Friday, January 13, 2017

Ryan Lindgren on WJC Gold + More (SBN College Hockey)

Minnesota's Ryan Lindgren wins a WJC gold medal, loses ten pounds to illness

By: Nate Wells

(A longer version of this post originally appeared at SB Nation College Hockey)

The cost of Team USA basking in gold medal victory for Ryan Lindgren was more than the 137 texts his assistant coach received.

Lindgren celebrated the victory in the locker room with his teammates, however, he was unable to play in the gold medal game against Canada due to an illness that eventually caused him to lose ten pounds and eventually spend a couple days in the hospital. The University of Minnesota freshman defenseman said he first felt the effects the night prior to Team USA’s semifinal win over Russia.

“That day I wasn’t feeling great. The trainers were trying to help me out with fluids and different meds. In that Russia game I don’t think I was in my top form. I didn’t feel complete,” he said. “I did everything I could do to give it my all, but after that game I could just tell I wasn’t going to play in the finals. That’s when I started throwing up and stuff like that.”

He wasn’t the only US player ill during the World Juniors. Ohio State freshman Tanner Laczynski missed the Russia semifinal.

Before getting sick Lindgren was one Team USA’s top defenders. The Minneapolis native grew up watching the tournament featuring the best players under 20 and was named best player of the game when the Americans defeated Canada on New Year’s Eve in the preliminary round.

“Ryan was outstanding. He played an outstanding tournament. At the end of the game he was out there with (Boston University D) Charlie McAvoy trying to shut the best players down on the penalty kill,” Minnesota and Team USA assistant coach Grant Potulny said. “If you would have told me that we were going to play Canada for the championship game without Ryan Lindgren and we would have to kill six penalties, I would be nervous. He’s built for that game.”

Lindgren also spent a couple days in the hospital after getting back as a precaution. Wednesday was his first practice back.

“I had a virus that caused me to be throwing up. I had strep throat. I just wasn’t getting any better so they wanted to keep me there just to watch me a bit more until I got better. I’m feeling good now,” said Lindgren.

Although Lindgren wants to play this weekend against Michigan (8-9-1, 1-3-0-0 Big Ten), the Gophers do have experience missing him in the lineup. Minnesota (11-5-2, 3-1-0-0 Big Ten) has played three of the last four games without the freshman defenseman. At the same time, Lindgren’s international career is not over. He will have another chance to make the roster and play in the World Juniors next year.

“It was unbelievable. Being back in that USA sweater was really special,” said Lindgren, who was captain of the US U-18 WJC team in April. “For us to win gold in the end was pretty awesome and pretty special, even though I wasn’t able to play in the game. To go in the locker room after the game and celebrate with the guys and celebrate with my teammates meant a lot. It was pretty special.”

Other Topics include:
-Ryan Lindgren on winning the World Juniors and getting sick
-Gopher health update for this weekend's series
-Note on Luke Notermann

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