Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pregame Blog: Minnesota-MSU Senior Night Line Combinations

Saturday's Game Info

Michigan State at #5 Minnesota

Date: March 11, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm CT (8:00 pm ET)
Place: Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, MN
TV: Fox Sports North Plus (Doug McLeod and Ben Clymer)
Stream: Fox Sports Go (Free for cable subscribers)
Radio: 1500 ESPN (Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco)
Nate is covering for tonight: St. Paul Pioneer Press


It's Senior Night for the Gophers and final game at Mariucci Arena this season. Mitch Rogge, as Don Lucia alluded to last night, makes his Minnesota debut. He takes the place of Joey Marooney.

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Line Combinations

Rem Pitlick (#15) - Justin Kloos (#25) - Tyler Sheehy (#22)
Leon Bristedt (#18)- Vinni Lettieri (#19) - Taylor Cammarata (#13)
Brent Gates Jr. (#10) - Darian Romanko (#26) - Jack Ramsey (#16)
Mitch Rogge (#27) - Ryan Norman (#24) - Connor Reilly (#21)

Jake Bischoff (#28) - Ryan Lindgren (#5)
Steve Johnson (#4) - Jack Sadek (#2)
Ryan Zuhsldorf (#20) - Ryan Collins (#6)

Eric Schierhorn (#37)
Nick Lehr (#34)
Brock Kautz (#1)

Michigan State is going with the same lineup as Friday with the exception of goalie. Ed Minney replaces John Lethemon as the starter.

Michigan State University Spartans

Taro Hirose (#17) - Sam Saliba (#10) - Mason Appleton (#27)
Brennan Sanford (#13) - Thomas Ebbing (#28) - Joe Cox (#21)
Villiam Haag (#26) - Patrick Khodorenko (#55) - Dylan Pavelek (#14)
Logan Lambdin (#71) - Connor Wood (#9) - Cody Milan (#23)

Carson Gatt (#18) - Zach Osburn (#2)
Anthony Scarsella (#4) - Rhett Holland (#11)
Jerad Rosburg (#57)  - Mitch Elliot (#52)

Ed Minney (#45)
John Lethemon (#31)

I wrote a story for Friday's Pioneer Press on the six seniors, which you can read here. Since it's Senior Night, I wanted to include in this blog a few leftover quotes that couldn't fit in the story.

Don Lucia's entire answer to what this year's senior class means to him:
“They’re all winners. They’re classy kids and all of them have meant so much to our program. They have a chance to do something special and that’s win four regular season titles and six in a row overall. That’s quite a legacy and that’s something we talk about. When the year begins you want to try hang a banner whether it’s a regular season or playoffs or get to the Frozen Four and back to the NCAAs, those are all goals we want to try and accomplish. It’s hard to do over the course of a long season. There are injuries and you try to hang in there. Guys have played very consistent.

They are all program guys too. I think that’s the one thing that you usually have your best years when you have some seniors. We have a really good group of seniors this year that are loyal to the program. Some of the guys could have left. They’re such program guys.

The other thing is they really have improved during their time here; especially when you look at Bischoff and Justin and Vinni. They’ve taken great steps each year since they’ve been here. And even a guy like Mitch Rogge, who hasn’t played - he did get to play in the exhibition game - he is going to be a dentist, and he has worked extremely hard every day in practice. He helps represents our program. The same with Connor and Cammy, they’ve contributed obviously a lot more on the ice than Mitch, but they all contribute in every way.

I’ve used the analogy before. A team is like a puzzle. There are different sizes to the puzzle and each piece, but you can’t complete the puzzle without every piece. So the small pieces are just as important and that’s the fun thing about this team. They’ve worked. They’ve been a really enjoyable team to coach. They listen. They work hard every day. They step up at the rink. There’s not a lot of days where they didn’t have a great practice today and I think that speaks to a lot of the consistency they’ve had throughout the year.”
Jake Bischoff on coming back for his senior season
“I just sort of knew. Kloos was the kind of the guy who stayed in high school his senior year. That’s how I was as well. We sort of knew it wasn’t right to leave. We wanted to make sure we came back to leave the program in as good of a place as we could."

Bischoff on what he would tell younger players about staying four years:
"I tell them it was the best decision I ever made. I stayed in high school my senior year and I loved that. I loved staying with the guys that are there for you, the teammates I grew up my whole life there. Here I’ve had teammates the last four years and I feel that you can’t leave them hanging no matter what.”
Bischoff on what advice he would give his younger self:
"I would just say 'enjoy it.' Obviously it sounds cliche, but just enjoy every minute of it because it's a blast. It's an awesome four years and just enjoy the fun of it all."
Vinni Lettieri entering senior weekend
"It's pretty crazy. I've been here four years, but it feels like two weekends."
Lettieri on what advice he would give the younger players
"It goes by quicker than you think. You learn a lot of lessons too. I want to as a senior give the freshmen a great experience so that when they become seniors they can give the next freshmen a great experience like I had being a good teammate and role model."

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