It looks like Bob Motzko is getting the right Minnesota players to win with and Don Lucia is not. It seems that Gopher players feel they should just win games because they are wearing Maroon and Gold.
SCSU has only a couple Canadians and a few Californians, but their main go-to guys were names heard from the Class 1A Minnesota High School Hockey tournament. They have a "chip" and want to prove they are as good as the boys in Dinkytown.
There used to be a winning tradition at Minnesota, but you have to work hard to maintain the tradition and the players should feel immense pressure and pride to keep the program at a high level. I just don't sense that from Don Lucia or from the players.
I hope Jacob Cepis from Ohio, who appears to have come to Minnesota to play for storied program and be the "best of the best", can pass along some of that concept to the rest of the guys, as they appear to have taken it for granted.
I like the Gophers being mainly a Minnesota native team, but I wouldn't be opposed to having some Canadian players (especially some big, tough defensemen) as they understand playing both ends of the ice and will play some defense, which (is) sorely missing from this program.
I think that the (university) should pass on the "the Don" and they should look at Scott Bell at Hamline University as the next Gopher coach. He has taken a continual doormat of the MIAC with no facilities and no history (except for being a basketball school) and turned them into a continual first place program.
He is an "M" guy and wasn't a great skill guy, but he really was a hard worker, and that is exactly what the "U" hockey program needs to get back to the prominence (it) once had.
Just ramblings of a frustrated Gopher fan!
A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE
It's hard to get into the minds of Gophers' hockey players even if one is around them a lot. The locker room is closed. What goes on in there, generally stays there.
Team leaders at the start of this season said this team would be tough to play against. Players worked all summer long in the weight room, and on the ice. Fresh in their minds was missing the NCAA tournament last season.
Now it looks like it could happen again. Everybody on this team says they work hard. But as Wally Shaver, the play-by-play radio voice of the Gophers told me at midseason, there is working hard and then there is working HARD. This team played with limited intensity at times the first half of the season and does not seem to be able to impose its will on opponents. When teams score at least three goals against the Gophers, opponents are 12-0-0.
This team can't fight back when it falls behind. There is something that is missing. Whether it is confidence, leadership, a big go-to guy, something.
At the same time, the Gophers seem to be close to turning the corner. They were on a solid 7-1-1 run until being swept by St. Cloud State. They probably deserved a split in that series, but they came out slow on Friday and on Saturday the goalie was not at his best. The Huskies scored three times on their first seven shots. That deflates a team.
-- Roman Augustoviz