Playing at Xcel Energy Center for the first time since he was a Delano high schooler five years ago, Colorado Avalanche rookie forward Ben Meyers had his own cheering section of former Gophers teammates in his return to Minnesota.
Long before Reggie Lutz was born, his father Danny faced a medical challenge that he has stared down and never let affect what he does as a hockey dad. Also: Gophers forward Schmidt honored for classroom work, and Denver is a surprisingly good seafood town.
Denver played the defensive game it needed to play in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals, limiting powerful Michigan's offense and holding off the Wolverines long enough to win in overtime and advance to the national title game.
Michigan wants to run-and-gun, Minnesota State Mankato wants to do its own thing, and Denver's Bobby Brink wants to advance and maybe play his boyhood heroes for the NCAA title as the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals get underway.
When it appeared the sky was falling on the Minnesota Gophers in January, their coach stayed calm, installed a new goalie and got vital contributions from a talented group of rookies, earning the program's first Frozen Four trip since 2014.
The trophy given to the top player in men's college hockey will be returning to Minnesota, one way or another, as two Minnesotans and a Chicagoan who plays in Minnesota are the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.
Goals in the first and third periods, along with a solid performance in goal from Justen Close, lifted the Minnesota Gophers past Western Michigan and back to the Frozen Four on coach Bob Motzko's birthday
The Minnesota Gophers haven't seen much of the UMass Minutemen, and vice-versa heading into their NCAA regional showdown on Friday. While the Gophers are the higher seed, UMass will be the true home team, which suits Minnesota coach Bob Motzko just fine.