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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Budish on the state of Gophers hockey: "Still not clicking" totally

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey Updated: December 18, 2012 - 1:54 AM

Gophers captain Zach Budish subbed for his coach on the Don Lucia weekly radio show on Monday.

He had his last final on Saturday, so he wasn't busy studying like some of his teammates were. Finals at the U run until Wednesday for some students.

Budish said he was planning on going home to Edina for the rest of the week. The team has been off since last Thursday and won't be back to practice until Christmas night.

Budish is a redshirt junior, in his fourth year of classes at the U. He only has one class in the spring to complete before completing his undergraduate degree in business and marketing education.

"A lot of guys take summer classes," he said. "I took a couple of extra classes when I was hurt."

That was two years ago, when he took a nasty spill on his moped and needed knee surgery.

His plans after college? "I hope to play hockey for few more years," said Budish, who was drafted by Nashville in the second round in 2009. My guess is the 6-3, 214-pound Budish will sign with the Predators after this season and not come back for a fifth year as a redshirt senior. He turns 21 in May.

Budish has five goals and eight assists for 13 points, which ties him for fourth on the team. He has two power-play goals and one game-winner. But he is only a plus-2 after being a plus-20 last season.

He is on about the same scoring pace as he was last season when he had 12 goals and 23 assists for 35 points in 43 games.


Budish said the Gophers held a team meeting on Monday of last week to discuss how the season is going. "We've played good, but we are still not clicking on all cylinders," he said.

The most recent example of that was the U's last game, a 4-4 overtime tie with Colorado College. The Gophers had a 4-1 lead going into the third period.

The Gophers are 11-3-3 after 17 games. Budish called that record pretty good, but "as a group of forwards, we need to find a way to get one more goal a night."

He said the team needs to score more goals 5-on-5, and it can do that if the forwards get to the net more. He tries to that, especially on power plays, to set screens from the Haulas and Bjugstads and Raus.

The Gophers have scored 57 goals, but almost a third (17) have been on the power play. They have only 40 goals at even-strength,  which is sixth in the WCHA. They are averaging 2.35 goals per game at even-strength and exactly 1.00 power-play goals per game.

Colorado College (53), Nebraska Omaha (49) are 1-2 in even-strength goals in the league. Then come North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Denver, bunched at 46, 45 and 44. The Gophers. And then there is a big dropoff to seventh, UMD (31). At the bottom is Alaska Anchorage with 23.


Assistant coach Grant Potulny works with the forwards every week on blocking shots, which they have to do more than in the past.

Budish said when there are ice bags all around the locker room after a game, that's a good sign that the team has played well.

The Gophers are 5-0 in nonconference games, but two, maybe three of their biggest tests are coming up.

In succession, the Gophers play Air Force and Boston College in the Mariucci Classic and Notre Dame on a rare Tuesday game early next month, Jan. 8.

"Air Force and Boston College were both in the NCAA tournament last year," Budish said, "and Notre Dame was a Frozen Four team two years ago."

The Gophers are 6-1-3 in their last 10 games.

A look at the teams with the best nonconference marks. There are three undefeateds left and seven unbeatens:

Gophers 5-0-0

Yale  4-0-1

Cornell 3-0-0

New Hampshire   3-0-1

Miami   3-0-1

Boston College  2-0-0

Minnesota State Mankato  2-0-2


Colgate            6-3-1

St. Lawrence  6-4-0

Union               5-1-1

Northern Michigan   4-1-0

Nebraska Omaha    4-2-0

UMass-Lowell           3-1-0

Holy Cross                 3-1-0

Western Michigan     3-1-0


Zach Budish was the youngest of four boys in family. All the others are a lot older, seven, nine and 11 years.

"All [my brothers] are working in the real world," he said.

But as a youngster, he was their goalie oftentimes. "I grew up wanting to be a goalie," Zach said. "I basically lived at the rink. They have been good for my career."

And they are usually at every Gophers home game.


Asked about the league, Budish said one thing noticeable is how tight it is, a couple of points separate first through sixth.

He called Minnesota State Mankato, the league's surprise team. "They have won seven of their last eight games," Budish said. "They have good coach there who is turning the team around."

On first line right wing Kyle Rau, known for being an instigator. "A couple of times I have asked him to tone it done, and he said, 'I play better when i do that.' ... He is a tough little guy, he gets under other guy's skin."

Budish played right wing on the top line all of last season, but this season he has also played on the second line at times, which is centered by Erik Haula.

"I am a guy who prefers to play with the same guys," Budish said. "[But] I've been playing with Erik Haula a lot, and that's been good for me."

He also has a new role this season, team captain. What does he have to do as a leader? "At the beginning of the year, I had to make sure the freshmen get adjusted well," he said, "as far as school goes, on the ice, and in the community. You have to realize you are being watched wherever you go."


* The Gophers are No. 12 in this week's PairWise ratings, which mimic how the NCAA fills out its tournament field once conference tournaments are done. ... Based on strength of schedule, the U rates only 39th, although that should rise the next couple of weeks.




Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
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Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




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