Freshman defenseman Ben Marshall was hurt last Saturday against Bemidji State and didn't finish the game. His status for this game was in doubt.
And now it's certain. He won't play this weekend. He didn't make the trip to Omaha. In his place in the lineup is freshman D-man Blake Thompson who has played only three games. Marshall had played every game, or 33 total.
Thompson is an older freshman. He is 20. He played two years for Waterloo of USHL after high school hockey at Eden Prairie. He had two assists in Gophers' season opponent, then sat until 5-4 loss to Vermont on Oct. 23. Only other game he played in was in a 6-2 win over Michigan Tech on Dec. 10.
He is being paired with Jake Parenteau, probably team's best defensive D-man.
Nate Schmidt, who usually skates with Parenteau, is with Mark Alt in place of Marshall. So two of the Gophers' defensive pairs are different. Wonder how concerned Gophers coaches are about those switches against a team that like to pepper goalies with shots.
Dean Blais said he is hoping Mavs get at least 25-30 shots a game this weekend.
The Gophers' lines:
1st line/ Kyle Rau-Nick Bjugstad-Zach Budish ... Top line had three goals and three assists last Friday against Beavers
2nd line/ Sam Warning-Erik Haula-Jake Hansen ... Second line carried Gophers on Sat., with three goals vs. BSU
3rd line/ Nate Condon-Taylor Matson-Nico Sacchetti ... Some Gophers fans probably look forward to U going on penalty kill just to see Condon and Matson on the kill. Condon has four shorties
4th line/ Tom Serratore-Travis Boyd-Seth Ambroz ... Sort of a homecoming for Ambroz, he played three season with Omaha Lancers of USHL while brother Matt played for UNO
Seth Helgeson-Justin Holl ... Helgeson played in his 100th game as Gopher last Sat.
Nate Schmidt-Mark Alt ... new combination; Schmidt is more offensive like Marshall was
Jake Parenteau-Blake Thompson ... Blake has probably heard a lot this week about staying out of the box
Kent Patterson ... making his 55th start in a row. Mr. Steady for Gophers
Terry Broadhurst-Jayson Megna-Matt White ... Goal total for them are 16, 11, 16. Gotta watch 'em
Ryan Walters-Brock Montpetit-Josh Archibald ... Walters is from Rosemount, Archibald from Brainerd
Dominic Zombo-Brent Gwidt-Brian O'Rourke ... Six goals combined ... can't let them score
James Polk-Joe Krause-Zahn Raubenheimer ... One goal combined
Comments: This is a two-line team when it comes to scoring. Big dropoff to two lower lines; only one forward over 6-2
Michael Young- Andrej Sustr ... Young is 6-4, 210; Sustr is 6-8, 218 ... Yikes
Jaycob Megna-Bryce Aneloski ... Megna is 6-6, Aneloski 6-2. Both weigh 200.
Matt Smith-Kyle Ensign ... Ensign has played 101 games and is still looking for first goal
Ryan Massa ... 2.34 goals-against average, .922 save pct. He's freshman from Littleton, Colo.