U’s Leimbek earns WCHA offensive award

Tim Nichols

Seldom-used fourth-liner Matt Leimbek was honored Monday by the WCHA as its offensive player of the week.
The freshman from Rochester, Minn., has not been a regular staple in the Gophers lineup, but will probably be there more often after his two-goal, three-assist performance against Michigan Tech.
“It’s hard sometimes to see the teammates out there and I’m not playing,” Leimbek said. “I just had to keep working hard in practice, hope to get in.”
Leimbek got his chance and didn’t disappoint. He performed admirably on the power play unit and figuring in each of the fourth line’s goals. He also currently leads the team with a plus-five rating.
But the freshman just thanks his teammates for the success.
“I just got the chance to get in. It started on the power play and I got a good pass,” Leimbek said. “You also won’t find harder workers than Mike Anderson and Rico Pagel. Good things are going to happen.”
Climbing the Pohl
He came into this season as one of the most highly touted freshmen in recent memory. He broke Dave Spehar’s high school scoring record. He was expected to jump in and give the Gophers some numbers this year.
John Pohl has not delivered the type of prolific numbers that might have been expected of him this year, but after a solid performance this weekend, and being on the most consistent line on the team for the last couple of months, the freshman from Red Wing, Minn., is starting to come into his own.
“Our line played pretty well, and other freshmen have played well,” Pohl said. “We’re starting to produce and factor into the equation.”
Pohl has been centering a line that features sophomore Stuart Senden and freshman Erik Wendell.
Their line currently leads the team in plus/minus with a plus-three rating.
“Hopefully the scoring that John Pohl has shown will permeate throughout the team,” coach Doug Woog said.
Woog wins in 600th
Coach Doug Woog reached a milestone on Friday, even though he had to be told it was coming.
Friday’s 4-2 win over the Huskies marked the 600th game of his Minnesota coaching career. He now has a 383-181-37 record.
“I’ll remember this game because of the benchmark of breaking the losing streak,” Woog said. “It worked out just fine. We needed the two points.”
Woog’s first win at Minnesota also came against Michigan Tech on Nov. 18, 1985.
Slap shots
ù With Minnesota’s sweep of Michigan Tech, and St. Cloud State only able to pick up two points on the road against Alaska-Anchorage, the Gophers are now currently in sixth place in the WCHA, one point behind St. Cloud State and three behind the Seawolves.
ù Only two of Minnesota’s 12 upcoming games feature teams who are ranked in the national top 10. Minnesota travels to No. 6 Colorado College this weekend.