Because it's almost the weekend...and I don't want to work, here are some nugs for your perusal before you leave the office, or before you consume too much bourbon to be able to read them when you get home!
Gopher Goalie Adam Wilcox is having a good few days. First of all, don't forget that he is a canidate for the Hobey Baker Award, given for the best player in college hockey. You can help vote to make him a finalist here.
Today, Wilcox was named one of the 18 finalists for the inaugural Mike Richer Award. The Mike Richter Award will be awarded to the best goalie in the country during the Frozen Four in Philadelphia this April. Like the Hobey Baker, this award combines both on-ice performance, and off-ice character and leadership. Here is the list of all the candidates.
The award honors Mike Richter who played from 1985 through 1987 for the Unspeakables to the East before going on to a great NHL career with the New York Rangers. Three additional Big Ten goalies are also nominated for the award: Jake Hildebrandt from Michigan State, Zach Nagelvoort from Michigan, and Joel Rumpel from Wisconsin.
Finally one additional honor for Wilcox. College Hockey Inc.com put together an infographic of their state-by-state MVPs playing college hockey in the United States in honor of USA Hockey's Hockey Weekend Across America this weekend. Wilcox was honored as the best player from the State of Minnesota playing college hockey this season. Tough to argue with that one.
Keeping with Gopher Men's Hockey news, the Gophers got two new commitments from recruits this past week. Our good friend Nate Wells of SBN College Hockey does a great job of detailing the commitments. One would think that the Gophers would like Robin Hoglund to become another big body who can play on the third or fourth line and reek havoc, and that Nick Lehr can be a good backup to Wilcox for the first few seasons before Wilcox either graduates or leaves for the NHL.
Also, here is a great article from the Star Tribune by Jason Gonzalez on the three Reilly brothers on the Gopher's squad.
Keeping with the Hockey, but moving to the women's side, the Gopher women's team opens the WCHA Playoffs at home this weekend against St. Cloud State. The Gophers swept all four games against the Huskies this season. They will play at 7:07 tonight and 4:07 tomorrow with Sunday's game if necessary. The winner of the series will advance to the WCHA Final Face-off in Bemidji next weekend.
Rivals Films recently put together a behind the scenes film on the Gopher Women's team. Its about ten minutes long and linked here as it can't be embedded. It is a great look at Coach Brad Frost and several of the seniors of this year's team.
Amanda Zaui B. scored a career-high 26 points and the Gophers got another 20 from Rachel Banham as the Gopher Women's Basketball Team beat Indiana 73-62 in Williams Arena. The Gopher women host Ohio State in a must win-game to get a potential NCAA berth, and possibly save Pam Borton's job on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM.
The Gopher Baseball Team dropped two of three games to Creighton in Fort Myers, Florida last weekend. This weekend the Gophers are in Ruston, Louisiana for a three game series against Louisiana Tech.
The Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Meet continues tonight and tomorrow in Ann Arbor. The Gopher's are currently in 5th place going into the day three finals tonight.
The Big Ten Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships are this weekend in Geneva, Ohio.
The #12 Ranked Women's Gymnastics team will host Iowa State in a duel meet at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday at 4:00 PM. The Gophers already beat the Cyclones in Ames two weeks ago 196.525-194.750.
Last, but certainly not least:
Sara Moulton was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for the second time in three weeks so far this season as the Gopher Softball team went 4-0 at the North Carolina- Greesboro Classic to go 12-1 on the season so far. The women are in Tempe, Arizona for the Louisville Slugger Classic. The #19/20 Gophers will play five games this weekend, including a 6-0 win over Detroit already this afternoon. They were beating South Carolina 11-4 in the 7th inning as this was published. They finish the weekend with games against Ball State and Florida International on Saturday and against the host #3 Arizona State on Sunday.