Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

All content by Ben Goessling

Dealing with evolution in college sports

Published May 3, 2005

Look past the splintered wood, beyond the archaic workout equipment, through the fractured legacy. If you can sift through all that, you'll realize there's something going on here, something proud, tucked...

Inner-city recruiting continues to wane

Published April 19, 2005

Michele Okposo has seen the way the children swamp her son, Kyle Okposo, whenever he's skating at a St. Paul rink or dropping off an old pair of skates at a used sporting goods store. And she can't help...

Looking up after a tough ending

Published April 11, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's tough to fault Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia for flying his team back to Minneapolis just 12 hours after the Gophers were eliminated from the Frozen Four by North Dakota. But...

Sioux put Gophers’ title hopes on ice ’til next year

Published April 8, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio - For the final 15 minutes, they magically snapped into the same players they were when they blindsided the country in November. Minnesota's men's hockey team backchecked relentlessly, stopped...

Denver beats CC in other semifinal

Published April 8, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Denver broke with its seasonlong practice of beginning a two-game set with sophomore Glenn Fisher on Thursday at the Frozen Four, giving the nod to freshman Peter Mannino instead. Mannino,...

(WCHA Final Five) Final Four

Published April 7, 2005

Just 20 days after Minnesota faced North Dakota and Denver squared off against Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five, the four teams will reprise those pairings today. This year's fi eld is the fi rst...

Season of unknowns closes accordingly

Published April 7, 2005

For a Frozen Four with a quartet of teams from the same conference, there are quite a few unknowns in the second semifinal. Minnesota's men's hockey team has seen North Dakota three times this year. But...

Lucia shares pre-Frozen Four thoughts

Published April 6, 2005

Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia is taking the Gophers to his third Frozen Four in four years, but this trip might have been the most trying - and most rewarding - of his six-year run with the Gophers. Fielding...

Potulny looks to carry on family legacy versus Sioux

Published April 5, 2005

Every afternoon, when Ryan Potulny came home from school, the reruns were there to get his mind racing. Potulny could look forward to a full slate of Minnesota hockey games every afternoon on Midwest Sports...

Hirsch discusses reasons for absence

Published March 31, 2005

Nearly two weeks after his postgame incident against Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five, Minnesota men's hockey forward Tyler Hirsch talked to the media for the first time. Hirsch addressed some of...

Tally whacked: OT goal nets Frozen Four

Published March 28, 2005

At times, they looked the part, the role of title contender looking about as fitting as the patchy goatees they sported this week. No, this edition of Minnesota's men's hockey team doesn't do things without...

Seniors give their take on ‘rebuilding’

Published March 28, 2005

Judd Stevens is too diplomatic to lash out at his critics. But after this edition of Minnesota's men's hockey team - the one that was labeled a youthful rebuilding project - clinched the program's third...

Gophers carve odd path to NCAAs

Published March 25, 2005

For someone who has spent most of the week trying to determine whether two-fifths of his power play will be available for the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia walked into Mariucci...

Hirsch practices, status unknown

Published March 24, 2005

Forward Tyler Hirsch returned to practice for Minnesota's men's hockey team Wednesday, but his availability for this weekend's NCAA West Regional is still in doubt. Hirsch missed Saturday's loss to North...

Gophers deal with uncertainties

Published March 23, 2005

With the status of junior forward Tyler Hirsch still in limbo, Minnesota's men's hockey team is doing its best to conduct business as usual before the NCAA Tournament starts Saturday. The team met for...

Recruiting changes start new era

Published March 22, 2005

Gary Wilson realizes now he had it all wrong. In 2002 and 2003, the Minnesota women's track and field coach tried bringing the Gophers back to the top of the Big Ten with a band of supremely talented but,...

Goligoski has broken bone in hand, Hirsch doesn’t practice

Published March 22, 2005

Minnesota men's hockey defenseman Alex Goligoski has a broken bone in the top of his left hand and might miss the Gophers' first NCAA Tournament game versus Maine on Saturday. Goligoski is wearing a removable...

