Lucia says physicality on the ice has its boundaries

According to the University of Minnesota menâÄôs hockey coach Don Lucia, âÄúThereâÄôs a little bit of a black eye [in college hockey].âÄù Two weeks ago, Michigan StateâÄôs Andrew Conboy and Corey Tropp attacked MichiganâÄôs Steve Kampfer during a rivalry game âÄî a move that got the two Spartans suspended for the remainder of the season. Then last weekend the Gophers had an eventful weekend of their own. Playing Minnesota State in a home-and-home series, the two teams combined for 152 penalty minutes and together sent five players to the locker room early because of penalties. Junior Brian Schack took one of Friday nightâÄôs two game disqualifications when he retaliated to a Minnesota State hit by taking down Mavericks forward Channing Boe, who is reportedly out for the season with a leg injury. âÄú[Boe] didnâÄôt get injured from SchackâÄôs hit, he got injured from the pile,âÄù Lucia, who had a good angle on the incident, said. On Wednesday, Lucia defended Schack. âÄúI have no issue with Brian protecting teammates based on what happened,âÄù he said. âÄúI donâÄôt think you want to cross the line.âÄù Fighting, major elbows and checking from behind is where Lucia sees the line, but the Gophers coach thinks maintaining that line is on the shoulders of everyone involved in the game. âÄúI think there has to be a little more respect between players too. You have to respect the game,âÄù Lucia said. âÄúHead hunting shouldnâÄôt be part of the game.âÄù Injury update MinnesotaâÄôs struggling defense might get a boost this weekend if junior defenseman David Fischer is able to return to the lineup as is tentatively planned. Lucia said Fischer is 50-50 for this weekend after being sidelined the last five games with a leg injury. âÄúHeâÄôs been our No. 1 defenseman all year,âÄù Lucia said. âÄúIf heâÄôs able to play, it takes the pressure off everyone else.âÄù Both Fischer and Lucia said if the defenseman does skate this weekend âÄî and Fischer is adamant he will âÄî it will be in a limited role. Fischer said he might be down to as little as 15 minutes of ice time this weekend, down from the 25 minutes he normally plays. But heâÄôll take whatever he can get âÄî heâÄôs tired of watching from the press box. âÄúIt was the worst. It was pretty much the first time IâÄôve been âÄòinjured,âÄô âÄù Fischer said. âÄúYou kind of feel out of the loop.âÄù While he was out of the loop, Minnesota has given up 4.4 goals per game. So heâÄôs jumping back into the lineup, even if heâÄôs not 100 percent. âÄúItâÄôs going to hurt, but thatâÄôs OK,âÄù Fischer said. âÄúItâÄôs been more than a long enough time since IâÄôve been on the ice.âÄù Meanwhile, Lucia isnâÄôt sure if his son, Tony, will dress this weekend. The junior forward, who took a check from behind in FridayâÄôs second period, sat out the third period and did not dress Saturday. He skated on his own before WednesdayâÄôs afternoon practice. Champs return to the rink The 1979 Minnesota menâÄôs hockey team will be honored during SaturdayâÄôs second intermission, 30 years after the squad won an NCAA championship in Herb BrooksâÄô final year as head coach. The team, which includes eight members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, went 32-11-1 that season. Sophomore defenseman Kevin Wehrs said having the championship team in Mariucci Arena could give this yearâÄôs squad a boost of confidence. Ironically, another âÄúMiracleâÄù player will be on campus this weekend. Mark Johnson will be next door at Ridder Arena to coach the Wisconsin womenâÄôs hockey team.