During the State Fair, Gophers coach Don Lucia and three of the team's seniors, captain Jay Barriball and assistant captains Mike Hoeffel and Alex Kangas, made an appearance. Everybody was asked questions and one of those Hoeffel fielded was his favorite arenas away from Mariucci.
He said he liked the trips to Michigan Tech.
Hoeffel would probably give the same answer today. The 6-2, 195-pound left winger scored two goals in each game last weekend as the Gophers swept Michigan Tech 6-4 and 4-1. He also had an assist on Jake Hansen's game-winner on Friday.
Such a weekend gets notices. Hoeffel was named the WCHA's offensive player of the week. All four of his goals were even-strength.
Hoeffel scored twice in the first period on Friday to give the Gophers leads of 2-0 and 3-0. On Saturday, he made it 1-0 Gophers at 3:09 of the first period and then put Minnesota ahead 3-1 in the second period.
He had 10 shots on goal in the two games and was a plus-3. In his last six games against Michigan Tech, Hoeffel has six goals and two assists on game-winners.
The big weekend also got him out of a mini-slump. Hoeffel began the season with three goals and three assists in the first five game but had only one assist in the next five games.
Gophers coach Don Lucia said Hoeffel had a minor injury, so his team's weekend off, Nov. 12-13 really helped him. He missed several practices two weeks ago.
Hoeffel, a NHL draft pick of the New Jersey Devils, now has seven goals and five assists for 12 points in 12 games. Over four years, he hs 42 goals and 33 assists for 75 points in 126 games.
Hoeffel is the fourth Gopher to be honored by the WCHA this season. Jay Barriball and Taylor Matson were named the offensive players of the week on Oct. 12 and Nov. 2, respectively. Nate Condon was picked the rookie of the week on Nov. 2.
TWO DU PLAYERS HONORED
Denver goalie Sam Brittain was named the defensive player of the week. The freshmen from Calgary, Alberta, was in the nets as the Pios swept Bemidji State 3-1 and 4-2. He stopped 34 of 37 shots and gave up only one even-strength goal.
Brittain is 7-3-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average -- second best in the WCHA -- and a .934 save percentage -- the WCHA's best. He has started 11 games in a row.
Senior defenseman Cade Fairchild of the Gophers also was nominated for this award.
DU defenseman David Makowski of Wildwood, Mo., was picked the rookie of the week. Makowski, 6-0, 205, had two assists and a goal in two games against the Beavers and was a plus-4. He is fourth on the Pios ins points (3-8--11).
Nate Condon, the Gophers' second-line center, was among the other three nominees for rookie of the week.