Found December 30, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Standing just 5-foot-7, Ryan Reilly is the smallest member of the Gophers men's hockey team. On Saturday, though, the Minnesota freshman made a big impact in the Gophers' 4-0 win over Air Force. Reilly netted the first goal of his college career, scoring 5:34 into the second period to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. The goal came in Reilly's sixth career game as the freshman forward has had to battle for ice time this season. He made the most of his ice time Saturday and possibly earned more of it after his impressive performance. "He hasn't played in a while. We wanted to get him back in tonight to see how he would do," said Gophers coach Don Lucia. "He answered the bell. When a guy plays like that, then he deserves to keep playing." With the Gophers up 1-0 in the second period, Reilly and Minnesota's fourth line battled for the puck in the Air Force end. When sophomore Christian Isackson found Reilly cutting to the net, Reilly buried the centering pass to beat Falcons goalie Jason Torf. "It was a great play from that line. They went to the net for a nice, quick shot," said Lucia said. "I thought that was (Reilly's) best game he's played. . . . I thought the line played well with Isackson and Justin (Holl), who almost scored in the first period as well. So we had good play throughout our lineup tonight." Reilly came to Minnesota as one of three brothers on the team. He and his twin brother, Connor, graduated from Holy Angels, while older brother Mike spent time at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault. Connor has yet to play for the Gophers, however, as he suffered a season-ending knee injury before the year began. Meanwhile, older brother Mike, a draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 17 games for the Gophers. He wasn't at Mariucci Arena to see his younger brother's first goal, though, as he's currently playing for Team USA at the World Juniors tournament in Russia. For one night, at least, Ryan was the star Reilly in the Minnesota lineup. "It felt really good," Reilly said of his goal. "Isackson made a great play down low and fed me. Luckily, I was there and put it away." Reilly's parents, Mike, Sr., and Lisa, were at Mariucci to see Ryan's first goal as a Gopher. The Reilly family didn't make the trip to Russia to watch Mike represent the United States in the World Juniors, so they were part of the 10,113 in attendance Saturday to see Reilly help Minnesota beat Air Force. Across the globe, Mike Reilly and Team USA will play Canada at 3 a.m. Sunday morning in one of the most highly anticipated games of the tournament. Will Ryan be up early to watch his brother? "I don't think so," he said. "Maybe my brother and my parents will, but I wish him luck in his games." Ryan Reilly and his Gophers teammates will need their rest after Saturday's win. Minnesota will now face Boston College on Sunday in the final game of the Mariucci Classic. The Eagles are the defending national champions -- knocking out Minnesota in last year's Frozen Four in the process -- and are currently ranked No. 1 in college hockey. Lucia said Reilly will be in the lineup again Sunday, just his seventh game of the season. After his strong play Saturday, he showed he earned it. "I knew this was my chance to play well. It felt good getting a goal," Reilly said. "I definitely feel more comfortable, just using my speed and quickness rather than my strength because I know I'm not the biggest guy. But I have a big heart and I'm not going to quit." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.

Three Keys: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

It may seem like it has been three months since Air Force last played football but it is finally time for the Falcons to take the field against Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl. We have spent the last week or so breaking down the different aspects of the Owls team and now it is time to predict what Air Force will have to do to beat them. Here are the final three keys of the season.

Armed Forces Bowl Primer: Air Force vs Rice

Who: Air Force Falcons (6-6) vs Rice Owls (6-6) Where: Fort Worth When: Saturday, December 29th, 11:45 AM EST TV: ESPN Line: Air Force by 2 There will be a ton of rushing yards in this one. Air Force is second in the Nation averaging 328.75 ypg and Rice is 30th averaging 201.25. Air Force will be looking to snap out of a funk as they've lost three of their...

Bowl Game Prep: Rice Special Teams

With Air Force set to take on Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl on December 29, it is time to start looking at the threat that the Owls present. With the offense and defense already in the book, it is time for the Owls special teams.

Armed Forces Bowl, As It Happened

The Air Force football team went to the locker room at halftime feeling pretty good about itself. Rice could have allowed a discouraging second quarter to hijack its level of concentration, but the Owls impressively rebounded in the second half to score a decisive win over the Falcons.

Cyclones whip Air Force, 83-35

Kidd Blaskowsky makes eight 3-pointers, scores a career-high 26 points in win.

Patric Young pins one between the rim and the backboard

Gator Basketball struggled against Air Force. Patric Young showed Gator Nation something rarely seen before though…
Blue Jackets News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.