Westrum takes home WCHA honors after win

David La

Much was made of the freshmen trio who scored goals in Minnesota’s 7-3 win over Notre Dame on Saturday, but it was senior captain Erik Westrum taking home WCHA player of the week honors.
Westrum notched a pair of goals in the game, both in the second period.
The first was a power-play goal coming off a rebound in front of the Irish net. The puck barely beat sliding Notre Dame wing Matt Van Arkel, who knocked the net off its moorings a split second after the red light went on.
Westrum struck gold again coming around the back of the Irish net and stuffing a wrap-around past goalie Tony Zasowski.
The goals were the 44th and 45th of Westrum’s career, and gave him the 10th multi-goal game of his career.
Westrum contributed 53 points last season and was a third-team all-WCHA pick.
Gophers coach Don Lucia won his 300th career game Saturday night in front of 18,064 fans at the Xcel Energy Center. Lucia has led eight-straight teams to 20-win seasons.
Period o’ points
Wisconsin opened its season against UMass-Amherst last weekend, winning both a shoot-out and a shutout.
In Friday night’s 9-6 Badgers win, the two teams scored 10 goals in the second period. Four of the scores came in a span of 56-seconds.
“That second period was like an old pond hockey game, just going back and forth,” Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer told The Badger Herald. “It was an exciting game for the fans.”
“That game was like the `Twilight Zone,'” Badgers goalie Graham Melanson said. “I couldn’t believe what was happening, I was in total shock.”
Wisconsin found its defense Saturday, blanking the Minutemen 3-0.
For the weekend, 17 different Badgers scored at least one point, including goals by 11 players.
Final Fives in the Xcel
Beginning March 15-17, 2001, the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul will host three-straight WCHA Final Five tournaments.
St. Paul hosted the conference playoff championships eight times since its inception in 1988. The past two seasons, the Final Five took place at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Tickets can be obtained by calling 651-989-5151.

Nine Gophers in the NHL
Opening day NHL rosters include 47 players from the WCHA, including nine former Gophers.

David La Vaque covers men’s hockey and welcomes comments at [email protected]