Hauser nabs defensive player of the week award

by Sarah Mitchell

Minnesota goaltender Adam Hauser was honored by the WCHA on Tuesday for his play against North Dakota over the weekend — he was named defensive player of the week.
The goalie, from Bovey, Minn., stopped 74 of 79 shots in Minnesota’s two-game conference series against the Sioux. Despite Hauser’s .937 save percentage, the Gophers (0-3-1 overall, 0-1-1 WCHA) picked up only one conference point in their home opener. Minnesota tied the Sioux at two in overtime on Friday before falling 3-2 on Saturday.
“We need wins and we want wins. Coach Lucia wants wins. Everybody wants wins,” Hauser said. “Maybe they won’t come as easy as we want them to … it’s a tough road.”
Hauser posted 44 saves against the Sioux on Friday. Nineteen of those were recorded in the second period. The 6-foot-3 goalie returned between the pipes on Saturday, stopping 30 of 33 shots.
Being named the defensive player of the week is not Hauser’s first WCHA recognition. Last season, the goalie was named WCHA rookie of the week after stopping 48 of 52 shots in a weekend sweep at Wisconsin.
Alaska goalie Cory McEachran and North Dakota goalie Karl Goehring were also nominated this week.

Other awards
Wisconsin winger Dustin Kuk and Minnesota-Duluth center Jon Francisco claimed the other conference awards.
Kuk was named WCHA offensive player of the week. The senior assisted on five of Wisconsin’s six goals in a 6-1 home conference defeat of Duluth last Saturday. Kuk missed tying the league record of single game assists, which is shared by eight other players at six. Kuk (1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points) is the top-scoring WCHA player overall.
Francisco was honored as the conference’s rookie of the week. Duluth’s freshman center was credited with three assists in the Bulldogs’ road series at Wisconsin.

Lucia’s warm start
Friday’s home opener marked Gophers coach Don Lucia’s first home game at Minnesota’s helm. Surrounded by flashing lights and booming music, Lucia was greeted by over 9,000 Gophers backers.
“It sent a few chills,” Lucia said. “I have to admit it was very exciting.”
The Gophers earned one conference point in Lucia’s debut. Minnesota is sixth in the conference standings.
Wisconsin (3-1-0, 3-1-0) tops the conference leaderboard with six points. Preseason WCHA favorite North Dakota (1-1-0, 1-1-0) is the sole owner of second place with three points.

Slap shots
ù Gophers center Erik Westrum is eighth in WCHA overall scoring. Through four games, the junior has four goals and one assist.
ù Gophers freshman Shawn Roed is ninth in WCHA freshman overall scoring. The winger has one goal and an assist. St. Cloud’s Ryan Malone leads the conference’s freshman with seven points (0-7-7).

Sarah Mitchell covers men’s hockey and welcomes comments at [email protected]