Gophers males’s hockey travels to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to face off towards the unranked Ohio State Buckeyes of their remaining recreation of 2023.
Ohio State is winless in regulation inside convention play as their solely win got here in a shootout towards Michigan of their first Large Ten collection. The Buckeyes sit in final place within the Large Ten standings and are 9 factors behind the subsequent closest group, Penn State.
Regardless of the Buckeyes being winless, Minnesota head coach Bob Motzko mentioned there aren’t any possibilities for the Gophers to catch their breath this collection.
“We’ve got to struggle for 4 extra days now,” Motzko mentioned.
Minnesota faces their first unranked opponent since taking part in St. Thomas within the first collection of the season. St. Thomas is the one group the Gophers have swept this season.
Minnesota doesn’t play a recreation for the rest of December after their collection towards Ohio State and can resume their season on New 12 months’s Day.
“The break goes to return at a good time,” Motzko mentioned.
The break additionally signifies the halfway level of the Large Ten season because the Gophers may have performed 12 out of their 24 convention video games.
For graduate gamers Bryce Brodzinski, Jaxon Nelson and Justen Shut, this break additionally means they’re halfway via their remaining season as Gophers.
Brodzinski mentioned the break is efficacious no matter how a group is taking part in.
“If we’re taking part in good going into the break, it’s good for us as a result of we will use that point to replicate on what we did within the first half,” Brodzinski mentioned.
Last season for Brodzinski and Nelson
Brodzinski mentioned he has not modified something specifically to cherish the rest of his collegiate profession. He added spending time with teammates within the remaining time is most vital for him.
Nelson mentioned he realized taking part in away video games as a graduate, like this weekend in Columbus, will doubtless be the final time taking part in at that area. Moreover, he didn’t know whether or not he was going to return to the Gophers final season and, due to that, went via final season as if it have been his final yr in Minnesota.
“Now understanding for certain that that is the final season, [I have to] depart all of it on the market on a regular basis,” Nelson mentioned. “You by no means know what can be your final shift.”
Brodzinski and Nelson have been high contributors to the group’s scoring of their remaining season with the Gophers.
Brodzinski leads the Large Ten in scoring with seven objectives and 13 factors. He has scored in every of his final 4 video games, totaling seven factors throughout the contests.
Brodzinski mentioned being an upperclassman for the previous three years means his recreation has not modified however he continues to construct confidence as he will get older.
Nelson is third on the group in Large Ten scoring with two objectives and eight factors. He has 4 factors in his final 4 video games.
The Gophers enter their second consecutive collection on the street and finish 2023 with two away collection. Nelson mentioned away collection have fewer distractions which advantages their younger group.
“Happening the street is simply enterprise for us,” Nelson mentioned.
Minnesota returns to 3M Enviornment at Mariucci on Jan. 1 towards the U.S. Nationwide Underneath-18 Workforce in an exhibition recreation.