Bjugstad Scores First Goal

Colorado College versus the University of Minn...
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Posted by Roman Augustoviz

Freshman Nick Bjugstad said he was feeling a lot better going into the Michigan Tech series last weekend.

He had his second assist in the Gophers’ 6-4 victory against the Huskies on Friday and scored his first goal, an empty-netter, when Minnesota beat Tech 4-1 on Saturday. Hoeffel had seven shots in the series and was a plus-3.

Bjugstad had been out of the lineup since the first game of the St. Cloud State series on Oct. 22. The next day he was diagnosed with mono. He started practicing with the team again Nov. 15.

“I was really tired,” he said, referring to the time he was first diagnosed, ”and for a week there I just couldn’t get out of bed. I recovered pretty fast and I am ready to go. Obviously being out three weeks you are a little out of shape. I felt pretty good these past three days, so I will be able to get back into it. It might take a couple of shifts to get back used to the pace.”

Bjugstad said he had never been injured or sick for that length of time before. “I got to watch [Gophers' games],” he said. “That was good to watch [the Colorado College series] from TV. You just get a different view from it.”

After he got stronger, Bjugstad watched the Wisconsin series from the stands with his family.

When he returned, coach Don Lucia moved him to right wing on the second line. There he replaced another big player, Zach Budish, who had season-ending knee surgery.

“Obviously, the centers have been doing really well. I’ve never played much wing in my life,” Bjugstad said. “Center you’ve got to play down low with the defensemen and all over the rink. It will be a different experience for me playing wing.”

Budish was injured in a fall on his moped. Bjugstad drives one, too, but probably will put it away for the winter.

On Tuesday, instead of the usual 16-20 mopeds in front of Mariucci Arena during Gophers’ practice there were six. Now, not all of them are necessarily driven by Gophers but the majority seem to be.

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