An official announcement is expected later today.
Coach Don Lucia's top-ranked hockey Gophers gave the longtime coach a 3-2 victory over Michigan Tech on Saturday night -- and the 600th win of his career.
Erik Haula will return to the Gophers for his junior season, according to head coach Don Lucia. Haula led Minnesota in scoring last season. Kyle Rau and Nate Schmidt will also return next season. Lucia says "if everybody comes back, we should be be a very good team next year."
Boston College ended the Gophers season with a 6-1 blowout in the Frozen Four last night in Tampa, Fla. Minnesota won the shots battle, 31-25, but BC goalie Parker Milner stopped almost every puck the Gophers threw at him.
Gophers' goalie Kent Patterson is full of confidence heading into Thursday night's Frozen Four game against Boston College. He says getting blown out by North Dakota in the WCHA Final Five helped the Gophers remember "that we have to play a full 60 minutes." Since then he's played two great games against Boston and UND.
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.
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.
The Gopher hockey team will lace up its skates for the West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul this weekend. However, Don Lucia insists that the Gophers won't have home-ice advantage even though they will only be a 15 minute drive from their school.
It's been three years since the Minnesota Gophers have been to the WCHA Final Five. It was a 2009 loss to UMD in the opening round. Jake Hansen and Nico Sachetti are the only two remaining players from that team, and they want to make the most of their final opportunity.
Don Lucia has his Golden Gophers focused on this weekend's series against the Wisconsin Badgers, not winning the MacNaughton Cup. The Gophers need one win to clinch the WCHA regular season title, but Lucia says beating Wisconsin will take care of everything.