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Gophers avoid turmoil plagueing other college hockey teams

Gophers Coach Don Lucia has managed to keep the same goalie and 12 forwards for pretty much every game this season. They're lucky to keep their players healthy as other schools suffer through injuries.
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Gophers Coach Don Lucia has managed to keep the same goalie and 12 forwards for pretty much every game this season. They're lucky to keep their players healthy as other schools suffer through injuries.

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Hockey Gophers open against Sacred Heart

Don Lucia's hockey Gophers open the non-conference season tonight at Mariucci Arena as they face off against Sacred Heart. The Pioneers had an abysmal record last year, but after getting bounced from the 2011 WCHA playoffs by Alaska-Anchorage the No. 19 Gophers refuse to take any team lightly.

Gophers hockey blasts Sacred Heart in season opener

Don Lucia's Golden Gophers whipped Sacred Heart 9-0 in the season opener at Mariucci Arena Friday night. Minnesota scored four goals in a dominant second period to pull away for the route. The two teams will play again Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

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If Gophers hockey isn’t broke, Don Lucia won’t fix it. The coach says goalie Kent Patterson will start both games this weekend against Vermont, and will keep playing the senior until he needs a break.

Lucia likes Gophers depth

Don Lucia likes the depth of his Gophers hockey team. Lucia says his players are in great shape and ready for the season thanks in part to senior captain Taylor Matson pushing his teammates hard throughout the month of September.

Hockey Gophers sinking in national poll

The hockey Gophers are sinking in the national rankings again. After spending two weeks at No. 1, they’re now down to No. 5 in the USCHO poll. Minnesota-Duluth jumps to No. 4 in the nation.

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Don Lucia's Golden Gophers jumped four spots in the USA Today/USA National College Hockey rankings from No. 14 to No. 10 in the country. Minnesota is off to a 4-0 start after sweeping UMD over the weekend.

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A week ago Jerry Kill said the Gophers were close to failing to meet the NCAA's APR standard. APR measures how successful teams are graduating players. Now Kill says they are close to being penalized, but moving in the right direction and "may not lose anything right now."

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The 5-1 University of Minnesota Gophers play at Alaska-Anchorage this Friday and Saturday night. The Seawolves won three of four meetings at Mariucci Arena last year, and Don Lucia says this year won't get any easier on the road.