Gophers Lose Barriball

     The University of Minnesota lost freshman defenseman Nick Leddy to a broken jaw during last weekend’s home series with Alaska Anchorage, and then lost senior winger Jay Barriball to an accident at practice Tuesday that will require knee surgery Friday. Leddy will return this season, Barriball may ask for a medical red shirt season.

Here’s an update from Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Jay Barriball, the right winger on the first line of the Gophers men’s hockey team, is expected to have season-ending knee surgery Friday.

Preliminary results from a magnetic resonance imaging exam taken Wednesday indicated that Barriball will require surgery, but a final decision likely will be made Thursday. The senior was injured in a routine drill during Tuesday’s practice.

"It is not a [torn] ACL," coach Don Lucia said, referring to a common knee injury in contact sports, "but it is serious enough that if you have surgery, it is a four-, five-month deal."

Barriball scored a goal and had two assists last weekend vs. Alaska Anchorage to reach the 100-point milestone. He has 39 goals and 63 assists for 102 points in 125 career games.

"[His loss] leaves a big void," Lucia said. "The good thing for Jay is he did not get past the threshold" to apply for medical redshirt year this season. The threshold is one-third of the season. If the NCAA gives Barriball a redshirt year, he would have another year of eligibility in 2010-11.

Barriball has played in only five games this season. He missed one game because of a hip pointer.

"I talked to Jay [on Wednesday] and I talked to his dad," Lucia said. "[Jay] is down, as you can imagine. You are a senior and you want to have a great year."

This is the second major injury to a key Gophers player in the past week. Freshman defenseman Nick Leddy suffered a broken jaw Friday against Alaska Anchorage. He had surgery Monday and is expected to be out at least 11 games.