Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Gophers ring in the New Year with No. 1 ranking; Haula week to week; CBA update

Posted by: Michael Russo under Gophers, Wild off-season news Updated: December 31, 2012 - 5:38 PM


The 13-3-3 Gophers' men's hockey team jumped three spots in the rankings today to overtake Boston College for the No. 1 team in the nation in the USCHO.com poll.

This was thanks to an 8-1 pasting of the now second-ranked Eagles on Sunday night to win the Mariucci Classic.

So the fifth-place team (three points behind St. Cloud State with two games in hand) in the WCHA is No. 1 in the country.

Nick Bjugstad scored a career-high four points, Kyle Rau had two goals and an assist and 12 Gophers had points, including goalie Adam Wilcox, who made a career-high 32 saves.

The bad news though is Wild prospect Erik Haula left the game in the third period after being slashed across his hands.

Coach Don Lucia emailed me tonight that Haula is week to week with an upper-body injury and is doubtful for the Gophers' Jan. 8 game against Notre Dame.

I am hearing from multiple sources that Haula, the Gophers' most consistent forward this season, has a potential fracture in one of his fingers. A few years back, another Finnish center, one that's captain of the Minnesota Wild, missed a month when he broke a digit.

Again, the Gophers don't play next until Jan. 8 against No. 3 Notre Dame. That could feature a father-son battle between Don Lucia's Gophers and Notre Dame freshman Mario Lucia.

Despite the U.S. world junior team expected back into the country only the day before, one would assume Mario Lucia will want to be in the lineup.

However, Don Lucia said before the holiday tournament that he will likely give freshman defenseman Mike Reilly, who scored the winning goal in the Americans' 9-3 win over Slovakia today, the game off to rest for the weekend series Jan. 11-12 against Alaska-Anchorage.

In NHL lockout news, the NHLPA tendered a counterproposal today. Talks are done as the NHL reviews the counter. The two sides plan to get together New Year's Day. Maybe their New Year's resolution is to play hockey this year.

In Wild news, Torrey Mitchell has signed with the ECHL San Francisco Bulls.

Remember, I'll be hosting for Common on KFAN from 12-3 on Wednesday, so please tune in.

Happy New Year everybody!


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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