Almost a month and a half since the Gopher Hockey season ended, one Gopher recruit is still playing.
Gabe Guertler, of Plantation, Florida, is playing with the Fargo Force out of the USHL. The Force and the Dubuque Fighting Saints are in a battle for USHL’s top trophy, the Clark Cup. Guertler and the Force aren’t having much luck in the series, however. Dubuque holds a 2-0 series lead as the series shifts back to Fargo for game three on Friday. Guertler has no goals or assists in the series and is -1.
Guertler is expected to join the Gophers for the inaugural season in the Big Ten next season. After the gophers lost some offensive firepower this offseason with all of the early exits, Guertler can definitely add some back to the young lineup next season. Guertler added 31 goals and 20 assists in 60 games played this past season with Fargo. In the 2011-12 season, he had 9 goals and 19 assists in 57 games played with the Force. Guertler is sitting 7th among the scoring leaders in the USHL playoffs right now. He has 6 goals and 4 assists in 12 games played.
Guertler, a 5-foot-9 forward, will add some speed to the young lineup. Speed will be key for the Gophers offense next season with 5-foot-9 forward Kloos and 5-foot-7 forward Cammarata joining the team next season. Cammarata and Kloos finished one and two respectively in the USHL for scoring this season
After the mass exodus the gopher Hockey program saw earlier this year, coach Lucia and his staff will look for guys like Guertler to fill some of the roles that the big-name players left. However, Lucia will have a hard time figuring out the lines at first with a lot of shorter players on the team. The Gophers have found success with shorter players in the past with Jacob Cepis and most recently Kyle Rau.