An injury to goalie Michael Shibrowski last week in practice has taken any question off of the table about who the No. 1 starting goaltender is for the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team.
All injuries aside, freshmen Adam Wilcox has won himself the starting job, even when Shibrowski is scheduled to come back around for the Mariucci Classic holiday tournament at the end of December.
The South St. Paul native allowed just two goals on 50 total shots versus the University of Vermont Catamounts over his two road win weekend. Wilcox improved to an 8-1-2 overall record on the season. The eight total wins on the year have him in a tie for No. 2 in the nation among all goalkeepers.
Friday night, Minnesota dispatched of Vermont with a 5-1 victory. Scoring in the game was well balanced as five different Gophers scored a goal. Nick Bjugstad, Zach Budish, and Kyle Rau each had a two point game with a goal and an assist a piece.
Freshmen Mike Reilly also recorded a goal in the contest. His first as a member of the Maroon and Gold.
The defense was strong again for Saturday’s 3-1 win. Minnesota held the Catamounts off the score sheet until the 4:15 mark of the third period. Jacob Fallon scored a 4-on-4 goal for the home squad.
Minnesota’s goal scoring on Saturday was just as balanced as the night before. Three different Gophers scored for head coach Don Lucia. Nate Condon, A.J. Michaelson, and Tom Serratore each scored in the win. Condon’s tally was an empty-net goal at the end of the game.
Michaelson played off Reilly’s lead from Friday night, as the Saturday goal for the freshmen from Apple Valley, Minn. was the first of his career.
The numbers for Wilcox between the pipes are getting better as the season moves on. His 1.46 goals against average is good for No. 3 overall in the nation. His .931 save percentage has him ranked No. 5 overall for goalies with at least ten games played.
Minnesota will look to transfer this weekend’s road success to their home building next weekend. The University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks invade Mariucci Arena on Friday and Saturday night for the WCHA series.
Wilcox will get his first career start versus UNO on Friday. Strong defense paired with his good goaltending will help Minnesota against a very good Mavericks hockey team.
It will be a battle of Top-15 teams upcoming. I recommend making your way to Mariucci for this series, if you have yet to catch the men’s hockey team in action yet.