(This article originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Connor Reilly has an idea what Gophers hockey teammate Tommy Novak is going through.
Twice Reilly, a redshirt senior and alternate captain, had his season end early because of lower-body injury, just like Novak, who was hurt in Minnesota’s 4-2 victory over Michigan on Saturday and is out for the season.
He pulled Novak aside and talked with him for a little bit.
“There will be some good days. There will be some bad days,” Reilly said he told Novak. “It’s not easy. It’s a difficult process, but I told him to treat it as an opportunity to learn a lot about yourself as a person. Hopefully you grow more as a person because it is an interesting process. You can’t look too far ahead; you can’t look too far behind.”
Just as quickly, attention turned to how seventh-ranked Minnesota (13-5-2, 5-1-0-0 Big Ten), currently on a six-game winning streak, will replace the sophomore center’s playmaking abilities in the lineup beginning with this weekend’s road series against top rival Wisconsin (10-7-1, 3-1-0-0).