Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The man behind the Golden Gophers

Joel Maturi - Athletic Director University of Minnesota Golden GophersJoel Maturi is the Athletic Director for the Minnesota Golden Gophers athletic program. After graduating Notre Dam in 1967, Joel Maturi began coaching high school sports leading him to a spot in the Wisconsin Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1996, after serving as associate Athletic Director at Madison for nine years, Maturi was hired as the Athletic Director at Denver. Denver hired Maturi to help ease their transition from a D-II school to D-I status. Two years later, Joel Maturi was hired on by Miami until Minnesota lured him in.

Joel Maturi was hired by the Gophers on July 12, 2002, where he was been ever since. After the Clem Haskins' basketball scandal, the U of M really needed a savior and felt Maturi was the right man for the job. So far, Joel has done well by securing financial backing for a new football stadium and a bright basketball program future by hiring Tubby Smith.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nissen-Emery Award finalist

Aaron Fortunato, a Gopher gymnast and two-time team captain, has been named a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award. Fortunato holds the No.4 ranking in the nation for the high bar and sits at No. 7 in the all-around. In 2009, Aaron Fortunato earned first-team All-Big Ten honors with fifth place in the all-around and has been going strong off outside the gym. Fortunato has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and College Gymnastics Association All-Academic recognition for the past three years, holding a 3.77 GPA in civil engineering. Fortunato will be awarded, if he is chosen, at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. The Nissen-Emery Award is similar to the Heisman Trophy for football, so this is a huge deal. Make sure to congratulate Aaron if you see him around campus. Good luck Aaron!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tony Lucia signs with San Jose

Tony Lucia, a leading scorer on the U of M Gophers hockey team, recently signed with the San Jose Sharks. Lucia signed an entry-level contract, but no details have been disclosed. Tony Lucia has hockey in his blood, with his father the being Gopher men’s hockey coach. Lucia had played four seasons for the Gophers, capturing 82 points in 160 games total. Tony also played juniors for the Omaha Lancers in the U.S. Hockey League from 2004-06. Originally from Wayzata, Tony Lucia was chosen in the 2005 NHL draft and is finally able to join the Sharks now that he is graduating in May.

NCAA D-I Regionals

The NCAA D-I West Regionals are set to begin this Friday at the Xcel Energy Center. The first two games will be Northern Michigan taking on the St. Cloud State Huskies at 4:30 pm and then Vermont against Wisconsin at 8 pm. The winner of the two games will be held the next day at the Xcel Energy Center at 8 pm. The 2010 Frozen Four, held in Detroit this year, and the overall winner of the West Regional games will have the privilege of making the trip. Don’t forget to join your favorite team this weekend at the Xcel Energy Center!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Final Five at the Xcel

If you're anywhere near downtown St. Paul, you may have noticed the mobs of people decked out in their favorite college hockey gear. Well the 2010 WCHA Final Five is on until Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center. If you're interested in checking it out, here is the schedule:

Individual Games Time
Quarter-final game - ND beat MN Duluth 2-0 7:00 PM
Semi-final game - Friday, March 19 2:00 PM
Semi-final game - Friday, March 19 7:00 PM
Third place game - Saturday, March 20 2:00 PM
Championship game - Saturday, March 20 7:00 PM

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gopher women's hockey going to the Final Four!

The men's team may not be moving on, the Gopher women's hockey team are still going strong. After winning in overtime against Clarkson, this will be the seventh Final Four game the Golden Gophers will be in attendance since it began in 2001. The Frozen Four will be held at the Ridder Arena, kicking off with No.1 Mercyhurst vs Cornell at 5 pm and then the Gophers vs. Minnesota Duluth on Friday at 8 pm. The winners of the two games will play March 21 at Ridder Arena at noon.

Good luck Gophers!!!

Men's hockey ends in flop

The MN Gophers hockey season came met its end this past Sunday after a 4-1 loss to North Dakota. This is the second time in Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five history where the Golden Gophers will not be in attendance. The Gophers ended their season with an 18-19-2 record just missing the cut off. North Dakota, on the other hand, will be going to their 8th Final Five with a 22-12-5 overall record.

Better luck next year Gophers!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NFL Pro Day for the Gophers

NFL scouts from all over the nation came to the University of Minnesota today for Pro Day. There were more than thirty former college football players in attendance at this event, which may be the biggest job interview they had faced thus far. There were twenty-two players who had graduated from the U of M in 2009, along with a few from Mankato, Northern Iowa and Concordia. Four of the alumni players had participated in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. This was their chance to show NFL that they belong together.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gopher Women's Hockey vs. Clarkson

The No. 3 ranked U of M women's hockey team will be attending the NCAA competition vs. Clarkson this Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner of this game will go on to the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four, which will also be held at Ridder Arena on the following weekend. The Gophers overall record, to enter into the NCAA regional, is 25-8-5.

After finishing their regular season games with a tie to MN Duluth, the U of M lost to them this past Sunday in the tournament championship game. The Gophers have hosted Clarkson at the Ridder Arena earlier in the season, whom they beat twice. I'd day we have a really good chance at the "three's a charm" rule, don't you think? Go Gophers!

Gophers fight hard on Senior Night

This past Sunday, the Gophers Men's basketball team blew their competition out of the water with an 88-53 win over Iowa. The three seniors on the team (Lawrence Westbrook, Damian Johnson and Devron Bostick) were not about to lose their last regular season game at the Williams Arena, and put every last drop of energy into this win. Before conquering the Hawkeyes, the three Gopher seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony. The Golden Gophers finish the regular season with an 18-12 overall record (9-9 Big Ten) and have captured the sixth seed in next weekend's Big Ten Tournament in Inianapolis. Lets hope the Gophers can keep this momentum going!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gophers hosting the WCHA Final Faceoff

The Gopher women's hockey team is set to host the 2010 WCHA Final Faceoff Championships at the Ridder Arena this weekend. Ranked at No. 2, the Golden Gophers will be competing against the No. 5 ranked Ohio State team at 3 p.m on saturday. Duluth, at No. 1, will be playing No. 6 Bemidgi state prior to the Gophers at noon. The winners of the semifinal games will play each other on Sunday for the WCHA championship title. If the Gophers pull this off, it will be their fourth playoff championship in school history! The first time they took home the title was in 2002 vs. Wisconsin, and their next two were back to back titles in 2004 and 2005.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

All-Big Ten Honorable Mentions on the Women's basketball team

Two Golden Gopher guards (Brittany McCoy and Kiara Buford) have recieved an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention this past Monday as the Big Ten Conference announced its women’s basketball honor squads. Both women have been honored on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team when they first arrived on the team as rookies. McCoy was named a honorable mention selection by both Big Ten's coaches and media and is ranked second in the Conference in assists. Since she began with the Gophers, McCoy has started every one of her 126 career games. Buford is currently a sophomore and already making a mark on the Golden Gophers. Buford was named to the Big Ten media's All-Big Ten Honorable Mention team and currently leads the Gophers in scoring averaging 13.3 points per game.

Congrats McCoy and Buford!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gophers men's basketball still on the road

The Golden Gophers basketball team will kick off their last week of regular season play on the road. The last two games (Purdue and Illinois) were also away, coming away with both a win and a loss. Today, the Gophers face off against the Michigan Wolverines at 6 pm at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The first time around vs. the Wolverines, the Gophers dropped the ball (quite literally) losing 63-71. On the bright side, Michigan is coming into this game fresh off a loss to Ohio and I hope they continue on losing. Tune in tonight to see what happens!

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