Roundup: Briggs honored, wrestlers No. 5 seed

There was no place like home for freshman goalie Kellen Briggs last week, and the WCHA honored him for his play at Colorado College. Also find out who the Gophers wrestling team will face at the NWCA National Duals this weekend and other Gophers sports news.

Freshman goaltender Kellen Briggs (Colorado Springs, Colo./Millard North HS) has been named the WCHA Rookie of the Week, following his outstanding performance last weekend during Minnesota's two-game sweep of defending WCHA champion Colorado College. Briggs was the star for the Golden Gophers, stopping 47 of 48 shots (.979 saves percentage) to lead Minnesota to a 2-1 win on Friday and a 3-0 win on Saturday.

Playing in front of numerous family and friends, Briggs made several crucial saves, including three on breakaways to push the Gophers' unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2). On Friday he made 29 saves, several of the spectacular variety, to hold CC to a single goal. On Saturday, Briggs made 24 saves to earn his third shutout of the season, matching a Minnesota rookie record set by Adam Hauser in 1998-99. In addition, Briggs earned an assist on Minnesota's second goal of the night for his second helper of the season.

The one goal allowed at CC was the fewest goals allowed in a weekend series since UM won 4-0 and 4-1 at Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2003. Briggs, 3-0-2 in his last five decisions, is now 9-5-3 on the season with a 2.58 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. He is the first non-Minnesotan to play goaltender for the Golden Gophers since California native John Blue in 1986-87.

The award is the fourth for a Minnesota player this season and the second Rookie of the Week honor for Briggs this season (Dec. 1).

The Gophers stay on the road this weekend for a two-game WCHA series at Minnesota State. Friday's game faces off at 7:35 p.m., while Saturday's tilt begins at 7:05 p.m. Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Net North and broadcast on KCCO AM 950.

Minnesota Receives No. 5 Seed at National Duals

The Minnesota wrestling team received the No. 5 seed for this weekend's National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals, held Saturday and Sunday at Cleveland State University. The National Duals is the premier dual tournament of the season, and the winner is crowned the unofficial dual team champion.

The Gophers open against host Cleveland State Saturday at 9 a.m. and then compete against the winner of the dual between No. 1 seed and defending national champion Oklahoma State vs. Cornell. Other seeds include: No. 2 Missouri, No. 3 Iowa State, No. 4 Michigan, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Hofstra and No. 8 Oklahoma. The semifinals are Saturday at 8 p.m. with the finals set for Sunday at 3 p.m.

Gopher Men's Gymnastics Places Sixth At Windy City Invitational

The Golden Gopher men's gymnastics team placed sixth at the 34th Windy City Invitational, hosted by the University of Illinois-Chicago. No. 1-ranked Ohio State won the Windy City Invitational team title, using a score of 215.750 to snatch the trophy from No. 3 Illinois. Michigan, ranked fourth in the national coaches poll, took third, followed by Iowa, UIC and the Gophers.

The 34th Annual Windy City Invitational Final Results

1. Ohio State, 215.750

2. Illinois, 214.425

3. Michigan, 214.100

4. Iowa, 213.150

5. UIC, 208.800

6. Minnesota, 205.450

Patrick Datz To Join Men's Golf Team

The Minnesota men's golf team announced Patrick Datz will be joining the Golden Gopher program in the fall of 2004.

Datz, a native of Bluffton, S.C., finished fourth at the 2002 Doral Publix Junior Classic and was the youngest player in the field of the 2002 Players Amateur. The Players is one of the most prestigious amateur events in the country, featuring the top collegiate and amateur players. He has been a member of the Hilton Head High School team since the seventh grade and he finished 12th in the South Carolina 4A High School State Championship. In addition, Datz is a two-time all-region selection.

"We are excited to have Patrick join the Golden Gopher golf program," said head coach Brad James. "Patrick is a talented player that will work hard on the golf course and in the classroom."

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