Fasching rekindles early-season flame just in time for Wisconsin

Hudson Fasching has nine goals this season, tied for third on the team.

Megan Ryan

The Gophers men’s hockey team isn’t into being “cute” on the ice. That’s something freshman forward Hudson Fasching learned firsthand.

Fasching already has nine goals this season, tied for third on the team. But they didn’t come in a steady stream.

A stretch during the middle of the season saw Fasching forget his go-hard-to-the-net-look-for-pucks style. He got too fancy; instead of crashing the net, he tried to play pucks through opposing players’ skates and wouldn’t make the smart

“I think he went through a stretch where all of a sudden, he maybe tried to do a little bit too cute, a little one-on-one hockey,” said head coach Don Lucia. “And that’s not the strength of his game.

“It’s being a power forward and picking up the scraps around the blue paint.”

This isn’t news to Fasching.

“I think that lull was a little bit me getting away from that and trying to do a little bit more cute plays and things that I shouldn’t,” he said.

Fasching started off his first season with the Gophers in style on the first line with juniors Sam Warning and Kyle Rau.

He rolled through most of the first half of the season. But after competing at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships with the U.S. national junior team, he seemed to leave his momentum back in Europe.

“When I came back from Sweden, I felt a little bit out of the whole grind and just didn’t really hit my stride right away,” Fasching said.

Gophers freshman forward Taylor Cammarata said he noticed the hitch in his teammate’s season as well.

Not anymore. Fasching is back to his game now. And the five-game point streak proves it.

In the last three weeks, Fasching has scored three power-play goals with three assists. Lucia said Fasching’s ability to finish his scoring opportunities and capitalize on special teams has improved recently.

Fasching will need to keep it up this weekend at Wisconsin, as Lucia said physical players like him and junior forward Seth Ambroz will be instrumental to a Gophers

“The college game is more of a grinder … kind of dirty goal style, and that fits his game well,” Cammarata said.

Fasching said he is just happy to be making an impact in his first season at Minnesota.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “I never in my wildest dreams … thought I would ever be in this position.”