Friday, January 20, 2017

Feature: Gopher Hockey preps for Badgers without Tommy Novak (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

(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).

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