .417), Minnesota-Duluth (3-5-1, .389), Nebraska-Omaha (5-5, .500) and North Dakota (9-5, .643).

Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State-Mankato and St. Cloud State will be the five teams left in the WCHA after those five leave for the NCHC.

Here are the records for the future NCHC teams against the teams that plan to remain in the WCHA from last season: Colorado College (9-6-1, .594), Denver (13-2-2, .824), Minnesota-Duluth (10-3-2, .733), Nebraska-Omaha (8-6-2, .563) and North Dakota (15-0-2, .889).
St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III is right there are going to be some winners and there are going to be the teams that finish at the bottom at the new NCHC. These 6-8 teams are going to be beating the hell out of each other and depending on who they play in their non-conference schedule they would be on the out side looking in when it comes to the NCAA Tourney. The same thing is going to happen to the B1G teams as well.

On the other side of this argument is that the PWR ranking of the WCHA is going to go down with the exit of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College and University of Nebraska Omaha. With these seven teams leaving the WCHA isn't going to be receiving 4-5 at large NCAA Hockey tourney bids anymore either, it's a mathematical fact. In the past season the WCHA had 10 teams in the top twenty of the PWR ranking, however, the WCHA will not be as strong in the PWR rankings and will have less teams in the NCAA tourney as well.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Will the Gophers want to duck the Sioux?

A faceoff between the University of North Dako...Image via WikipediaHere is my Thursday afternoon discussion; I have been thinking about this subject and I am throwing out there for discussion purposes. I decided to expound on the subject after seeing the story linked below from yesterday's St. Cloud Times.

I do believe that the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team is going to want to play the UND Fighting Sioux on a regular basis for financial reasons, it's advantageous to both programs to continue the storied rivalry, next to the Badgers, the UND Fighting Sioux are one of the top rivals of the Minnesota Golden Gopher's, it's a fact. Before you throw the Fighting Sioux nickname out there, the nick name issue will be resolved before the NCHC conference plays it's first game (just a prediction, UND is not going to give up a chance to pay in the Big Sky Conference). I don't care what the so called self described experts say, (I am sure we know who these people are), UMN needs UND too. Let's not kid ourselves, UND is going to sell more tickets than a match up against OSU, MSU-M and or SCSU.
Mick Hatton; Saint Cloud Times --- The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team is in preliminary discussions with St. Cloud State, Bemidji State and Minnesota State-Mankato about playing nonconference games and a tournament both on an annual basis, according to Gophers coach Don Lucia.

Lucia said he has talked with Huskies coach Bob Motzko, Beavers coach Tom Serratore and Mavericks coach Troy Jutting about the Gophers playing games against their programs beginning in 2013-14, which is the first season that the Gophers and Wisconsin leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for the Big Ten Conference.

Lucia also said that he plans to talk with Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin about the same arrangement with the Bulldogs, who also leave the WCHA after the 2012-13 season and will join the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“We have 14 nonleague games to work with and our goal is to play those (four) teams every year,” Lucia said. “It would be good for our program, all the other programs and for the state of Minnesota.

“I think it’s a win-win for everyone, for our fans and the proximity of playing each other. We should continue playing each other.”
So when the nickname issue is worked out do you think the Gophers and Sioux will play on a "semi-regular" basis? I do, because it's beneficial to both parties.
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Gophers want to play state teams

Stomper, Minnesota State University - mascotImage via WikipediaIt will be interesting to see what kind of arrangements these various teams will come up with as we get closer to the 2013-2014 season. I would imagine that other teams will have simular tourneys and arrangements. It will also be a good way to schedule nonconference games and spread the wealth around.
Mick Hatten; St Cloud Times --- The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team is in preliminary discussions with St. Cloud State, Bemidji State and Minnesota State-Mankato about playing nonconference games and a tournament both on an annual basis, according to Gophers coach Don Lucia.

Lucia said he has talked with Huskies coach Bob Motzko, Beavers coach Tom Serratore and Mavericks coach Troy Jutting about the Gophers playing games against their programs beginning in 2013-14, which is the first season that the Gophers and Wisconsin leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for the Big Ten Conference.

Lucia also said that he plans to talk with Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin about the same arrangement with the Bulldogs, who also leave the WCHA after the 2012-13 season and will join the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“We have 14 nonleague games to work with and our goal is to play those (four) teams every year,” Lucia said. “It would be good for our program, all the other programs and for the state of Minnesota.
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