Gophers men’s hockey loses top scorer to mononucleosis

Max Sanders

Fresh off a three-point weekend against No. 5 North Dakota, the men’s hockey team received some potentially devestating news. A report in the Startribune announced leading goal-scorer Mike Hoeffel has mononucleosis, and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

The junior added to his already impressive goal total on Saturday, when he notched his 11th goal of the season in the Gophers 5-1 victory over the Sioux. Feeling fatigued earlier in the week, the junior thought his symptoms were mild and would naturally heal. When he continued to experience fatigue and headaches the Sunday after the North Dakota series, he went to a doctor where the diagnosis of mononucleosis was confirmed.

The loss of Hoeffel will leave Don Lucia without yet another potent scorer. Minnesota lost senior forward Jay Barriball to a season-ending knee injury earlier in the year, and while he has eventually been replaced on the first line by junior-transfer Jacob Cepis, it will be interesting to see how Lucia deals with the loss of his second-line left winger.

More information will be available in tomorrow’s paper, as Lucia is scheduled to address the media today at 1:30 p.m.

The Gophers will face No. 12 St. Cloud State this weekend in a home-and-home series, with Friday’s game being played in St. Cloud, and Saturday’s contest being held at Mariucci Arena.