Cepis is co-offensive player of the week

by Austin Cumblad

The accolades keep streaming in for the Gophers men’s hockey team this week. First, Minnesota entered the USCHO.com rankings for the first time since New Year’s weekend; now, Jacob Cepis has been named the WCHA co-offensive player of the week (sharing the love with UND’s Brett Hextall) for his three-point series against Wisconsin.

Without seeing all other offensive performances, it seems a fitting accolade, as much because of when Cepis scored his goals as anything else – Friday’s 70 seconds after Wisconsin defenseman Jake Gardiner tied the game 1-1, Saturday’s 44 seconds into the third to give the Gophers a 3-2 lead.

Cepis has re-emerged of late after a bit of a dry spell with three goals in his last three games. Head coach Don Lucia said last week that he had to get in Cepis’ ear to be more assertive on the ice, and the message seems to have been received. Injured senior captain Jay Barriball’s timetable for return is still unknown, so continued production from Cepis, now Minnesota’s leading scorer, will be critical if the Gophers are to secure home-ice advantage for the WCHA playoffs.