Minnesota anything but shipshape heading into NCAAs

Published March 21, 2005

You couldn't blame Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia if he feels like assessing his team's chances in the NCAA Tournament is roughly akin to extolling the virtues of an AMC Gremlin The Gophers played...

Top seed marred by pair of losses

Published March 21, 2005

As buzz kills go, this one played out right on schedule. The WCHA Final Five wound up being just another perfectly timed slap upside the head that Colorado College has become so good at delivering to Minnesota's...

Minnesota looks to capitalize on breaks in WCHA playoffs

Published March 11, 2005

Forgive the players on Minnesota's men's hockey team if they're looking for the catch. Because the Gophers caught such a big break last weekend, you'd think they'd won one of those too-good-to-be-true...

Tallackson hears no evil as uneven career nears end

Published March 10, 2005

The criticism still rings in Barry Tallackson's ears. At this point, it's hard not to hear it. The Minnesota men's hockey senior forward is nearing the end of an uneven career, and there's not much left...

Gophers’ blueliners take offensive philosophy all the way to the net

Published March 9, 2005

The evidence was pretty clear Saturday: Mike Vannelli slipping behind two defenders in the slot, taking a crisp pass from Danny Irmen and faking Michigan Tech goaltender Cam Ellsworth to his knees before...

Sweep, help give Minnesota third

Published March 7, 2005

The sounds were coming from everywhere Saturday night, all of them signaling Minnesota's men's hockey team was back on track. Music blared from Minnesota's locker room, competing with raucous laughter...

Kessel chooses Minnesota

Published March 7, 2005

If Minnesota's men's hockey team wasn't feeling good enough after sweeping Michigan Tech during the weekend, Phil Kessel brought the excitement to a fever pitch. Kessel, the U.S. National Under-18 Team...

Late-season pains cause final series to takeon added significance

Published March 4, 2005

Three months ago, Minnesota's men's hockey team's trip to Michigan Tech looked like a perfectly meaningless way for it to end the regular season. On paper, it looked like Minnesota would have one of the...

Teammate: Kessel to Gophers is very likely

Published March 3, 2005

Minnesota's men's hockey team won't know officially until Friday if U.S. National Under-18 Team standout Phil Kessel will verbally commit to the Gophers. But according to one of Kessel's teammates, he's...

Kessel likely to decide this week

Published March 1, 2005

The Phil Kessel saga appears to finally be nearing its end. All indications point to the U.S. National Under-18 Team forward choosing a college this week. Scott Monaghan, USA National Team Development...

Herbie would be proud: Lucia’s jabs yield sweep

Published February 28, 2005

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Even after Minnesota's men's hockey team's first win in three weeks, coach Don Lucia wasn't satisfied. Yes, the Gophers beat the Huskies 5-4 Friday at Mariucci Arena and set themselves...

Gophers come out hitting after physical practice

Published February 28, 2005

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Justin Johnson admitted the sight in front of him - two Minnesota men's hockey players, less than 10 hours before a game, doing one-on-one battle drills in full gear - threw him for...

Lost chances behind him, weekend tilt with St. Cloud State begins Johnson’s chance to make it right

Published February 25, 2005

At least Justin Johnson has his chance. It came in the least rewarding and most bizarre way, and it came, of course, with the doubt the Minnesota men's hockey goaltender has faced for four years. But...

Briggs could be out a month with hand injury

Published February 24, 2005

Minnesota men's hockey goaltender Kellen Briggs will miss this weekend's series against St. Cloud State and could be out up to a month with an unspecified hand injury, coach Don Lucia said Wednesday. Briggs...

Sons of Miracle men relish fathers’ glory

Published February 22, 2005

For eight years, the cassette tape sat unopened, collecting dust in John Harrington's closet next to a hundred other miscellaneous mementos. And when the forward on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team finally...

Gophers get taste of future in win over Under-18 Team

Published February 21, 2005

Well, it seems like Minnesota's men's hockey team's future is in good hands. As for the present, that's still a little shaky. But as trivial as Minnesota's 7-5 win over the U.S. National Under-18 Team...

