Gophers coach Don Lucia has to have his fingers tightly crossed this morning, hoping for the best.
Jay Barriball, one of his top forwards, is having an MRI today to determine how serious the knee injury he suffered in practice on Tuesday is.
"Our trainer said he bumped knees with somebody while skating, just trying to make a move," said Jim Strick, the university's men's hockey associate director for athletic communications.
Barriball, the right winger on Jordan Schroeder's line for two seasons, reached the 100-point career milestone last weekend. He had one goal and two assists as the Gophers swept Alaska Anchorage 5-1 and 4-1.
He has 39 goals and 63 assists for 102 points in 125 games.
Barriball missed 1-1/2 games this season, both against Denver two weekends ago, because of a hip pointer. Since he has played in only five games this season, he could request a medical red-shirt year if his knee injury does prove to be season ending.
But the Gophers, of course, hope it doesn't come to that. The team has already lost one key player for a good chunk of ths season. Freshman defenseman Nicky Leddy had surgery to repair a broken jaw on Monday and is expected to miss at least 11 games.
Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow @RomanStrib on Twitter. E-mail Roman.
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