With two pieces of news Monday afternoon, the Gophers men’s hockey team experienced both ends of the emotional spectrum. The team dominated the Big Ten postseason awards, but it found out that injured defenseman Ryan Lindgren will miss the rest of the season.
Lindgren made the league’s all-freshman team announced Monday, one of seven Gophers to be recognized by a panel of league coaches and media members. While he prepared for surgery to repair a lower-leg injury, three teammates won the high honors. Sophomore forward Tyler Sheehy is the Big Ten player of the year, sophomore Eric Schierhorn is goaltender of the year and senior defenseman Jake Bischoff is defensive player of the year.
Sheehy, Schierhorn and Bischoff joined Gophers senior captain Justin Kloos on the All-Big Ten team. Forward Rem Pitlick and Lindgren made the all-freshman team. Lindgren and senior forward Vinni Lettieri were named honorable mention All-Big Ten, and Lettieri was the Gophers’ pick for the Big Ten sportsmanship award.
Lindgren injured his right leg late in the second period of Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Michigan State. He was chasing down a puck when he fell and slammed into the end boards feet-first. Gophers coach Don Lucia said Lindgren will undergo surgery later this week.
“Ryan was having a really great year for us,’’ Lucia said. “It’s tough to lose him for the postseason. But we have a great medical team here at the University of Minnesota, and we know we’ll have him back soon.’’
For much of the season, Lindgren and Bischoff have played together as the Gophers’ top defensive pair. Lindgren appeared in 32 games and had one goal and six assists. His 50 blocked shots are second on the team to Bischoff’s 85, and he leads the team with 65 penalty minutes. Lucia said Saturday that junior Jack Glover will take Lindgren’s place. Glover had surgeries on both shoulders last summer and has played in 11 games.
Sheehy finished the regular season with a career-best 52 points, and his 34 points in Big Ten play tied him with Ohio State’s Mason Jobst for the league scoring title. Bischoff has set career highs in points (32), assists (27) and blocked shots (85).
Schierhorn, a repeat winner, is among the national leaders in victories (23, tied for third) and shutouts (five, tied for fourth). Kloos’ 17 goals include six game-winners, tied for second most in the nation.