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Gophers' seniors excited to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time

When the Gophers take the ice at Xcel Energy Center against Boston University on Saturday, it will end a three-year drought of playing in the NCAA tournament. Head coach Don Lucia thinks there "was a lot of pressure" on the Gophers to return, especially on the senior class -- all of whom haven't played in the tournament before.
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When the Gophers take the ice at Xcel Energy Center against Boston University on Saturday, it will end a three-year drought of playing in the NCAA tournament. Head coach Don Lucia thinks there "was a lot of pressure" on the Gophers to return, especially on the senior class -- all of whom haven't played in the tournament before.

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Lucia up for NCAA Coach of the Year

Gophers coach Don Lucia is one of seven finalists for the Spencer Penrose Award, given yearly to the top college coach in the nation. The winner will be announced on April 6th, one day after the Gophers play Boston College in the Frozen Four. Lucia won the award in 1994 when he was at Colorado College.

Statistical website gives hockey Gophers a 46 percent chance at NCAA tourney

Believe it or not, the Golden Gophers men's hockey team isn't a lock to make the NCAA tournament. The Gophers are at the top of the WCHA standings, but their No. 13 ranking in the PairWise hurts their chances. A website called PlayoffStatus.com gives the Gophers a 46 percent chance to make the NCAA tournament.

Third ranked Gophers still a borderline NCAA Tournament team?

The latest USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine college hockey polls list the Gophers as the No. 3 team in the nation, behind UMD and Boston University. However, the Gophers are No. 13 in the PairWise rankings. If they fall any further they could end up as a bubble team to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Lucia's Gophers preparing for defensive-minded St. Cloud State Huskies

Don Lucia and the Gophers men's hockey team is hoping for a big sweep in their home-and-home series with St. Cloud State University this weekend. If they do sweep, it will be the first time any WCHA team has swept the Huskies this season. Lucia says they are tough to play against because of their strong defense and goaltending.

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Head coach Don Lucia says Michigan Tech got a little too aggressive in the closing moments of the Gophers' 6-2 win Saturday night, and the rough play ultimately led to trash talking between the coaches. Lucia said it was "regrettable and hopefully it doesn't happen again."

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