Lucia will coach U.S. in world junior tourney

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 23, 2013 - 11:58 PM

His assistants for the world junior tournament, which will begin Dec. 26 and run through Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden, include St. Cloud State head coach and former Gophers assistant Bob Motzko.

hide

Gophers coach Don Lucia will lead the U.S. team in Sweden.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

A day after the disappointment of losing to Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five semifinals, Gophers coach Don Lucia got to enjoy a happy moment at Xcel Energy Center when he was introduced as the head coach of the U.S. team that will play in the 2014 World Junior Championships.

Lucia’s appointment was announced at a USA Hockey news conference before the Final Five championship game. His assistants for the world junior tournament, which will begin Dec. 26 and run through Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden, include St. Cloud State head coach and former Gophers assistant Bob Motzko.

Lucia said he has long wanted to coach a U.S. team in a major international tournament. Last year, he told USA Hockey that he was interested in the world juniors job. He participated in the evaluation camp for the 2013 team last summer in Lake Placid, N.Y., to get a feel for the process, and he was offered the position in January.

USA Hockey executive Jim Johannson, general manager of the U.S. junior team, said he had spoken to Lucia over the years about being part of the U.S. junior coaching staff. Lucia was chosen, Johannson said, because of his experience in coaching young players on Olympic-size ice in the up-tempo, high-skill style played at the world junior tournament.

“I’m so excited to have this opportunity,’’ Lucia said. “When it was offered, I jumped at it. These are the best players in the world under 20 years old.’’

Lucia said he expects to miss only the two games the Gophers play in their holiday tournament while coaching the U.S. junior team. He said that associate coach Mike Guentzel and assistant coach Grant Potulny will lead the Gophers in his absence and that the university fully supports his participation.

The Gophers will find out Sunday evening where they will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Lucia said they will be the No. 2 overall seed and are likely to be assigned to the West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Friday and Saturday.

The Lutefisk Bowl?

Minnesota’s five Division I hockey teams will play in an annual tournament at Xcel Energy Center beginning next season. The Gophers will be the permanent hosts of the event, with three of the other four programs — St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth, Bemidji State and Minnesota State Mankato — participating on a rotating basis over the first four years.

All five programs have been members of the WCHA, but the Gophers will move to the Big Ten next season, while the Huskies and Bulldogs will go to the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The tournament will enable them to maintain their rivalries. The first edition will be Jan. 24 and 25, with Bemidji State the idle team. The Gophers will play the Beavers during the regular season.

There will be a contest to name the tournament, which will include two semifinal games, a championship and a consolation game. Gophers associate athletic director Tom McGinnis said details regarding sponsors, a TV contract and a trophy will be finalized in the future.

Though the Gophers led the way, all five schools participated in creating the tournament.

“The impact of the Beanpot hockey tournament in the Boston area is unbelievable, and I think this tournament will be as good, if not better,’’ Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore said. “We’re enhancing the long-standing rivalries our fans have grown to love by inserting them into a tournament setting and putting hardware on the line.”

New-look WCHA

The WCHA announced it will hold its playoff championship at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2014 and 2016. The reconfigured 10-team league previously had said the 2015 and 2017 championships will be at Xcel, while the Big Ten will hold its league championships at Xcel in 2014 and 2016.

The Big Ten will partner with the WCHA to do joint marketing for the two league tournaments.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Memphis 6:00 PM
Indiana
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Portland 9:00 PM
Sacramento
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Phoenix
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Columbus
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
Detroit
Anaheim 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 8:00 PM
Calgary
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How has Mike Zimmer done so far as Vikings coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close