On Monday the Big Ten Hockey Conference released the results of the annual pre-season coaches poll and the named of several players to watch for the 2018-19 season. The Big Ten coaches predict that Minnesota will finish fourth in the Big Ten this season.
Two Gophers were named to the preseason watch list. Senior center Tyler Sheehy and junior wing Rem Pitlick are two players the fellow conference coaches expect to have a good season. Sheehy will try and bounce back from a junior season that saw his production drop significantly from his All-American sophomore season. Sheehy was dealing with a back injury and was nowhere near full strength the entire season.
The preseason USCHO.com Poll also came out on Monday and the Gophers checked in at #13 in the nation in it. The three Big Ten teams predicted to finish ahead of the Gophers all came in in the top five, with Notre Dame at #2, Ohio State at #3, and Michigan at #4. Minnesota is the fourth ranked team from the State of Minnesota in the poll as defending NCAA Champion UMD is #1, Bob Motzko’s former team St. Cloud State is 6th, and Minnesota State comes in at #10. Penn State is #16 in the initial poll as well.
The Gophers will kick off their season On October 6th in Duluth as UMD will drop their NCAA Championship banner. Monday the Gophers announced that the second game of the series will face-off at 7PM Sunday night back at Mariucci Arena between the two schools. Minnesota will have a special tailgate party beginning at 3PM in front of the arena as well.
The first #Gophers home game of the Bob Motzko era is set for 7 pm CT on Sunday, Oct. 7, and #PrideOnIce is hosting a tailgate in front of 3M Arena at Mariucci to celebrate.— Minnesota M Hockey (@GopherHockey) September 24, 2018
Details: https://t.co/u4eHkbQMuX pic.twitter.com/XqYUktQki2
Minnesota and the Big Ten still have not announced the full TV schedule for the 2018-19 season, but historically it has come this week. Minnesota fans know they will be able to watch both games of the UMD series at least as the Saturday game will air on Fox9+ and the Sunday game will be broadcast by Fox Sports North.
Alumni Athletic Articles:
Two Gopher alums were featured in separate articles on The Athletic on Monday as well.
- Kyle Okposo of the Buffalo Sabres has been through some significant head trauma in the last 18 months, but this article by Tim Graham is the first time some of the details have come to light. It is a scary tough read, but it is amazing to see what he has gone through.
- 0.6 hero Justin Holl got some playing time on the blue line for the Toronto Maple Leafs a year ago and appears poised to make another step forward and get a regular spot in the Leafs lineup this season. Both Don Lucia and Grant Potulny are quoted in this great story by Scott Wheeler.