STrib: Gophers hockey looking ahead to next season with a fresh look

BleedGopher

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per Megan:

Gophers coach Bob Motzko was begrudgingly looking at the bright side of his team's quick postseason ouster this past season.

"You hate to say it, but the one advantage when you do get knocked out early, you start your offseason training," Motzko said at Wednesday's Coaches Caravan stop in Dellwood. "And our guys have made great gains."

Just how great? Look no farther than freshman phenom Sammy Walker, who was the Big Ten conference's best rookie this year with 10 goals and six assists and someone Motzko thinks he can build a program around.

"He came into us, he weighed all of 150 pounds," Motzko told the crowd. "He is now 162."

That elicited a big laugh from the fans. And while it doesn't seem like a lot, that's all happened mostly in the past two months or so. (For the record, Walker is listed at 160 pounds on the official roster, but Motzko had admitted before those numbers might have been a bit ... inflated.)

Motzko will need those rising sophomores to put on some muscle, as the all-freshman line of Walker, Nathan Burke and Blake McLaughlin (and sometimes Sampo Ranta) were the second-best offensive option behind a first line that has now all departed for graduation or the NHL.

All in all, Motzko said he's expecting 19 underclassmen this upcoming season. That includes 12 new recruits. The full list should come in the next two weeks, but Motzko did share his excitement about two. First, forward Ben Meyers out of Delano, who has spent that past two seasons in the USHL. He finished fifth in the league this past season with 65 points.

"He is a 200-pound, 20-year-old freshman: Something that Gophers hockey has needed," Motzko said. "He's going to make an immediate impact on our program."

http://www.startribune.com/gophers-hockey-looking-ahead-to-next-season-with-a-fresh-look/510311852/

Go Gophers!!
 

#2Gopher

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Hopefully they'll have a better start than what they had last season. It was brutal and it cost them in the end.
 

GopherJack

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Any idea when the 2019-20 schedule will be released? We're looking at making the road trip to Ann Arbor. We are anxious to start making plans.
 

bonin21

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Any idea when the 2019-20 schedule will be released? We're looking at making the road trip to Ann Arbor. We are anxious to start making plans.
There will be a Colorado Springs road trip in early October. Much more interesting road trip, IMO.
 

GopherJack

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There will be a Colorado Springs road trip in early October. Much more interesting road trip, IMO.
I hear ya. We went to Fort Collins for the CO State football game a few falls ago. Love the microbrewery scene in Colorado. The reason some of us are going to Ann Arbor, is that my son (U of MN undergrad and U of MI Dental school grad), now lives in Michigan. This will give us a chance to connect with him, sit in the arena wearing Gopher Gear, and cheer on our Alma Mater!
 
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