Lockwood promoted, vacancies filled

Published February 21, 2005

Minnesota football coach Glen Mason announced Friday he has filled three openings on his staff, promoting defensive backs coach David Lockwood to defensive coordinator, hiring Kerry Cooks to take Lockwood's...

Subplots galore in exhibition against U.S. National Under-18 Team

Published February 18, 2005

His team got two days off earlier this week, but the way Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia is working these days, a bye week doesn't mean much. Lucia drove to Sioux Falls, S.D., and back Wednesday,...

Lucia loosens the collar

Published February 17, 2005

After a frustrated Don Lucia proclaimed Saturday that "training camp starts Monday" for Minnesota's men's hockey team, the coach had a change of heart. Lucia watched film of Minnesota's loss and tie with...

Gophers manufacture 115 shots, one point

Published February 14, 2005

You'd think 115 shots in a weekend hockey series would be enough to get more than a loss and a tie. Well, welcome to Minnesota's men's hockey team's 2004-05 season, in which the Gophers do something almost...

Goaltending picture still getting hazier

Published February 14, 2005

Minnesota men's hockey goaltender Kellen Briggs emerged from the Gophers' locker room after a 3-2 loss to Alaska-Anchorage on Friday and said he felt his game was almost back to top form. Evidently, his...

Alaska-Anchorage next for confident Minnesota

Published February 11, 2005

Judging from the few signs Minnesota's men's hockey team has offered on the subject this week, one would assume the Gophers have moved on completely from their monthlong slump. After a split at Wisconsin...

Gophers keeping big win in perspective

Published February 8, 2005

Two days after Minnesota's men's hockey team scored its biggest win in two months by beating Wisconsin 5-3 Saturday, Minnesota returned to work Monday trying not to treat it that way. The Gophers avoided...

Tallackson’s winner a long time coming

Published February 7, 2005

;Battling criticism is nothing new for the senior, who has spent most of his career with the Gophers trying to live up to demands that he be Minnesota's next All-American, not just a serviceable forward. But...

All’s not well, but it ended well

Published February 7, 2005

;The Gophers found it Saturday night. Yes, Minnesota could follow its 5-3 win over Wisconsin on Saturday by sliding right back into its monthlong funk. But it appears more likely the Gophers put together...

Table for rematch set much differently

Published February 4, 2005

In many ways, it's unrealistic to expect Minnesota's men's hockey team's series this weekend with Wisconsin to play out exactly the same way the last meeting between the teams did. That series, after all,...

First line struggling to pull team out of lengthening slump

Published February 2, 2005

Danny Irmen doesn't want to think about it, while Ryan Potulny has no shortage of theories. But if Minnesota's men's hockey team is to permanently pull itself out of its January slump, both players said,...

Friday night lights to Saturday night fever

Published January 31, 2005

This time, there were no musings about a lack of effort, no wondering aloud as to which players were mentally ready to go. But Minnesota's men's hockey team got two points against Minnesota-Duluth on a...

Gophers struggle to play complete series

Published January 31, 2005

There is something about Minnesota-Duluth that has made it the perfect foil for Minnesota's men's hockey team. Last season, when the Gophers were picked by many to ride a loaded, senior-heavy team to a...

Duluth evokes twice the incentive

Published January 28, 2005

With everything that's happened to Minnesota's men's hockey team the last three weeks, it's pretty easy to forget that the motivation for this weekend's series with Minnesota-Duluth traces its roots back...

Power-play unit not getting the point

Published January 27, 2005

It's times like these that make Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia wish Keith Ballard had decided to stick around one more year. When Ballard chose in June to forgo his senior year and sign with the...

Gophers sorting out issues after sweep

Published January 25, 2005

Player after player streamed into Mariucci Arena on Monday afternoon with the same look on his face. You've probably seen it before. It's roughly the same one painted on a kindergartener's mug after being...

Pains cause shakeups, strong words

Published January 24, 2005

For as much as Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia has lamented not having six healthy defensemen for the last month, he evidently is also willing to get by without them. Lucia was prepared to sit assistant...

