Minnesota men’s hockey splits weekend in Boston

The Gophers lost to Northeastern but defeated Boston College

Gophers forward Justin Kloos controls the puck while playing against Michigan in Mariucci Arena on Feb. 26, 2016.

Image by Joe Sulik

Gophers forward Justin Kloos controls the puck while playing against Michigan in Mariucci Arena on Feb. 26, 2016.

by Drew Cove

Once again, it seemed like two different Minnesota teams were playing this weekend.

No. 11 Minnesota lost to Northeastern Friday 6-4, but emerged victorious on Sunday afternoon 4-2 against No. 4 Boston College.

“It’s not the first time we’ve given up a pretty good lead in the third,” captain Justin Kloos told reporters Friday. “It’s just frustrating. … [We] didn’t play with poise there in the first five minutes and that kind of killed us.”

While Kloos said he was disappointed at the team’s finish Friday, he had a great game, as he doubled his season goal total by scoring three goals.

Minnesota scored three goals in the first period, with two of them at even strength.

One of the Gophers’ troubles all season has been playing a complete game, and that showed Friday.

Minnesota entered the third period with a 4-2 lead, but Northeastern — with the help of their three players who are in the top 10 in the nation in scoring — slowly eliminated Minnesota’s lead.

Forward Dylan Sikura scored two goals. Forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Adam Gaudette each tallied one goal, all of which came in the third period to lead the Huskies to a 6-4 comeback win.

“When we’re good, we’re good,” Kloos told reporters Friday. “When we’re bad, we’re bad. … It’s not going to get you anywhere in the season. If we want to find success, we have to be consistent.”

Minnesota’s task didn’t get any easier against Boston College for a Sunday afternoon matinee.

Minnesota staved off the highly ranked team Sunday afternoon in a 4-2 victory for head coach Don Lucia’s 700th career win.

Forward Vinni Lettieri scored the eventual game-winning goal for the Gophers midway through the third period.

Minnesota got out to a lead quickly in the game after forward Brent Gates Jr. scored 34 seconds into the game.

The Gophers quietly improved their 5-on-5 play over the entire weekend with three of the four goals on Friday and all four goals on Sunday coming at even strength.

After having a rough outing on Friday, goaltender Eric Schierhorn was set to rebound Sunday, and he did just that. Schierhorn stopped 31 of 33 shots from the Eagles to backstop Minnesota to the win.

“[Schierhorn’s] had some tough outings,” Lucia told reporters Friday. “He’s always responded and rebounded well. We’ve got to get him to find that consistency to his game, especially on Friday night.”