It rarely happens, but for once the coaches and media agree: the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team look to finish sixth in the WCHA. The ranking isn’t a surprise for the Gophers, who finished last season in fifth place and have been between fifth and seventh each of the last four seasons.â†µ
No Gophers were individually named to the preseason all-conference team but goalie Kent Patterson received votes. Freshmen forwards Kyle Rau and Seth Ambroz also received votes for rookie of the year in the media poll but were shut out by the coaches as both selected North Dakota forward Rocco Grimaldi.â†µ
In addition to the polls, Minnesota picked up a commitment from 5’10", 170 pound Fargo Force forward Gabe Guertler Monday according to the team and beat writer Ryan S. Clark. Guertler, the second overall pick in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft, becomes the first Minnesota hockey recruit born south of Missouri. Despite his father being from St. Paul, Guertler was born in Florida. He is one of many Floridians making their way to Division 1 hockey, who according to College Hockey Inc have produced 5 to 10 players in the last few years.â†µ
Regardless of statehood, Guertler is a great pickup for the U and joins Lou Nanne and Vinni Leterri as future Gophers committing in the last two weeks.