Defenseman Martin earns WCHA player of the week honors

by The Minnesota Daily

Defenseman Paul Martin, who produced four points to help defending NCAA champion Minnesota earn a home-ice sweep over Michigan Tech last weekend, has been named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for Nov. 25.

A 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound junior from Elk River, Minn., and the top scoring Division I defenseman so far this season, Martin had two assists in a 4-2 Gophers victory over the Huskies last Friday night and then factored in both goals last Saturday evening in a 2-1 win.

Trailing 1-0 in the third period Saturday, Martin scored a game-tying power-play goal at 9:08 and then assisted on Dan Welch’s game-winner at 9:38 to lift Minnesota to the sweep.

Martin – with five goals, 14 assists and 19 points in 13 games – leads all Division I defensemen, was All-WCHA Second Team a year ago and was a second-round draft choice of New Jersey in 2000.

Minnesota, 7-3-3 overall, hosts Michigan State on Nov. 29 and Michigan on Dec.1 in the College Hockey Showcase.

ï This year’s “Skate with the Gophers” will be held Sunday, Jan. 19, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.

Cost for this event is $5 for adults and $3 for University students and children under the age of 18.

Admission is payable at the door on the day of the event. Ice-times for skating are limited in number and will be available starting Monday, Dec. 2, at 9 a.m. by calling the Gopher Athletic Ticket Office at (612) 624-8080 or 1-800-U-GOPHER.

Men’s cross country

andrew Carlson ran to All-America honors in leading the Minnesota Men’s Cross Country Team to a 17th-place finish at the NCAA Division I men’s cross country championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday.

Carson, a junior from Fargo, N.D., covered the 10-kilometer course in 30 minutes and 29.2 seconds to place 32nd overall. The NCAA Midwest Region Runner of the Year, Carlson is the eighth Gophers harrier to capture All-America honors and the first since three-time All-American Dave Morrison in 1984.

“Andrew ran solid all year,” said Gophers head coach Steve Plasencia in a release. “He made huge strides all season and it’s great to see him earn All-America honors as a reward for his hard work.”

Stanford placed four runners in the top 10 finishers to cruise to the team title with 47 points, 60 points ahead of runner-up Wisconsin’s 107.

Minnesota tallied 449 points for 17th place.

Freshman Ryan Malmin was the second Gophers finisher, placing 74th in his first NCAA experience in a time of 30:56.0.


the third-ranked Minnesota wrestling team downed No. 25 Northern Illinois, 26-17, Sunday in DeKalb, Ill., in a dual meet highlighted by bonus points in five of 10 matches.

The shorthanded Gophers won six bouts, but the Huskies won a match each by fall and technical fall to keep the score close. The 17 points given up to NIU are the most allowed in a Minnesota win since the Gophers downed Iowa 20-17 on Jan., 21, 2001.

The meet began at heavyweight with Chad Mentel defeating Zac Jensen, 8-3, to give Minnesota an early 3-0 lead. Mentel was filling in for third-ranked Garrett Lowney, who underwent surgery earlier in the week to repair a pinched nerve in his shoulder.

The Huskies took their only lead of the meet in the next bout as Matt Kucala pinned true freshman Andrew Domingues in 6:11. The Maroon and Gold got back on top at 9-6 as No. 4 Ryan Lewis pinned Sam Hiatt in 2:01. It was Lewis’ 19th pin as a Gopher.

Northern Illinois tied the meet at nine as Josh Wooten downed Tommy Owen, 11-6, in the 141-pound match.

Top-ranked Jared Lawrence got it started with his career’s 25th pin, rolling Oliver Vasquez in 4:13. Then, in the featured match of the day, top-ranked Luke Becker dropped No. 3 Scott Owen, 9-4, to extend Minnesota’s lead to 18-9.

With the win, Becker moved his win streak to 21 consecutive matches.

At 165 pounds, No. 4 Jacob Volkmann registered a 17-0 technical fall over Jeremy Benesh to give Minnesota five more team points. Josh McLay rounded out the Minnesota scoring at 174 pounds, defeating George Kirgan, 5-3.

The Huskies won the final two bouts as No. 9 Ben Heizer tallied a 16-0 technical fall on Casey Flaherty at 184 pounds and James Oliva downed Eli Ross, 8-4, at 197 pounds.

Minnesota plays host to Virginia Tech on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m. at Williams Arena.

Women’s swimming

in a competitive field, Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team came out on top at the Minnesota Invitational. The Gophers won the meet by beating three nationally ranked teams. The Gophers tallied 696 total points throughout the three-day event.

Minnesota was followed in second place by 21st ranked Missouri with 676 points. Fourteenth-ranked Wisconsin and 16th-ranked Notre Dame placed third and fourth, respectively. Iowa placed fifth.

In meet record time, Keri Hehn won the 200-yard breaststroke. Her time of 2:15.30 is a season and team best and is also a “B” standard time, which provisionally qualifies her for the NCAA championships.

Dana Baum placed fifth in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Baum came in with a time of 16:59.74, which is a season best.

Megan Moore swam a team and season best 200-yard backstroke to place third. Moore recorded a time of 2:02.56 in the event.

The Gophers placed third and fourth in the highly contested 100-yard freestyle event. Baum took third in the event with a time of 51.82. Katy Coombe placed fourth in 51.97.

Juleen Rodakowski swam to third place in the 200-yard butterfly. Her time of 2:03.17 is a team and season best.

The team of Moore, Coombe, Kate Hardt, and Baum placed fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Their time of 3:29.88 is a team and season best.

The Gophers next competition will be the U.S. Open which takes place at the Aquatic Center on Dec. 5-7 with prelims beginning at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Men’s swimming

by nearly doubling the score of second place Iowa, the eighth-ranked Minnesota men’s swimming and diving team won the Minnesota Invitational. Minnesota scored an outstanding 1,126.50 points at the three day invite. Iowa placed second with a score of 650.50, while 14th-ranked Wisconsin placed third with 642 points. Missouri and Florida Atlantic followed.

The 1,650-yard freestyle was dominated by the Maroon and Gold. Justin Mortimer won the event with a time of 15:24.72, which is a “B” standard time and provisionally qualifies him for the NCAA tournament. Mortimer was followed in second and third place by Travis Beckerle with his 15:29.09, and Ryan L’Roy who swam a 15:39.66.

In a thrilling race, Todd Smolinski won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:49.37.

The Gophers took the top two spots in the 100-yard freestyle. Allen Ong won the event in 44.94. Ong was followed in second place by Terry Silkaitis and his 44.99 time.

Gold Country again took the top two spots in an event. Jeff Hackler placed first with a time of 2:02.03 in the 200-yard breaststroke. He was followed in second place by Mike Brown, whose time of 2:03.18 is a season best.

In the 200-yard butterfly, Matt Taylor and Travis Stensby took third and fourth place. Taylor swam the event in 1:50.87, while Stensby came in with a season best time of 1:52.49.

The meet concluded with the hard-fought 400-yard freestyle relay. Minnesota teams placed in second, third and fifth. This was the only relay the men lost during the Minnesota Invitational. The team of Taylor, Silkaitis, Ong and Sean McCaffrey took second place in the event with a time of 3:01.47.