Gophers coach Don Lucia said on his weekly radio show on Monday that it's either been feast or famine as far as goals go. His team gets six or seven one night, two or one another. If if can get three goals, he said, it usually does well.
"Specialty teams will be important as we head into next weekend that's for sure," Lucia said. "The good news is we did get five power play goals on Sunday. And actually had two that were disallowed or brought back on Friday night."
Lucia said he was real happy for the team's five seniors that they could play as well as they did Sunday. Mike Carman and Tony Lucia, two of the seniors, each scored two goals in a 6-1 rout of Wisconsin.
"Beat a rival like they did and beat them quite handily," Lucia said. "So it was a nice way to end the regular season for our seniors."
The Gophers scored five power-play goals in that game.
"We got a little lucky at times," Lucia said. "We got an opportunity to get some rebound goals. Nice deflection goals."
Lucia said, on Friday, one of the Gophers' goal was disallowed because Badgers goalie Scott Gudmandson kicked the net off its moorings. "I was just upset because I think it was the third or fourth time the net was taken off the moorings and it only happened with one goalie in the net and it wasn't ours," Lucia said. "That's why I was a little upset by that.
"It was a tough call for [the referees]. We already had a power play. They didn't want to put them at a two-man disadvantage. The net was definitely knocked off before the puck crossed the goal line [on a shot by Zach Budish]. But it is just disappointing that you are in a position to score on a power play and the net gets kicked off."
He said the other disallowed goal on Friday was also a tough call. "The ruling is that you can be in the crease, you are not able to interfere with a goaltender's ability to make a save," Lucia said. "You are supposed to not be able to take away his vision. And that was the controversial part. Did we [specifically Mike Hoeffel] take away the goaltender's vision?
"And to this day, I don't think we did. Hoeffel was in on the goalie, he didn't prevent him from making the save. His stick was out to the side when he deflected the puck. In my opinion, that should have been a good goal. Again it's the referees' judgement. And in their judgement they felt he took away the goaltender's vision on that play. That's their call. That is the call that was made on the ice. It's too bad for us."
GOOD SENIORS LEAVING
"It's a really good group," Lucia said when asked about his five seniors. "There are a few guys who could be in that group who aren't here. That elected to sign pro contracts. But the five that have remained, they have been great ambassadors, great people in our program.
"Brian Schack has been a physical defensive defenseman for us," Lucia said. "He hasn't been an every day player but he has just got a phenomenal attitude. And whether he is playing or not he has been supportive.
"David Fischer is playing the best hockey of his career right now the second half of the season. He and Nick [Leddy] together have played extremely well. David is a puck-mover. He is a guy who can make that first outlet pass. He the last three years has had to play against other people's top line as far as defensively.
"He just has to get stronger. I think he has a chance to play at the next level. He just physically has to get a little bit stronger. He is 200 pounds right now. When he is 25, he will probably be 215 or 220, that's when he really will blossom into the player that he can become.
"Up front it was great Flynnie [Ryan Flynn] got the short-handed goal on Friday. Flynnie has been the kind of guy that has been very responsible defensively. He has been a very good captain, leader. A very good two-way power forward type player. And one of those guys when you are ahead by a goal, he is going to be on the ice in the last minute.
"[Mike] Carman is a guy who certainly plays the game with terrific energy. He is always going 100 miles an hour. He is going to run you over. He is going to score a big goal like he did this past weekend. He is just one of those guys that is a very good two-way player.
"Same thing with Tony [Lucia]. He is responsible at both ends of the rink. I think it was up in Duluth, we had Carman, Tony and Flynnie out there in the last minute. We were ahead by a goal. That's the type of role that they have played.
"Tony has had a great senior year. He did a good job as far as being captain, he has the respect of his teammates. And Sunday he got rewarded with a few goals. But it was more of a typical Tony game where he blocked a few shots in the penalty kill, knocked a few guys down and scored the goal[s].
"He is never going to be the big-time scorer. He has been a really good player for us over the course of his four years."
Lucia said he talked about it at the start of the year, that if the seniors had great years, it was really going to help us have a great year.
"Our seniors have had good years," Don Lucia said. "I can't say as a group that they have had a great year, especially offensively when you look at how they started. Although we expected to have Jay Barriball in this group, too. He is out with an injury, a guy who could be the leading scorer of this senior class.
"I was hoping we could get a few more goals out of this group. It's starting to come now and hopefully that will continue this weekend. Because a a group of seniors you saw how important it was this weekend when they close it out. Seniors play with a great sense of urgency come the end of the year because they don't have anymore cracks at it.
"Younger guys sometimes they just don't understand the importance of now. You don't know when you are going to get that chance. That's why I think you are going to see our seniors play terrific up in Grand Forks this weekend."