Thursday, February 09, 2012

Gophers Top Line Will Keep DU Busy

(left) The #1 ranked Minnesota Gophers invade Magness Arena this weekend

From: Fox Sports North
by Brian Hall


Two are former Minnesota Mr. Hockey winners, the third might have been able to take home the same trophy if it weren't for an injury. All three players were selected in the top three rounds of the NHL draft and were among the top high school recruits in the country their senior seasons.

Zach Budish, Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau ended up together with the Minnesota Gophers men's hockey team. When Minnesota started practicing this season, coach Don Lucia decided the trio best fit on the same line.

Now that they are together, the Budish, Bjugstad and Rau aren't thinking about being split up — at least not yet.

"We just want to focus on this, what we have at hand," said Rau, the freshman left wing. "If things go well here, other things will play out for us."

Together, the three have formed one of the top lines in all of college hockey and helped the Gophers return to prominence as the No. 2 ranked team in the country heading into this weekend's series at No. 14 Denver. Minnesota (19-9-1, 15-5-0 WCHA) also leads the conference with 30 points.

Rau is the speedy newcomer, slight in stature at just 5-foot-8 and 172 pounds, but he's made his mark with 13 goals and 14 assists in his first 27 college games. Rau's plus-19 rating is sixth in the country. Bjugstad is the big sophomore center with the bigger numbers. The 6-foot-5, 211-pounder is second in the nation with 21 goals to go with 12 assists. Budish, the redshirt sophomore right wing, is the surprise veteran leader as an assistant captain with six goals and 16 assists.

"It's fun playing with guys as skilled as they are," said Budish, who suffered a knee injury playing football and missed the entire his entire senior hockey season at Edina High School.

"They are good defensively and they play an all-around game. Obviously they put up a lot of points. That's what most people notice. We do things that don't show up. Kyle blocks a bunch of shots. Nick's phenomenal on faceoffs…I think those guys bring other things to the table other than scoring" [read entire article].

7 comments:

vizoroo said...

I suggest DU provides mopeds to the gophers for a pregame warmup. How many fall down and break their knees?
I suggest Kyle Rau considers transferring to cc and refuses to play until cc can hang another banner.

old pio said...

And DU also needs to hire Bill Murray as a special assistant coach for the weekend.

Anonymous said...

I don't know man; but I feel pretty good about this series, for DU. It's all not doom and gloom. We've come this far without Beau Bennett..... and not having him, certainly won't stop the Pioneers. DU can handle this, if everything happens the way it's supposed to.

Du@Du said...

Who said anything about Beau?Yes we miss him .We are better with him as well as Sam ,Ryder,and Mak which have all missed many games

Josey Wales said...

License to kill gophers......by the Government of the United Nations......

Anonymous said...

As a loyal gopher fan, anything is possible in that one night they will light the lamp ten times a game and the other night the lamps are not lit in the locker room. Both games will be tight but predict 4 pts for the maroon and gold.

Anonymous said...

The gophers are a bunch of pussies. Nice stick work Helgeson.