Mich. Tech reprograms Gophers

Published January 24, 2005

When Minnesota's men's hockey team capped a three-game losing streak by getting swept at home against Colorado College two weeks ago, most assumed the team had hit the bottom of its slide. And actually,...

Michigan Tech comes to Mariucci

Published January 21, 2005

P.J. Atherton knew it was going to happen; in fact, most of Minnesota's men's hockey team did. It's just that they would like to think the end is in sight. While the Gophers' transition from a veteran-laden...

Lucia says Briggs will start Friday but Johnson has earned right to play

Published January 20, 2005

After getting his first start in 22 games Saturday against Minnesota State-Mankato, it sounds as if Minnesota men's hockey goaltender Justin Johnson at least has a shot at another one this weekend. Gophers...

U.S. National Team program making changes in college, high school games

Published January 19, 2005

Every city, every campus brings something else. At one place, it might be a tour of a new arena or facility; at another, it might be a constant swarm of attention from college coaches and players. Yes,...

Barber will forgo senior season

Published January 18, 2005

After a record-setting season, Minnesota's football team won't have the same backfield for an encore performance. With his parents, brother and Athletics Director Joel Maturi in attendance, junior running...

Gophers just glad to skate away with four

Published January 18, 2005

MANKATO, Minn. - It offered little reassurance that Minnesota's men's hockey team fixed all of the problems stemming from a three-game losing streak during winter break. And on a purely aesthetic scale,...

Johnson turns opportunist

Published January 18, 2005

MANKATO, Minn. - Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia decided after Friday's 9-6 win over Minnesota State-Mankato that it was time to give starting goaltender Kellen Briggs a break for the first time...

Halfway through, Minnesota has few reasons to complain

Published December 14, 2004

Halfway through the WCHA schedule, Minnesota's men's hockey team resembles a high school whiz kid coming home with "A's" on a handful of graduate-level midterms. Even with 10 first-year players among them,...

Minnesota collars difficult sweep

Published December 13, 2004

Minnesota's men's hockey team got the result it was looking for over the weekend, but the way the Gophers did it probably couldn't have been any tougher. Met at every turn by a feisty St. Cloud State team,...

Fortunate Friday should be gainful for Gophers

Published December 13, 2004

If Minnesota's men's hockey team ends up winning the WCHA title in March, it will be games such as Friday's that will be seen as the difference-makers. Minnesota probably stole at least one point - and...

Old-fashioned youngster Hagemo setting an example for older guys

Published December 9, 2004

At 18 years, two months and one day, Minnesota men's hockey defenseman Nate Hagemo is easily the youngest player on the Gophers. And by his own admission, he's a little immature. But once game day rolls...

Worst brings out the best

Published December 6, 2004

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The response, the result and the scene couldn't have been more different. After asserting itself as the No. 1 team in the country against Michigan and Michigan State and entering...

Gophers find long-lost power play

Published December 6, 2004

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - For all of the talk about an attitude change between Minnesota's men's hockey team's 3-1 loss to Colorado College on Friday night and its 7-2 drubbing of the Tigers on Saturday,...

Gophers’ No. 1 mettle to be put to the test at Colorado College

Published December 3, 2004

Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia's lobbying failed, and the Gophers, not weekend opponent Colorado College, are the top-ranked team in the country. But if it's any consolation to Lucia, who didn't...

Hirsch leaves goal-scoring, attention-gathering to others

Published December 2, 2004

Tyler Hirsch would rather you weren't reading this. The Minnesota men's hockey junior forward would just as soon pass the attention that comes with his status as the Gophers' newfound playmaker like one...

Formality to reality: Gophers take No. 1

Published November 30, 2004

As expected, Minnesota's men's hockey team took over the top spot in the new U.S. College Hockey Online poll when the rankings were released Monday. Minnesota (10-3-0, 6-2-0 WCHA) moved up from the third...

Gophs Show-case for No. 1

Published November 29, 2004

Statement? You want a statement? As statements go, this was about as loud as Jack Nicholson showing up on the red carpet in an outfit borrowed from Jennifer Lopez. Minnesota's men's hockey team, thought...

