Gophers Host Lindenwood (10-1-22 & 10-2-22)

Ignatius L Hoops

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Here's a June College Hockey News Q & A with Lindenwood head coach and former North Dakota player Rick Zombo:

After many years of discussion, Lindenwood finally made the leap to raise its men's hockey program to NCAA Division I status.

That means Rick Zombo is now a Division I head coach, after spending about a decade leading the Lions' ACHA club program.

Zombo was a freshman on the 1982 North Dakota national championship team, and captained the 1983-84 team before going pro. He had a long NHL career, mainly with Detroit and St. Louis.

CHN: What are your expectations here?

Zombo: I just gotta be myself and do what I do. I have a tremendous amount of confidence. I think it's much easier to coach a Triple-A player than a Double-A player. So the 14 years I had in the ACHA, was extremely enjoyable. ... A lot of people think there's a shortcut to coaching, and everything is on the Internet — which it is — and it's the gospel and the truth, but there's also an art to it. So having, sheesh, way over 30 years of coaching, you have to understand Adam, the contracts are not what's available now. So I always did hockey schools, whether it's my own or assisting other hockey schools. And that gives me, I call it the juice — being around kids is the juice for me. And I still do it ... I never turn down an opportunity to go on the ice so long as the rest of my responsibilities have been fulfilled. But my expectations are to make certain we're competitive. As a player I was always successful in people saying, "He's an American, he's from Chicago, can't skate" — there's a lot of people that sit on the sidelines that can hit stop, pause, rewind and become a genius. It's a matter of actually doing it yourself. So I make certain I surround myself with really talented people that the number one important thing is trust among the staff, and the second thing is prove you care to the players every single day. I don't complicate things. There's still only one puck on the ice.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Lindenwood men's ice hockey team (0-0-0) will begin its inaugural Division I campaign this weekend, taking on No. 2 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0-0, 0-0-0 B10) in a two-game set. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Lindenwood will compete as an independent member in 2022-23 after officially becoming the 63rd NCAA Division I men's hockey program in the nation. The Lions will play 32 games this season, including matchups against four teams currently ranked inside the top six in the country. The schedule features three of the Frozen Four teams from last season in Minnesota, Michigan, and the defending national champion, Denver.

The 2022-23 roster features a mix of newcomers and transfers. Among those transfers is junior forward Hunter Johannes. The Eden Prairie, Minn. native comes to Lindenwood from American International College. Last season, Johannes compiled five points on three goals and two assists in 14 games for a Yellow Jackets team that made an NCAA Tournament appearance last season.

Another transfer who will look to make an impact is Adam Conquest who played at Bowling Green last season. The Brighton, Mich. native skated in 10 games for the Falcons a year ago, netting two goals.

Lindenwood is led by former NHL defenseman Rick Zombo. Zombo brings many different levels of success and experience to the Lindenwood hockey program. Prior to becoming head coach, he was instrumental in directing defensive play and the recruiting process for the Lions. During his two seasons as assistant coach, Lindenwood won the CSCHL regular season and post season title once and also captured two ACHA national championships.
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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Understatement:

Among the returning players for the Gophers, who were ranked No. 2 in the uscho.com preseason Top 25, are a pair of Olympians: junior defenseman Brock Faber and sophomore forward Matthew Knies.

Other returners are senior defensemen Ryan Johnson and Jackson LaCombe, junior defenseman Mike Koster and junior goalie Justen Close. Close took over the starting role at midseason last season after Jack LaFontaine signed with Carolina of the NHL.

"Our D corps is very experienced," said Motzko. "That group is rock solid and will anchor us."
 

bonin21

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Not a fan of weighing down Knies line with Brodzinski. Doing that because a third line of Nevers Nelson Brodz might be a liability speed wise.

But let's see if Brodz looks different finally.
 




bonin21

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Not a fan of weighing down Knies line with Brodzinski. Doing that because a third line of Nevers Nelson Brodz might be a liability speed wise.

But let's see if Brodz looks different finally.
Standing by this. 22 looks like a passenger and an anchor again. 10 looked like it might be a learning year though. 89 deserves the chance to play with Cooley at some point.

For now, put Lamb with Huglen and Knies.
 

From the Parkinglot

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What the hell os going on. They are losing while getting out shot to a first year college team.
 




bonin21

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6-4 Final. Need to be way better next weekend.

5,985 paid attendance may be the lowest for a regular season game in Mariucci history? Butts in seats looked to be about 2500-3000.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The few of us in attendance got to shake the rust off the "Battle Hymn" and hear the most welcome phrase of a new season, "'Scoring his first goal for the Maroon and Gold..."

It got a lot more physical tonight in addition to some mid-season verbal sparring.
 

BleedGopher

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The few of us in attendance got to shake the rust off the "Battle Hymn" and hear the most welcome phrase of a new season, "'Scoring his first goal for the Maroon and Gold..."

It got a lot more physical tonight in addition to some mid-season verbal sparring.

How many fans were in attendance?

Go Gophers!!
 



Ignatius L Hoops

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How many fans were in attendance?

Go Gophers!!

I could've counted them; but didn't. I'd guess two to three thousand. On Saturday we were in the "Weiner Winner" row (probably because, comparatively speaking, we had enough fans to actually constitue a row). It played like an exhibition game except with a band and the bonus of debuting some terrific players.

There were more students on Saturday than on Sunday. And, more general fans on Sunday than Saturday.
 

Gophers1992

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A little disappointed we had to sweat out Sunday, was hoping we'd see a couple of 7-8 goal wins. That said, I'm not going to lose my mind over the first weekend. If we do have major issues those will get exposed next weekend so I'll wait to reserve judgment. The talent level of this freshman class is quite obvious, so I'm optimistic once everyone gels we will see a great product on the ice this year.
 

WayOfTheGopher

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A little disappointed we had to sweat out Sunday, was hoping we'd see a couple of 7-8 goal wins. That said, I'm not going to lose my mind over the first weekend. If we do have major issues those will get exposed next weekend so I'll wait to reserve judgment. The talent level of this freshman class is quite obvious, so I'm optimistic once everyone gels we will see a great product on the ice this year.
Against the likes of Denver or Michigan you wouldn't mind a 6-4 win, but against a first year D1 program no matter if they had previous success. Gophers should've cruised through them given our talent level. I guess it'll give the coach some areas the team could work on for this week.
 

Gophers1992

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Against the likes of Denver or Michigan you wouldn't mind a 6-4 win, but against a first year D1 program no matter if they had previous success. Gophers should've cruised through them given our talent level. I guess it'll give the coach some areas the team could work on for this week.
Right that's why I said I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to panic.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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A little disappointed we had to sweat out Sunday, was hoping we'd see a couple of 7-8 goal wins. That said, I'm not going to lose my mind over the first weekend. If we do have major issues those will get exposed next weekend so I'll wait to reserve judgment. The talent level of this freshman class is quite obvious, so I'm optimistic once everyone gels we will see a great product on the ice this year.
+1

Regardless of sport, i don't draw too many conclusions based on margin of victory against weak opponents. As long as we get the win, I'm happy. We shouldn't panic because we only won by 2 on one night. Just like, if we had blown them out twice, i think it would be premature to draw conclusions about how good we are.
 

bonin21

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You don't get caught up on the effort, and wins are wins. Just looking forward acknowledging they will need to be way better starting on Friday or they will get embarrassed by Mankato for the third time in a row.
 




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