Connor Reilly’s season is officially over. Gophers coach Don Lucia said the sophomore forward underwent surgery on Tuesday after more than a month of waiting and hoping that Reilly’s knee would heal on its own.
Reilly's return to the ice was considered doubtful when he was unable to start skating last week. The decision was made to shut him down for the season and Reilly returned to Vail, Colo., for his third knee surgery by Dr. Robert LaPrade.
“Connor had surgery [Tuesday], so obviously he’s finished for the year and should be back and ready to go once September rolls around,” Lucia said. “I feel bad for Connor and what he’s had endure, and one more injury. We just felt at this point that it’d be better for him to go ahead and have the surgery so he’s healthy once next year rolls around.”
The Gophers have been without Reilly since the end of January when he was kneed in the right knee by Wisconsin’s Corbin McGuire. Reilly was the team’s top goal-scorer before going down with his third knee injury in the last three years.
“It’s tough for Connor, we all know he’s been through a lot with injuries,” senior forward Travis Boyd said. “You never want to see a teammate get hurt or go down like that. We’ve been playing without him for the last five weeks, so nothing really changed in the locker room, we just need to step up, and like I said, it’s a big weekend and we need to come out and get two wins here.”
Two wins against Penn State on Friday and Saturday won’t guarantee the Gophers a Big Ten regular-season championship, but would guarantee one of the top two seeds and a bye in the Big Ten tournament next week.
With four teams within three points of one another entering the final weekend of conference play, we thought it would be helpful to remind you how the tiebreaking process works for tournament seeding. Michigan State is in first place with 34 points, Michigan and the Gophers are tied for second with 33 points, and Penn State is in fourth place with 31 points.
If two teams finish with the same point total, they'll share the regular-season title. Then the tiebreaking procedures go into effect. Let’s just hope it doesn’t make it all the way to a coin flip. Lucia said he hasn’t looked at the tiebreakers and is hopeful he won’t have to.
Here’s a look at the process explained on the Big Ten's website:
Seeding for the Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament shall be determined by points accumulated in conference games. Points in the regular season Big Ten standings will be awarded as follows: three points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss and no points for a regulation or overtime loss.
a) Seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by the greater number of Big Ten regular-season wins;
b) If not determined by (a), seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by the team with the best regular-season winning percentage against the other co-champion(s);
c) If not determined by (a) or (b), seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by comparison of total goals for and against each team in contests between (among) co-champion(s) in conference games. For sake of clarity, a team’s goals-against shall be subtracted from its goals-for in order to compare;
d) If not determined by (a) or (b) or (c), seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by comparison of the winning percentages of the co-champions against the remaining highest ranked Big Ten teams in conference games, successively, until the determination is accomplished or all Big Ten regular-season contests have been considered;
e) If not determined by (a) or (b) or (c) or (d), seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by the flip of a coin.
In the case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria will be used in order until a team, or teams, is separated from the pack. At that point, the process will begin anew to break the “new” tie. In other words, when a four-way tie becomes a three-way tie, the three-way tie is treated as a “new” tie and the process begins with the first tie-breaking criterion.
Note: Shootout wins shall not count as regular-season wins for the purpose of breaking ties in the standings for tournament seeding. Games that go to shootout will be considered a tie game and treated as such in calculating winning percentages.