Potulny and Irmen get a little help

Published November 29, 2004

Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia said last week that his primary concern for the College Hockey Showcase against Michigan and Michigan State was that the Gophers find scorers besides center Ryan...

Lucia not satisfied with a little success

Published November 24, 2004

Given the modest preseason expectations placed on Minnesota's men's hockey team, an 8-3-0 start and a No. 3 national ranking is enough to have most raving about the Gophers. Those parties, however, do...

Seniors Fleming and Smaagaard help make Minnesota’s fourth line an asset

Published November 23, 2004

Minnesota men's hockey center Ryan Potulny calls it the best fourth line in the country, but for Jake Fleming and Garrett Smaagaard, even that high praise comes as something of a backhanded compliment. For...

Gophers cull split from Pioneers

Published November 22, 2004

DENVER - One could make the case that Minnesota's men's hockey team received more than its fair share of breaks during a six-game winning streak that vaulted the Gophers to the top of the WCHA standings. Take,...

Briggs’ return to Denver is much more encouraging

Published November 22, 2004

DENVER - It wasn't a perfect weekend for Kellen Briggs. Actually, it was probably his most harrowing of the season. But after last season's trip to Denver, Briggs couldn't complain. The sophomore goaltender,...

Road gets Rocky as Gophers travel west

Published November 19, 2004

After already playing series with Wisconsin and North Dakota, calling Minnesota's men's hockey team's series with Denver this weekend the biggest of the year so far seems like either a stretch or a dose...

Wheeler highlights five recruit signings

Published November 18, 2004

Minnesota's men's hockey team officially announced its 2005-06 recruiting class Wednesday, after five incoming freshmen signed national letters of intent to play for the Gophers. The headliner of the class...

Minnesota relishes doing the unexpected

Published November 16, 2004

This edition of Minnesota's men's hockey team isn't as experienced as the Gophers' national championship squads of 2001-02 and 2002-03; nor is it as talented as the one that began last season ranked No....

Men win Midwest region; women fourth

Published November 15, 2004

The goal all along was for Minnesota's men's cross country team to place in the top two Saturday at the Midwest Regional Championships in Peoria, Ill., and qualify for its sixth NCAA Championships berth...

Gophers left with plenty of reflection time

Published November 15, 2004

On Oct. 9, Minnesota entered Michigan Stadium trumpeting its Rose Bowl credentials to anyone who would listen. Thirty-four days later, the Gophers have been reduced to begging for a trip to Detroit. But...

Barber’s 167-yard day leads to anticlimactic NCAA record

Published November 15, 2004

Though the accomplishment was somewhat muted in a loss, running backs Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney made NCAA history Saturday by becoming the first pair of running backs ever to both rush for...

Women head to Midwest Regional meet looking to go to NCAAs for first time since 2001

Published November 12, 2004

After nearly three years of injuries and setbacks, close calls and dashed hopes, it's somewhat appropriate that this edition of Minnesota's women's cross country team would be the one contending for the...

So far, real good for young team

Published November 11, 2004

When center Gino Guyer considered all the possible scenarios for Minnesota's men's hockey team nine games into this season, he said he barely gave any thought to the possibility of the Gophers being 7-2-0. The...

Irmen’s game is more than just glitz

Published November 9, 2004

There's no question Danny Irmen earned his first real share of national attention over the weekend against Wisconsin, but the way he did it might be a little misleading. Irmen's penalty-shot goal against...

Irmen’s penalty shot vital to sweep

Published November 8, 2004

A two-year veteran of the United States Hockey League - where overtime ties are resolved by shootout - Danny Irmen is no stranger to penalty-shot situations. But when the sophomore on Minnesota's men's...

Gophers earn sweep of Badgers

Published November 8, 2004

If the biggest knock on Minnesota's men's hockey team entering the season was that it lacked a proven goal-scorer, then a large part of the impetus for solving that problem fell on two players - one a...

