The Weekend Wrap

The Gophers football team must now wait to find out what Bowl game they are invited to, the Gophers men's hockey team continues to struggle, while the women's team continues to dominate. In addition, the Gophers wrestling team kicked off its season, and the cross country team competed at regionals. Read this and more in the GoldenSports.Net Weekend Wrap.

Minnesota's 40-22 loss to Iowa was a disappointing end to the best season the team has had in our lifetime. And even though the Gophers finished 9-3, many Gophers fans still have a bad taste in their mouth, and understand that season could have been oh so much better. Because of that loss to Iowa, the Gophers' Bowl picture is unclear. The Gophers are likely headed to the Alamo Bowl, the Sun Bowl or the Music City Bowl. A New Year's Day Bowl berth is now only a dream, and with teams like Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State with similar records – and a reputation for attracting more fans – the Gophers could be snubbed by Bowl committees. The Gophers' regular season is over, but more than likely the Bowl scenario will remain foggy until after the Big Ten regular season concludes next weekend. The wait is on.

Gophers Men's Hockey Continues to Struggle

The Gophers men's hockey team tied Wisconsin 3-3 Friday, then lost 4-3 Saturday when Adam Burish scored on a short-handed goal at 13:59 of the third period to earn the win. The Gophers (2-7-1 overall, 1-6-1 WCHA) blew two-goal leads both nights. Minnesota hosts Michigan Tech Friday and Saturday at Mariucci in – who would believe we are writing this – a battle to stay out of the WCHA cellar. Michigan Tech is 0-4-2 after a 0-0 tie Friday and a 6-3 loss Saturday to MSU, Mankato.

Gophers Women Continue to Dominate

Now this is what Minnesota hockey fans are used to – a dominant team, a dominant win. Natalie Darwitz scored her second hat trick in four games to help the No. 1 University of Minnesota women's hockey team to an 8-1 defeat over the Brown Bears in Providence, R.I Sunday. Minnesota won 5-2 Saturday, and Darwitz scored six points on the weekend and netted her sixth career hat trick in the win. The Golden Gophers improved to an 8-0 overall and travel to Minnesota State, Mankato next weekend for a two-game series.

Gophers Wrestlers Dominate In First Action of Season

The Minnesota Gophers wrestling team kicked off its 2003-04 season by claiming six titles at the Harold Nichols Open in Fort Dodge Iowa. The Gophers are ranked third in the nation according to preseason poll.

Returning All-American Bobbe Lowe claimed the title at 125, while redshirt freshman Quincy Osborn prevailed at 133. Osborn is competing with redshirt freshman Will Holst for the starting nod at 133 for Minnesota when its dual meet season begins on Dec. 12.

Sophomore Tommy Owen won the 141-pound title, while true freshman C.P. Schlatter claimed the 149-pound title in his first appearance as a Golden Gopher. Schlatter, a four-time Ohio state champion, was one of the most highly-touted recruits this season.

Two-time All-American Jacob Volkmann got off to a strong start after winning the 165 title.

Redshirt freshman Cole Konrad, the Gophers' likely starter at heavyweight, claimed the title at 275 over 2003 NCAA Division II Champion, Les Sigman of Nebraska-Omaha.

Minnesota will compete at the UNO Open next Saturday in Omaha, Neb.

Men's Basketball Opens Season Monday Against UMKC in Preseason NIT

The Golden Gophers lift the lid on the 2003-04 season vs. Missouri-Kansas City in the first round of the Preseason NIT. This is head coach Dan Monson's fifth year at Minnesota and he has not suffered a defeat in an opener in Gold Country. In fact, he has only lost twice in the month of November. He is 14-2 in November with the only losses coming to Georgetown (78-60) on Nov. 26, 2000 in the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic and at Wake Forest on Nov. 27, 2001 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Monson has not lost at home in the month of November.

Gopher Men and Women Compete in Cross Country Regionals

The Minnesota men's cross country team garnered its seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships by placing second at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday. The Golden Gophers were edged by host Oklahoma State, 78-89, but both teams are awarded automatic berths to the NCAA Championships in Waterloo, Iowa, on Nov. 24.

"I feel very gratified right now," said Gopher head coach Steve Plasencia. "This team ran with a purpose, they didn't want to be the ones to see the streak end."

Luke Mullranin ran the best race of his Gopher cross country career in pacing the team's finish. The fifth-year senior had never run to Minnesota's top runner spot in a race, until now. Mullranin was the first of four Gophers to earn all-region honors by placing sixth overall, covering the 10-kilometer course in a time of 31 minutes, 17 seconds.

"Luke saw the kind of course he liked and was strong throughout the race," said Plasencia. "Luke is a fifth-guy. I could see him feeling mentally ready to step up for the team. He certainly backed it up."

Junior Zoe Nagell and freshman Emily Brown earned all-region honors to highlight the Minnesota women's cross country team's performance at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday. The Golden Gophers completed their season with a sixth-place finish in the team competition.

"Our youth caught up with us today," said Gopher head coach Gary Wilson. "Our inexperience was evident in our performances. Obviously it's nice to place two runners on the all-region team, but overall we just didn't run too well today."

They Said It:

"That power-play unit is the best in the country. It's scary how good that unit is. When you have three Olympians on the ice like that, it's tough to stop. It's like a clinic out there.

- MSU, Mankato women's hockey coach Jeff Vizenor, talking about the Gophers women's hockey players and U.S. Olympians Krissy Wendell, Natalie Darwitz and Lyndsay Wall.

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