Potulny out up to six weeks with fractured left fibula

by Adam Fink

Grant Potulny lists his favorite class as logic in Minnesota’s men’s hockey media guide.

Unfortunately, instead of a logic tutorial Saturday night, the junior captain got a lesson in bad luck.

After two years of steady improvement, Potulny, who is poised for a stellar year, will be out up to six weeks after fracturing his left fibula.

The injury occurred in the second period of top-ranked Minnesota’s 7-2 victory over Ohio State. Potulny crashed into the boards feet first and limped off the ice. He was on crutches following the game.

Originally diagnosed as an ankle sprain, Monday’s X-rays revealed the severity of the injury.

“He’s a warrior,” coach Don Lucia said. “We are going to miss him. He’s the guy we look to.”

Potulny will be missed for more than just the 34 points he tallied last season.

His leadership, especially as a role model, will be missed by the 18 underclassmen on the roster.

“In the long run, this will help our team develop,” Lucia said. “In the short run, it’s a big hit on our lineup.”

Replacing Potulny’s minutes is going to be a group effort. Lucia said they will rotate players around to give them an opportunity to shine and find the right chemistry.

In addition, the Grand Forks, N.D. native will be missed on the power play. In his two years, Potulny has scored 24 goals with the man advantage.

“It’s better now than later in the season,” Lucia said. “When a guy gets hurt, it gives an opportunity for someone else. Now they have to make the most of that opportunity.”

Rather than reassigning a captain for the games Potulny will sit out, the team will simply use its two alternates, senior forward Nick Anthony and junior defenseman Paul Martin.

No disciplinary action

senior Matt DeMarchi won’t face any disciplinary action for his hit on Ohio State’s Paul Caponigri on Saturday.

DeMarchi was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty for checking the left-winger in the back at the 15:05 mark.

If DeMarchi had received a game disqualification, he would have automatically been suspended for Friday’s game at No. 4 New Hampshire.

Freshman defenseman Chris Harrington was playing with DeMarchi when the penalty occurred.

“It seemed like one of those borderline calls,” Harrington said. “But with the new rules, you’ve got to call anything that looks like it was from behind.”

Entering the year, DeMarchi had recorded 150 penalties for 343 minutes through three seasons.

Lucia said he talked to DeMarchi about the number of penalties.

“We have talked about it,” Lucia said. “He understands what I have told him. They called the play tight and they are the refs and can do that.”