Captain, My Captain – Two Veterans To Wear the “C”: The Gophers have named two captains for the 2013-14 season. Senior forward Nate Condon (Sr., Wausau, WI) and sharpshooter Kyle Rau (Jr., Eden Prairie, MN) were named to lead the team.
“I’m excited for both Nate and Kyle to serve as captains this season,” Head Coach Don Lucia said. “They’re both deserving of this honor, and they are both the kind of player you want in this role. They’re good students, they’re hard workers on and off the ice, and they are great representatives of our hockey program and the University of Minnesota.”
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Condon is one of the last men standing from a junior class that was decimated by post-season departures to the pro ranks. As a senior, he’s Minnesota’s most experienced remaining player.
Condon even wearing Maroon and Gold would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. That’s because he’s from Wisconsin. Condon is only the third player in Gopher history to hail from the cheese state. Minnesota colors have worn well on him, though: in 118 games over three seasons, he’s notched 78 points (31 goals).
He’ll have plenty of challenges to deal with, too. “I’m excited for both Nate and Kyle to serve as captains this season,” Lucia said. “They’re both deserving of this honor, and they are both the kind of player you want in this role. They’re good students, they’re hard workers on and off the ice, and they are great representatives of our hockey program and the University of Minnesota.”
Rau, the Gophers’ top returning scorer, has 88 points (33 goals) in 80 career games over his first two season. Last season, Minnesota was 23-2-1 when he scored a point.
“When you look back at the captains who have come through this program, there are so many great players and leaders, and to be included in that group means a lot to me,” Rau said. “It’s exciting to say the least especially for a kid who grew up in Minnesota, and it’s a huge honor coming from our team and coaching staff.”
Condon and Rau replace departed captains Nick Bjugstad, Erik Haula and Seth Helgeson. In the long annals of Golden Gopher hockey they’re the 157th and 158th players to wear the “C”, a tradition dating back to the 1921-22 season.
Minnesota’s season begins with the Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena in just a few weeks, October 11 and 12.