Men’s hockey head coach Don Lucia will get a chance to bring a group of Gopher players with him to the IIHF World Junior Championships later this year in Malmo, SWE. Five players expected to play for Lucia this fall were invited to the August 3-10 camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.
In total 40 players so far were named to the evaluation camp roster for Team USA. Goaltenders have yet to be named to the camp roster and should be announced by next week.
Leading the way for the Gophers is defender Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn.) who recorded one goal and two assists last season for the Maroon and Gold. The freshmen blue liner from this past season will be joined by four recruits of the program.
Forwards Hudson Fasching and Taylor Cammarata as well as defender Michael Brodzinski are expected on campus this fall. Minnetonka, Minn. native Tommy Vannelli is another defensive recruit on the camp list, but it is not certain if he will be joining the Gophers this fall or not.
Lucia will have some big shoes to fill as Team USA won the WJC Gold Medal last year. He was named the head coach of the team for the first time this last March during the WCHA Final Five.
Gophers assistant coach Grant Potulny was an assistant on the Gold Medal winning team this past year and was joined by defender Mike Reilly. Lucia’s son Mario was also on the team that took the gold.
- The Las Vegas Sun wrote yesterday that the Golden Nugget Casino will make UNLV a double-digit underdog against Minnesota in their football season opener at TCF Bank Stadium this August. The sports book at the Golden Nugget is usually the first betting establishment to release college football lines and they like the Gophers a lot to start the season.
- All-American goalie Noora Raty finished her college hockey career at Minnesota with back-t0-back National Championships and added a Capital One Academic All-American Award to her resume as well. The Division I At-Large team member had a 3.50 GPA as a Journalism student at Minnesota. It was the first Academic All-American Award for the women’s hockey team.
- Raty was also honored by the Big Ten Conference for her academic excellence along with senior track and field thrower Quentin Mege as Medal of Honor winners from the conference for the top male and female academic athletes at Minnesota this year.