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Cooley Focused on Title With Gophers After Whirlwind Few Months : College Hockey News

Not Enough : College Hockey News

January 17, 2023

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2 World Juniors, NHL Draft Highlight Freshman Sensation’s Last Year

by Ryan Sikes/CHN Reporter (@ryan_sikes10)

 (photo: Brad Rempel/Minnesota)

(photo: Brad Rempel/Minnesota)

Every year, a star emerges at the World Juniors. While Team Canada’s Connor Bedard garnered most of the national headlines with his 23 points in seven games, Minnesota’s Logan Cooley quietly put together one of the best tournaments for an American-born player.

With an even seven goals and seven assists, Cooley’s 14 points were the sixth most by an American in the tournament’s history. He had points in all seven of Team USA’s games and is one of only seven Americans to average two points per game.

Quite the resume.

The Pittsburgh native put together a solid 2022 World Junior performance in August, too, recording six points in five games as Team USA failed to qualify for a medal.

But while the rescheduled summer tournament allowed Cooley to stay in shape entering his freshman campaign, the young forward admitted to coming in with some fatigue.

“I think it took a tear on my body,” he said. “I thought I was pretty dead coming into Minnesota. Obviously, it kept me in shape, and it kept me going. Coming into (the 2023 WJC), you know what it’s like being able to play it.”

Nevertheless, Cooley is back at Minnesota and on track for a potential Hobey Baker Award. At the very least, he’s part of a bumper crop of freshmen in college hockey this year, many of which are making a case for the honor — including Minnesota and Team USA teammate Jimmy Snuggerud.

Until then, the Gophers are first trying to win a national championship.

Shortly after the World Juniors had concluded, Cooley returned to Minnesota. In his first game back, he scored the game-winner with 18.8 seconds left on the clock to rival St. Cloud State.

“The rink was packed; it was such a fun atmosphere. (St. Cloud) was a top-four team at the time,” Cooley said. “It was definitely fun to get back in the action with the guys and do anything you can to help the team win. It was a great defensive play by (Brock) Faber, and he got the puck up to me, and I got that shot off. It was definitely an amazing feeling and a big win for us.”

The chemistry between Cooley and Snuggerud, two first-round picks in the NHL Draft last summer, continues to shine. It stems from their time with the USNTDP, carried over to Minnesota and the…

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