Don Lucia will be making his first attempt at his 700th career coaching victory Friday night, when the Gophers men’s hockey team plays at Northeastern in its final nonconference road trip of the season.
The 11th-ranked Gophers (5-3-2) play two games over the weekend in Boston, with a game against No. 4 Boston College (10-3-1) on Sunday. Neither game is televised, but every Gophers game after this one is scheduled to be.
Lucia is 699-377-99 in 29 seasons of coaching, including 18 with the Gophers. He is trying to become the eighth coach in NCAA history to reach 700. Coincidentally, Mike McShane of NCAA Division III Norwich became the seventh on Saturday.
Northeastern (4-5-4) is playing a ranked opponent for the ninth time in 14 games this season, including the seventh game in a row. Last season, the Huskies dropped two games at Mariucci Arena, losing 4-0 and 4-3 in October 2015. That first game was Eric Schierhorn’s first career victory in the Gophers net. Gophers captain Justin Kloos has a goal and three assists in three career games against the Huskies.
Gophers junior Mike Szmatula spent his first two seasons at Northeastern, including earning Hockey East All-Rookie honors as a freshman. Szmatula has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his first 10 games with the Gophers, including a point in each of the past six games.
Sarah Wilhite had 19 kills and the second-ranked Gophers volleyball team roared back to beat defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Nebraska 21-25, 22-25, 28-26, 25-17, 17-15 on Wednesday night at the Sports Pavilion before a sellout crowd of 5,401.
“We are a team who works hard no matter,” Wilhite said. “We did not give up after the second set. We didn’t give up when we were down 21-23 in the third [set].”
The Gophers (24-4, 16-3 Big Ten), who close out the season by playing host to No. 3 Wisconsin on Saturday, improved 12-0 at home by ending the 14-match winning streak of the Cornhuskers (26-2, 17-2). The past three victories have come in five sets.