Men’s hockey live blog: Minnesota vs. Denver

by Max Sanders

FINAL-The game ends in a replica of yesterday’s score, 3-0 in favor of Denver. Marc Cheverie has played a weekend to remember, recording back-to-back shutouts. He has now shut-out Minnesota in three consecutive games, dating back to Nov. of the 2008-09 season. The Gophers were held scoreless, and never could find any chemistry or momentum in the series. Minnesota drops to 0-3-1 while Denver improves to 4-2-0. Analysis as well as player and coach reactions in Monday’s paper. 6:54 3rd-Denver will be on the power play, as Josh Birkholz is sent to the box for interference. 11:47 3rd-The Gophers struggles on the power play are on full display. During the five-on-three they managed no real opportunities. As we approach halfway through the third the game continues to be dominated in all facets by the Pioneers. 13:50 3rd-The crowd is back on their feet after Denver gets two sent to the penalty box. After the first penalty was called, Minnesota maintained possession of the puck and Denver committed another penalty during that time. Chris Nutini is sent to the box for holding, and John Lee is sent to the box for hooking. This is the best chance of the night for the Gophers, as they will have a five-on-three for two minutes. Simply put, if Minnesota hopes to get back in the game, they must score in the next two minutes. 15:01 3rd-Patterson makes a great kick save to prevent another Denver goal. 15:48 3rd-With under a minute to go in the Denver power play, the Pioneers add a third goal on Kyle Ostrow’s second of the night. DENVER 3, MINNESOTA 0. 19:00 3rd-The Gophers will attempt a comeback one-man down, as Cade Fairchild is sent to the box for interference. 20:00 3rd-Five penalties were handed out at the conclusion of the second period. After the final buzzer had sounded Minnesota and Denver became involved in a skirmish along the boards. For the Gophers, Mike Carman was issued a five minute penalty for grasping the face. Tony Lucia and Zach Budish were also issued penalties for roughing. For Denver, Matt Glasser received a ten-minute game misconduct for slashing the goalie. Brian Gifford was also issued a penalty for roughing. The resulting total is three Gophers and two Pioneers beginning the third period in the box. 2nd Intermission Re-Cap Goals: Minnesota 0, Denver 1 Shots on Goal: Minnesota 3, Denver 6 Penalties: Minnesota 4, Denver 6 Instant Analysis: At some point the Gophers are going to have to find a way to score. They have had multiple opportunities not just in this series but on the year, especially by way of power play. Heading into tonight’s game Minnesota was 0-12 on power play, and they have yet to score tonight in another ENTER NUMBER man-advantages. If the Gophers hope to salvage a tie or better tonight they will have to increase the physicality, which was not carried over from the first to second periods. Denver’s Marc Cheverie is on fire. With a shut-out through two periods in tonight’s game, Cheverie now has nine consecutive periods of shut-out hockey. Getting one past the Pioneer net minder will be no easy task as Minnesota looks to avoid a sweep to the WCHA preseason favorite. 00:00 2nd-The second period comes to a close with Denver and Minnesota engaging in some roughing on the boards after the clock hits zeroes. The referee’s eventually separate the players, and both teams will head to the locker room. 00:58 2nd-An extremely ill-advised pass is stolen by Denver, who drives down for the breakaway. The shot is stopped with a great glove save by Patterson. 2:01 2nd-Denver takes its first team timeout. The Gophers are taking their fair share of shots, but they simply cannot find the net. Most of their attempts are either falling wide of net or are easily batted away by the defense or Cheverie. 4:21 2nd-Denver kills another Minnesota power play. The Gophers had several looks, including a rebound off the pad of Cheverie that was unable to be put through the net. 6:21 2nd-Paul Phillips receives a two-minute roughing penalty for contact to the head. The Gophers will look to capitalize on yet another power play. 10:49 2nd-Minnesota’s struggles on the man-advantage continue, as no real attempts were lodged during that penalty. Special teams scoring is clearly one of several areas the Gophers need to improve on as the season progresses. 12:49 2nd-The Gophers will be on the power play yet again, after Denver’s John Lee is called for tripping. Minnesota has yet to score on power play in the 2009-10 season. 15:33 2nd-Minnesota’s Jordan Schroeder is sent to the box, and Denver capitalizes, scoring the power play goal. Rhett Rakhshani continues his spectacular series with a shot that goes right through the legs of Patterson. DENVER 2, MINNESOTA 0. 16:42 2nd-Second period is underway, and nothing came of the Minnesota power play. Action in the second has been non-stop, and the hitting and aggressive play on both sides continues. 1st Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Minnesota 0, Denver 1 (Ostrow) Shots on Goal: Minnesota 13, Denver 9 Penalties: Minnesota 1, Denver 3 Instant Analysis: While Minnesota came out with the crowd advantage, it was Denver that struck first. Kyle Ostrow took a perfect pass from Luke Salazar, and Ostrow had a wide-open net to tip in the puck, giving the Pioneers the first and only goal of the period. Similar to last night the Gophers have come out strong, but if they have any chance of winning tonight they will need to play with the same intensity for the rest of the game. 00:00.3 1st-Just after the Minnesota power play ends, Denver is cited again. This time its Chris Nutini for boarding. The period ends, and Minnesota will start the second on power play. 2:22 1st-The Pioneers penalty ends with no scoring, and just after the penalty ends Minnesota gets a power play of their own after Denver’s Drew Shore is penalized two minutes for holding the stick. 4:41 1st-Denver will be on their first power play of the night after Mike Carman is called for hooking. 9:45 1st-Denver’s second line finds the back of the net for the first score of the night. After driving down the left side Luke Salazar fed the perfect centering pass to Kyle Ostrow, who tipped it in the wide open net. DENVER 1, MINNESOTA 0. 12:03 1st-The Minnesota power play ends with no scoring, and after being let out of the box Wiercioch had a chance for a breakaway, but couldn’t handle the pass and icing was called. 13:41 1st-In the power play the Gophers’ Mike Hoeffel gets a pass in front of the net and fires a shot, but Cheverie is there for the glove save. 14:08 1st-First penalty of the night goes to Denver’s Patrick Wiercioch, two minutes for holding. 16:20 1st-First chance of the night for either team goes off the pipe. Denver’s Tyler Ruegsegger fires a shot that hits the right pipe, and the Gophers are fortunate this game is still tied. 17:35 1st-Minnesota is coming out strong. Taylor Matson is providing a spark for the Gophers, trying to check every Denver player he can. Like last night, Minnesota is playing strong in the first. The question tonight will be if they can carry that play over for the entire 60 minutes.

The puck has just dropped at center ice, and a noticeably bigger and louder crowd at Mariucci is ready for Saturday night hockey.