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Golden Nugs: Spring Practice Edition 3.7.17

The PJ Fleck Era officially begins today with the start of spring practice

Minnesota v Maryland
Connor Rhoda will get plenty of reps in spring practice for Minnesota
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the success of the Gopher basketball team, most Gopher fans have not been anxiously longing for the start of spring football practice unlike a year ago. But it has arrived. Today is the first of fifteen spring practices that will allow PJ Fleck and the rest of his coaching staff to get their first real look at his players and begin to make some personnel decisions.

Other Gopher Sports

  • The Gopher Softball team has started off the season with a school record 18-0 record. They now have shot up the polls and are the #7 ranked team in the country.

They get a tough task this week in the Washington Tournament where they will play #8 Washington twice over the weekend.

Makenna Partain was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this season and Sara Groenewegen was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week—the 13th time in her career she has been awarded the honor.

  • Tyler Sheehy was named the Big Ten Second Star of the Week after his four point weekend in a split for the #5 Gophers over Michigan. Sheehy currently leads the Big Ten and is tied for sixth in the nation with 52 points. His 52 52 points are the most in a season by a Gopher since Ryan Potulny recorded 63 in 2005-06. The Gophers can clinch their fourth consecutive Big Ten Regular Season Championship this weekend at home against Michigan State.
  • The Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament begins Wednesday with the A schools and Thursday for the AA schools at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Four Gopher Hockey commits will be playing in the Tourney this spring. They are:

Senior Casey Mittelstadt-C Eden Prairie

Sophomore Jack Jensen-LW- Eden Prairie

Junior Collin Schmidt-C Wayzata

Junior Blake McLaughlin-C Grand Rapids.

Mittelstadt is the favorite to win this year’s Mr. Hockey Award as the best high-school hockey player, and McLaughlin is the stepbrother of current Gopher Jake Bischoff and stepson of former Gopher Grant Bischoff.

  • The roster for the 2017 Women’s Hockey World Championships was announced on Tuesday. Six current or former Gophers were named to the team. Current Gophers include junior center Kelly Pannek and senior defenseman Lee Stecklein. The four Gopher alums added to the roster include Gigi Marvin, Megan Bozak, Hannah Brandt, and Amanda Kessel.

Additionally former Gopher Hockey goaltender and 1989 Hobey Baker Award winner Robb Stauber was named the head coach of the Womens World Championships team. Fellow Gopher teammate Brett Strot is one of his assistants. If the US does well at this years World’s, there is a very good chance Stauber will be named the Head Coach of the US Olympic Team for the 2018 games in South Korea.