The Gophers spent the week on Ridder Arena's smaller ice rink in preparation of the season-opening Ice Breaker at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
They’ll kick off the season on a 200x90 sheet against Minnesota Duluth on Friday afternoon. After this weekend, the Gophers won’t play on a small sheet ice until mid-November when the last five games of the first half of the season return to rinks smaller than Mariucci Arena’s Olympic-sized surface (200x100).
The condensed ice sheets could affect the Gophers' lines heading into the opener. Sam Warning skated on the first line with Kyle Rau and Hudson Fasching at Wednesday's practice. Connor Reilly moved back to the second line with Travis Boyd and Seth Ambroz. Warning and Reilly started last Saturday’s exhibition in opposite roles.
Coach Don Lucia said the veteran forwards earned the right to play in Friday's opener. The coaching staff was still unsure how the defensive pairings would come together.
Video clips from Wednesday’s access:
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Gophers coach Don Lucia:
Gophers senior forward Travis Boyd: