Fasching leads Gophers’ best line so far

The junior forward has four points in the team’s first five games this season.

Mike Hendrickson

Junior Hudson Fasching and his line delivered for the Gophers after the team was reeling to start the season.
 
The team was 0-3 to begin the year, but in their series against Northeastern, Fasching scored three goals to help propel the Gophers to their first two victories of the year. 
 
Freshman center Tommy Novak and sophomore forward Leon Bristedt played with Fasching over the series, and the two of them each scored a goal of their own against Northeastern. One of the three had at least a point on six of the eight goals the team scored on the weekend.
 
“That was our best line,” head coach Don Lucia said. “I don’t think there’s any question that they’ve been good. They continue on through practice, and it’s probably been our
most consistent line from an offensive standpoint.”
 
The Gophers had only scored one goal in the three games, but the line of Fasching, Novak and Bristedt made sure the scoring would start up.
 
Novak notched his first career goal in the series, and Fasching said the line is clicking now.
 
Fasching and Bristedt played together often last season along with Kyle Rau, who left in the spring after signing an entry-level deal with the Florida 
Panthers.
 
“It’s always fun to play with [Novak],” Fasching said. “[Bristedt’s] ready to go. He’s finally kind of found his flow in the game. So me and him back together has also been a lot of fun.”
 
Fasching has dealt with his fair share injuries in his career, straining a ligament in his groin last season and breaking a bone in his knee as well. He had surgery on his knee in
May but didn’t miss any games this year.
 
“I’ve felt injury-free so far this year, which has been tremendous,” Fasching said. “Especially going from almost an entire year of playing with some sort of injury kind of nagging at you.”
 
Fasching said the toughest part of the injuries last year was having them in his mind every time he went onto the ice.
 
“I think the hardest part is the mental battle it is every day,” Fasching said. “You know it’s there; you know it’s kind of always in the back of your head, [and you] can’t really escape that.”
 
Fasching is now second on the team with four points on the season, and his line has nine total.
 
Lucia said with the team’s freshmen going through early season struggles, he wanted to put one of them on a line that’s worked before. 
 
So Novak was paired with Fasching and Bristedt.
 
“I think Leon and Hudson like playing together, and that was the thought process of throwing Tommy in the middle,” Lucia said. “We still have tried to protect some of our freshmen by playing one on the line.”
 
Lucia said he needed one of the captains to step up at the beginning of the year.
 
Fasching has done that for him so far.
 
“He played more the way we need him to play,” Lucia said. “Hudson can’t forget the type of player that he is. Big body. Power-type forward. Not a cute player. A heavy player [and] hard to play against.”