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Rachel Blount: Lucia doesn’t think Final Five loss is bad omen for NCAA chances

For those who worry that the Gophers’ early exit from the WCHA Final Five is a bad postseason omen, Don Lucia has an answer. Last year, Ferris State didn’t even make the final round of the CCHA tournament—it lost to Bowling Green in the first round—and still advanced to the NCAA championship game. The Gophers’ 2-0 loss to Colorado College in the WCHA semifinals gave them a chance to rest and recharge before beginning the NCAA tournament Friday. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, just two hours before the No. 2 Gophers were scheduled to board a charter flight to Grand Rapids, Mich., for the West Regional, Lucia said the rare opportunity to rest a bit before the tournament should benefit his players. The Gophers-Yale game is the first of the tournament. “I feel very good about where we’re at,’’ Lucia said. “We had a very good week of practice. I think the guys are excited, and I think they’re energized. After we lost Friday [to Colorado College], we took Saturday and Sunday off, knowing we were probably going to be in the Grand Rapids regional on Friday. We charged up the batteries a little bit and had a good week. We’re excited to get going.”

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