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.
After nine holes on Monday in the Barnabas Health Intercollegiate tournament, Gophers senior Jon Trasamar was struggling a bit. He had birdies on holes No. 7 and 8, but had three-putted three times.
So he made the turn on the River Course at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, N.J., in a 1-over 37.
"I was thinking I have to right the ship, play solid and put myself in position," he said. "I wanted to give myself an opportunity and some chances."
After all, Trasamar's team -- he's captain of the Gophers -- was trying to win its first tournament since 2007.
Trasamar's round turned around quickly. He birdied the 10th hole and eagled the 11th to go 2-under for the day.
His birdie on No.10 came on an 8-foot putt. His eagle on No. 11 was set up with a 3-iron shot to within 5 feet of the hole. And he made that short putt, too.
"I got close to the flag on No. 11," Trasamar said. "I came up left and the pin was on the right. I landed short with my shot and the ball hopped on the green and rolled to 5 feet and I took advantage."
That he did on those two holes and four others on the back nine, finishing with a 7-under 29 on the back nine after an eagle and five birdies.
"My longest putt was probably 16 feet, the others were all inside 10-12 feet," Trasamar said.
And he was making almost all of them.
"They talk about how athletes, in the moment, can focus on the process and get in the zone once a couple things go your way," Trasamar said.
That's what happened to him.
"You get so amped, it's as if you are not playing golf," he said. "You are so amped and you have so much energy."
He only needed 11 putts on the back nine, finishing with a 2-foot birdie on No. 18. "I was a little nervous," Trasamar said, looking over the putt. He knew he had to make it for the first official nine-hole 29 of his career.
"I've had some 30s," he said. "And one 29 essentially in a match-play round, but it was unofficial." He didn't have to putt out every hole, some putts were conceded.
Trasamar's strong finish helped the Gophers run away with the team title by 17 shots.
"That was the first win since I've been here," he said. "We were second in the Big Ten [tourrnament] last season."
This was a team win, with five Gophers finishing at least tied for eighth or better.
"Everybody played well," said Trasamar, who finished one shot behind medalist Brandon Matthew of Temple, a playing partner on Monday.
"It was a little bittersweet," Trasamar said. "I wanted an individual victory in college. I have never had one. I've come close. But I lost to a great player and we had a great battle, He had a 32 on the back nine."
Matthews shot a 67 for an 36-hold total of 7-under 137. Trasmar, with his closing 66, had a 138. He was 10-under on the five par 5's over two days.
The Gophers men's golf team is feeling pretty good this week.
Coach John Carlson's bunch won its first golf tournament in six years. It took first place at the Barnabas Health Intercollegiate in Bedminster, N.J. The Gophers won by 17 shots in a field of 15 teams.
And one golfer, Jon Trasamar, tore up the back nine at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club -- gotta like that name -- a par-72 course, 7,014 yards in length.
Trasmar, a redshirt senior from Blue Earth, Minn., shot a 6-under 66, a career best, on Monday. He had a routine 1-over 37 on the front nine, and an astounding 7-under 29 on the back with five birdies and one eagle.
Carlson called Trasamar's finish exactly what it was:"One of the finest nine holes in the history of Minnesota men's golf."
Trasmar's 36-hole total was a career-best 138, good for second place after rounds of 72 and 66. He led the field in scoring on the par 5s and par 4s, in total birdies with 12 and in eagles with two.
On Wednesday, he was named the Big Ten men's golfer of the week. An easy choice, it would seem.
It was the first tournament title for the Gophers since they tied Michigan State for first in the 2007 Big Ten meet.
The Gophers were four shots back of Temple after 18 holes but blew past the Owls the second day.
All five Gophers finished in the top eight: Alex Gaugert was fourth at 1-under 143, Jose Mendez and freshman Matt Rachey were both 1-over, tied for sixth, and Tyler Lowenstein was 2-over, tied for eighth.
* The Gophers as a team had rounds of 291 and 280 for a score of 5-under 571. Temple was next at 588 and host Seton Hall was third at 596.
* Brandon Matthews of Temple was the medalist at 137, one shot better than Trasmar.
* The Gophers end their fall season with one more tournament Nov. 3-5 at Kiawah Island, S.C.
Mike Hebert's teams at Minnesota -- and he had some good ones -- had trouble winning in Happy Valley.
