Minnesota Duluth freshman center Dan DeLisle was back at practice Tuesday after recovering from a leg injury suffered at Michigan Tech on Feb. 6. Mike Connolly (concussion) remained out but likely will play this weekend versus Minnesota.
Here’s more on the Gophers from junior defenseman Cade Fairchild of Duluth, from the blog of Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Roman Augustoviz:
Junior defenseman Cade Fairchild said the Gophers need to continue playing as well as they did in a 3-0 and 7-4 sweep of Colorado College last weekend.
The next opponent is Minnesota Duluth at the DECC on Friday and Saturday and Fairchild, who started high school at Duluth East, said the Gophers can not let down like they have at times this season.
"The Denver weekend and the St. Cloud weekend, we backed off a little bit," Fairchild said. "We weren’t as tough to play against as we needed to be, especially in front of both nets as far as scoring goals and keeping goals out.
"I saw that tenacity this weekend, so hopefully that is something we can continue to work on, continue to work into our game the last couple of games."
On Saturday, four defensemen scored goals for the Gophers. Dave Fischer, Aaron Ness and Nick Leddy each got his second and Fairchild his third.
"I remember we were joking, I think it was at the start of the second period, that the D have two [goals] and the forwards had one," Fairchild said. "Maybe the forwards can pitch in a couple here. It was good having some of the D scoring. That obviously helps our team."
Asked why the Gophers defensemen have struggled so much to score goals this season, he turned the question around.
"There are a lot of things that go into defensemen getting goals, getting assists or that kind of thing," Fairchild said. "A lot of it is having possession in the offensive zone. One thing I though the forwards did a great job [on] this weekend was protecting the puck, being tough to play against in their zone where, maybe on some other weekends, we have not been able to get [the puck] out to the point.
"That really opens up the offensive zone."
Fairchild said the Gophers owe UMD a payback. "We felt we gave away two games down here," Fairchild said. "We are expecting nothing less than going up there for four points."