Tallackson continues solid play down the stretch

Adam Fink

Minnesota’s Barry Tallackson received the puck at the blue line on Saturday night and proceeded to race toward St. Cloud State goaltender Jason Montgomery for a one-on-one showdown early in the second period.

But before he could reach the netminder, Tallackson was taken down from behind, sending Derek Eastman to the penalty box.

A mere 18 seconds later, Troy Riddle tied the game at one on the power play.

A quick glance at Tallackson’s statistics over the weekend won’t reveal anything special – two assists.

However, Tallackson’s play-making ability made the difference for Minnesota.

The St. Paul native jump-started the Gophers 5-3 win Friday, faking out one Huskies defender before finding a trailing Judd Stevens for the first score of the game.

Between making another fancy assist to Gino Guyer later in the game and causing the game-changing penalty on Saturday, Tallackson hustled, led numerous odd-man rushes and showed the skill that fueled high expectations entering the season.

“I am starting to feel pretty good out there,” the sophomore said. “I was laying some hits and getting hit.”

After coming back from a shoulder injury earlier in the year, Tallackson’s been one of the most productive players lately.

In the past four games, Tallackson has tallied six points.

“He is playing well right now,” coach Don Lucia said. “He is helping the progress of (linemates) Gino and Andy (Sertich).”

In addition, Tallackson has won over his teammates and added another offensive threat to the line-up.

“We need everyone contributing,” first-line center Matt Koalska said. “He is big, strong and making plays for us right now.”

Attendance tops capacity

The regular season ended Saturday night with encouraging attendance figures for Mariucci Arena.

While the arena’s listed capacity is 10,000 fans, the Gophers attracted an average of 10,078 patrons through the 18 home games.

That tops last year’s average of 10,032, which was the previous high for the arena.

Mariucci Arena expanded to its current capacity before the 2001-02 season.

Falling one short

Gophers coach Don Lucia remains one victory shy of 100 for his tenure in Minnesota.

However, Lucia did notch his 99th win on Friday night. For his career, Lucia holds a record of 99-48-17.

Senior Matt DeMarchi, honored along with fellow four-year players Nick Anthony and Chad Roberg before the game, stands one penalty minute short of tying the Gophers’ record of 453 set by Chris McAlpine from 1990-1994.

DeMarchi had three penalties over the weekend.

Adam Fink covers men’s hockey and welcomes

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