And on Thursday, second-year coach Hugh McCutcheon took his Gophers team to Penn State. And it was a struggle.
The Gophers were within 11-10 in the third set, five points from victory, when the Nittany Lions called timeout and ran off the final four points.
So. No. 4-ranked Penn State won 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11 in just over 2-1/2 hours. The score was tied 21 times and there were five lead changes, at least one in the first four sets, none in the fifth. The announced crowd was 2,067 and the match was televised live on Big Ten Network.
Fans saw a physical match with 36.5 blocks; PSU had the slight edge with 18.5, half a block more than Minnesota.
Ashley Wittman had a season-high 18 kills and 22 dogs for the Gophers and hit a team-high .292. Tori Dizon added 17 kills and nine block. Daly Santana had nine kills.
Penn State (13-2, 4-1) was led by its returning first team all-america hitter Ariel Scott with 25 kills. Three teammates also reached double figures in that category: Katie Slay had 16 kills and 10 blocks, Deja McClendon has 14 kills and Megan Courtney 10.
In the fifth set, it was Slay who had two kills after the late Penn State timeout in the fifth set. Then she and Scott had a block, making it match point which came on a Gophers' ball-handling error.
The Gophers hit .208, PSU .245. Minnesota is now 15-3, 3-2.
"Minnesota is having a great year, and they are going to be really good. We are going to have to play really well to have success with them," Penn State coach Rose said before the match.
His team met the challenge and beat the Gophers for the sixth match in a row. PSU was 3-0 against the Gophers last season, beating them 25-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-18 in an NCAA Regional final in West Lafayette, Ind.
Penn State is 41-8 all-time against the Gophers.
The latest victory over the U was the 1,104th for Rose. He is third on the all-time list of career victories in college volleyball.
His teams have won nine of the past 10 Big Ten titles, including last year when the Nittany Lions reached the NCAA semifinals.
Day 2 of the college hockey season saw a few more surprises but otherwise it was pretty predictable.
At the Ralph, North Dakota topped Manitoba 3-0, getting goals 75 seconds apart in the first period from sophomore Drake Caggiula and junior Michael Parks. Freshman Luke Johnson scored early in the third period; his goal was shorthanded and unassisted.
Clarke Saunders and Zane Gothberg combined for the shutout. Saunders played the first half of the game and had seven saves, including one on a penalty shot. Gothberg had 10 saves.
North Dakota was 0x8 on the power play against the Bisons.
U.S. teams went 12-2-1 against Canadian schools.
The two losers were Michigan which lost 2-1 to Waterloo and Denver which fell to New Brunswick 2-1. Lake Superior State also lost, but they fell 3-2 to the under-18 U.S. national team.
* Minnesota State Mankato routed Lethbridge 7-1. The Pronghorns had lost 5-1 to the Gophers the night before. ... With the score tied 1-1, Matt Leitner scored the winner in the opening period and Teddy Blueger made it 3-1 Mavericks with 2:55 left in the period. Blueger also had three assists.
Three MSU goalies rotated in net and stopped 11 shots. MSU fired 52 shots at the other netminder.
* There were two regular-season games. Colgate beat Ferris State 1-0. Kyle Baun got the goal midway through the middle period on a power play. Eric Mihalk made 25 saves for the shutout. ...Clarkson beat Niagara 2-0. Steve Perry made 30 saves for the shutout. Kyle Baun made 25 saves for the shutout.
* Denver outshot New Brunswick 38-21 but the Pioneers were 0x9 on the power play. N.B. took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals on junior Sam Brittain at 12:13 and, on a power play, at 15:40. He stopped 15 shots in two periods. Freshman Evan Cowley had four saves in the third. Junior Daniel Doremus had a shorthanded goal for DU at 10:32 of the second period. ... Freshman center Matt Marcinew of Edina won 13x23 draws for the Pios.
* The University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, edged Michigan 2-1 despite being outshot 35-22 at the Yost. Andrew Copp, an alternate captain, had the only goal for the Wolverines 25 seconds into the second period. The Warriors scored twice on rebounds on sophomore Steve Racine who played the first half of the game in the Michigan nets; freshman Zach Nagelvoort replaced him after the second goal.Coach Red Berenson played nine freshmen, including five forwards and three defensemen. Michigan opens its season at home on Thursday vs. Boston College, a traditonal Hockey East power.