Badgers’ ascent adds significance to border series

Published November 5, 2004

Mention the words "championship atmosphere" to Minnesota's men's hockey team in reference to its series with fifth-ranked Wisconsin this weekend, and you won't get as many crazy looks as you'd think. It...

CC women backups to take part in Rocky’s

Published November 5, 2004

Minnesota women's cross country coach Gary Wilson said he will rest his top nine runners at Saturday's Rocky's Run in St. Paul, saving them for next weekend's NCAA Midwest Region Championships and loading...

Frosh defensemen have big skates to fill

Published November 2, 2004

Wary of heaping too much praise on a pair of freshman blueliners, Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia won't put the names of Derek Peltier or Alex Goligoski next to Hobey Baker Award winner Jordan Leopold...

Blame shifts to offense this time

Published November 1, 2004

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The most glaring offense in Minnesota's football team's 30-21 loss to Indiana wasn't the two third-down pass-interference penalties that kept the Hoosiers' game-clinching touchdown...

Fraley and Banks surprisingly absent with team in ‘best shape’ in ‘a long time’

Published November 1, 2004

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After Minnesota football coach Glen Mason said Tuesday that the Gophers would be in "the best shape we've been in for a long time" against Indiana, Minnesota still held out starting...

Gophers’ recent first-half pains on the line vs. Mavericks

Published October 29, 2004

Minnesota's men's hockey team's home opener this weekend won't have the fanfare of the last two years. There won't be any national championship banners hoisted to the rafters, and instead of a creampuff...

Fresh(men)-faced team settles into roles

Published October 28, 2004

After a three-week stretch in which it has traveled more than 2,000 miles and played a single home game that wasn't really at home, Minnesota's men's hockey team is, surprisingly, starting to feel comfortable...

Mason says team’s in good health

Published October 27, 2004

As is his usual custom, Minnesota football coach Glen Mason didn't give any specifics on injuries at his Tuesday press conference. But when asked about the status of starting defensive backs Justin Fraley...

Gophers get refresher in winning

Published October 25, 2004

It didn't do anything to repair the damage inflicted on Minnesota's football team over the last two weekends - not even close. Any diatribes about how the Gophers defense has regained its footing or how...

Takeaways not translating to tallies

Published October 21, 2004

Tempting as it might be to place all the blame for Minnesota's football team's two-game skid on the defense; Gophers coach Glen Mason won't do it. Not when six takeaways over the last two games have resulted...

One-on-one matchups, missed tackles dooming Minnesota

Published October 19, 2004

A film study of Minnesota's football team's 51-17 loss to Michigan State on Saturday won't unearth any stunning revelations. The Spartans didn't post a boatload of big plays; nor did they do anything particularly...

Gophers ground game dropping the ball

Published October 18, 2004

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Of all the psychological wounds inflicted on Minnesota's football team after a 51-17 loss to Michigan State, the most damaging one might have come from the Spartans' DeAndra Cobb. The...

Barber, Maroney among the infirmed

Published October 18, 2004

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Five Gophers starters missed all or part of Saturday's game against Michigan State: running back Marion Barber III, safety John Pawielski, wide receiver Jared Ellerson and offensive...

Minnesota travels to East Lansing

Published October 15, 2004

A month ago, this looked like one of the easiest games of the season for Minnesota football defensive coordinator Greg Hudson. Now, it could be one of his toughest to prepare for. And the reason for the...

Borton signs contract extension

Published October 14, 2004

Minnesota women's basketball coach Pam Borton has officially signed a three-year contract extension that will keep her with the Gophers until 2011. Borton and Athletics Director Joel Maturi signed the...

Mason stands by play-calling in fourth

Published October 13, 2004

Minnesota football coach Glen Mason stood by his play-calling on the drive that might have cost the Gophers a win at Michigan on Saturday, saying he didn't regret departing from the ground game on the...

Despite late lead, it’s Mich-again

Published October 11, 2004

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Last year, a 21-point fourth quarter lead wasn't enough. This time, three takeaways, including one on the doorstep of the goal line, weren't enough. What will it take for Minnesota's...