Minnesota’s Irmen Returns To Practice, Denver Series Status Uncertain

Minnesota’s men’s hockey team now has two players wearing jerseys with white crosses on them in practice.

That addition occurred Tuesday as star junior forward Danny Irmen returned to the ice. Irmen missed last weekend’s series at Michigan Tech after suffering a third-degree separation to his right shoulder in the Gophers’ 3-1 win Jan. 28 at Wisconsin.

His return to practice comes one day after sophomore forward Kris Chucko — who also missed the series with the Huskies — began practicing again.

“I felt pretty good,” Irmen said. “It’s … I’m getting there, put it that way.”

Irmen, who, at one point said he’s “almost there,” said he was at about “80, 85, 90 percent” Tuesday after being around 65 or 70 percent while shooting around before practice on Monday.

Still, Irmen said his chances for a return to the game action this weekend against Denver still are uncertain. He said he will continue to practice and that a decision will come later in the week.

“It’s day to day,” Irmen said. “I’m not going to play unless I’m 100 percent, because I’m not going to put the team in that situation.”

Irmen missed nine games early in the season with a broken finger. He came back to put up 12 goals and 14 assists (26 points) in 18 games before suffering the shoulder injury.