Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Zucker leads short-handed Denver

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Bemidji State, College hockey, Gophers, Men's hockey, Denver Updated: January 16, 2012 - 2:00 PM

Denver beat Bemidji State 3-2 as Wild prospect Jason Zucker had two goals and an assist for the Pioneers. Teammate Joey LaLeggia had three assists.

But DU lost another player during the game to injury, forward Zac Larraza was hurt when checked from behind in the opening period. He may have suffered a concussion.

The Bemidji Pioneer story on the game is here. The Denver Post story is here.

Five Denever players were already injured:

* goalie Sam Brittain

* forward Beau Bennett

* defenseman Dave Makowski

* defenseman John Ryder

* forward Drew Shore

The Pioneers started the game with five defensemen because of injuries and, when Scott Mayfield got a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct near the end of the first period, played the final two periods with only four.

"We had a real test and that's as good a team win as we've had all year long," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "Certainly it's great to have Jason Zucker back. He scored two big goals and I am as excited about the effort we got [Saturday], considering the situation, as I have been in a long, long time."

Zucker, who had been gone playing the World Junior Championships, has 13 goals and 16 assists now.

Ben Kinne and Brady Wacker scored the two goals for BSU.

The Gophers play at Denver on Feb. 10-11 and face Bemidji State at Mariucci on Feb. 17-18.

GOPHERS CLIMB IN BOTH POLLS

The Gophers impressed voters apparently with their split at North Dakota this past weekend. They moved up in both major polls.

In the USA Today/USA Magazine poll, the Gophers jumped three spots to No. 2. UMD got all 34 first-place votes and reamined No. 1. Boston University and Boston College are Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

In the USCHO.com poll,  the Gophers moved up just one spot to No. 4.

The top three teams there are:  1. Minnesota Duluth -- the Bulldogs received all 50 first-place votes, 2. Boston University -- up from sixth, and 3. Boston College.

Only three other WCHA teams are in the ratings, and none are in the top 10: Colorado College, which plays the Gophers at Mariucci this weekend, is No. 11, Denver is No. 15 and North Dakota is No. 17.

OUTDOOR GAME UPDATE

Gophers coach Don Lucia said Saturday that Wisconsin has talked to him about playing an outdoor game next season and he is interested.

The Gophers-Badgers game would be part of a college doubleheader, according to several reports, at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. Miami and Notre Dame would play a CCHA game the same day.

“In order to make this work, we’d have to play Thursday night at the Kohl Center and give both teams [the Gophers and the Badgers] a chance to practice in Chicago,” said Mike Cerniglia, the assistant to Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, according to a uscho.com story.

Cerniglia helped coordinate the Camp Randall outdoor game in 2010 between Wisconsin and Michigan.
 

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