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Panthers Prospect Kyle Rau named Captain of Gophers

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

MINNEAPOLIS (Gophersports.com) -Gopher Hockey senior Kyle Rau has been tabbed as captain of the Maroon & Gold for the 2014-15 season while seniors Ben Marshall and Seth Ambroz will serve as alternate captains, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia announced today.

"We're happy to name Kyle, Ben and Seth as our captains for this season," Lucia said. "They're great representatives of our program and the University of Minnesota, as is our entire senior class, and we'll rely on all of them to set the tone for our team this season."

A native of Eden Prairie, Minn., Rau returns to the Gophers as the team's active leading scorer with 123 points (47 goals, 76 assists) in 121 career games. The forward has tallied 40 or more points in each of his three seasons with Minnesota and led the Gophers with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) last year. Rau was a CCM/AHCA Division I Second Team All-American in 2013-14 after leading the Gophers to the inaugural Big Ten regular-season title and the national championship game. A Second Team All-Big Ten honoree as well as an Academic All-Big selection, Rau earned Minnesota's John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award last season.

A native of Mahtomedi, Minn., Marshall has played in 120 career games for the Gophers with 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists) to his credit. The defenseman, who tallied 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 2013-14, led last year's squad with 66 blocked shots and is the team's active leader in career blocked shots with 161. Marshall earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention accolades last season for the Maroon & Gold.

A native of New Prague, Minn., Ambroz set career highs with 23 points, 14 goals and nine assists last year while playing in all 41 games for the Gophers. His 14 goals were tied for second on the team in 2013-14 and doubled his career total to 28 -- the forward also has 47 points and 19 assists in 120 career games. Off the ice, Ambroz earned Academic All-Big Ten honors as a junior last season.

The trio continues a long tradition of Gopher Hockey captains dating back to the program's first season of play in 1921-22 when Chet Bros led Minnesota. Rau returns as a captain in 2013-14, having shared the duty with Nate Condon last year, while Marshall and Ambroz represent the 159th and 160th players to assume the role of either captain of alternate captain for Minnesota.

As part of Minnesota's senior class along with Sam Warning, Travis Boyd and Christian Isackson, the trio has helped the Gophers to three-straight regular-season conference titles (a first for the Gopher Hockey program) as well as two trips to the NCAA Frozen Four.

Minnesota opens the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game on Oct. 4 at Mariucci Arena against the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. The Gophers kick off the regular season by defending their Ice Breaker Tournament title in South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 10-12. Joining the Maroon & Gold in the four-team tournament are Notre Dame, Minnesota Duluth and RPI.

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