Said Berenson, according to Michigan's web site, "Well, it's a little scary. Typically, a team like Boston College will come in with some of the best players in the country. We've got to play better without the puck, and I thought the Waterloo team played well without it and made it tough for us to get second shots. So once they got the lead, it made it tough for us, but Boston College will certainly be a whole new challenge."
* St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko will debut his coach's show at 6 tonight on KSNI 1450-AM and 103.3-FM. It can also be heard on knsiradio.com.
UMass-Lowell was the No. 1-rated team in preseason college polls, but the River Hawks, playing in their own rink, could manage no better than a 3-3 overtime tie against McGill.
Scott Wilson scored on a power-play with under 5 minutes left for UMass-Lowell to tie the score at 3 and the overtime was scorelss. The River Hawks did have a goal by Josh Holmstrom waived off because of goalie interference.
Doubt that tie will have any influence on the next polls -- nor should it.
The other U.S. teams went 15-1 against teams from Up North.
The one loss was by RIT, the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York lost 2-1 to Queen's University of Kingston, Ont. This was a case of as goalie standing on his head. Gaels' goalie Kevin Baile had 51 saves and RIT was 0-for-7 on the power play. The loss broke the Tigers' 19-game winning streak against Canadian schools. ... One highlight for RIT, the Tigers killed a five-minute major without allowing Queen's a shot on goal. Shots were 52-26.
For a story on the Gophers's exhibition vs. Lethbridge, go here.
Other notable exhibitions:
* New Hampshire, which plays in the Gophers' Ice Breaker next weekend, scored four goals in the second period, two of them in the final minute, to beat Acadia 6-3. ... Shots were 28 apiece, but the Wildcats had the big edge on special teams. Their power play was 3x7, Acadia's 0x5. .... Kyle Smith and Grayson Downing each scored twice for N.H.
* Ohio State, which will be in the Big Ten this season, routed Toronto 9-1. ... Junior Tanner Fritz led the Buckeyes with two goals and two assists. ... “Any time you can go out there and win that’s important, but it is how we played that was the biggest take away from this game,” said Steve Rohlik, the former UMD assistant who is in his first year as the Buckeyes’ head coach. “We played hard and unselfish; our guys executed well today.”
* Colorado College beat New Brunswick 5-0. Alexander Krushelnyski had a hat trick for the Tigers, who played three different goalies.
TWO REAL GAMES
In Niagara, there was a real game with some pomp and ceremony. But the home team, the Purple Knights lost 2-1 to the Clarkson Golden Knights. Clarkson is another team in the Ice Breaker.
Niagara raised two banners, one for winning the Atlantic Hockey regular-season title and another for their fourth NCAA appearance, but Clarkson was the better team.
Freshman Jackson Teichroeb made 39 saves for Niagare to keep the game close. Jarret Burton scored the game-winner at 14:17 of the third. ... Niagara had a 22-game home unbeaten streak.
In the other real game, Ferris State, a new member of the WCHA beat Colgate 7-4. The Raiders led 2-0 and 4-3 but the Bulldogs rallied each time. Garrett Thompson got the winner at 5:29 of the third on a power play.
* There was also a scrimmage worth mentioning. The Badgers played a Red vs. White scrimmage at Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire, Wis., on Saturday, with proceeds going to benefit the Blugolds hockey program. It packed the people in, 1,093. Mike Mersch, one of Wisconsin's talented veterans, scored with 1:04 left in the scrimmage to tie the score at 3-all.
|Sports (291)||Gophers game day (73)|
|Gophers postgame (167)||NCAA (2)|
|Bemidji State (36)||Frozen Four (49)|
|Gophers awards and honors (91)||Gophers post season (51)|
|Gophers roster moves (114)||MS-Mankato (42)|
|North Dakota (71)||St. Cloud State (48)|
|UMD (37)||WCHA news (346)|
|College hockey (435)||Coaching (40)|
|Lynx (255)||Gophers (440)|
|Men's hockey (467)||Pregame (50)|
|Volleyball (3)||WCHA (4)|
|Women's hockey (29)||Wrestling (3)|
|Alaska Anchorage (12)||Colorado College (7)|
|Denver (19)||Michigan Tech (7)|
|Nebraska Omaha (12)||Wisconsin (28)|