Men’s Hockey: Gophers win 5-2

Brian Deutsch

Update: Thurber finally ended Kangas’ shutout with his first career goal and it was pretty. In the midst of the muck in front of the net, Thurber slipped a shot in as he was falling down almost Ovechkin-like right in front of the net. Cody Goloubef and Patrick Johnson picked up assists. Tony Lucia put the differential back up to three goals at the 4:56 mark with an assist from Mike Carman. but Tom Gorowsky answered right back less than two minutes later to bring it to 4-2. Jay Barriball scored Minnesota’s fifth goal of the game when he used a toe-drag to bring an already out of position Connelly even farther off the puck before flipping a shot over the prone goalie…after the goal, all hell broke loose. An all out scuffle ended with Ben Grotting and Patrick White going blow for blow sans helmets. Somewhere along the line, Grotting was shown the gate for fighting. Other than last night when Minnesota only managed two goals, Wisconsin has given up five or more goals in each of its games (that’s five out of six total this season). But they’ve also played just about the toughest schedule in the nation to begin the season. BC and New Hampshire opening weekend, then Denver, now Minnesota and next weekend NoDak (which looked a lot tougher earlier this season as opposed to now). Check in early tomorrow for the story as I am heading out right away to get back to the Cities tonight. Second period: Minnesota caught several breaks in the second period of play. It seemed like the Badgers caught fire somewhere in the stanza and just peppered Alex Kangas with shots. Patrick Johnson looked like he was going to have a breakaway but David Fischer hit the ice on a line change and took Johnson off the puck. Then moments later, Matt Thurber bounced a shot off the pipe. Mike Hoeffel made it 3-0 with 1:32 left in the second oeriod after sliding a shot through traffic and into the net behind Shane Connelly. Cade Fairchild picked up the helper. Trips to the penalty box dropped dramatically with the Badgers picking up three while Minnesota had just two in the second 20 minutes of play. The Gophers jumped ahead in the shots chart though and now lead 21-17. First period:Ryan Stoa needs only one more goal tonight to record the Gophers first hat trick since Blake Wheeler’s three-goal night on March 17, 2007 when Minnesota beat you guessed it Wisconsin 4-2 in the WCHA Final Five. Stoa scored goal number one six seconds into the game when he picked the puck off from the Badgers defense right in the slot and slipped a backhanded shot into the corner of the net. He added a second goal a little over eight minutes later during a Minnesota power-play. Penalties are on pace to out do last night. So far, 15 penalties have been called, eight for Wisconsin and seven for Minnesota. Both goalies have six saves after 20 minutes – Kangas still has hopes of recording career shutout No. 1. Pre-game:

Got to the Kohl Center early today since I was a little late yesterday. Actually I came really early and walked around campus for a few hours, which was a lot of fun – a nice little preview of how Stadium Village and Dinkytown should be next year.

Anyways as far as the game goes, the only thing I can really say is there is nothing special about these two teams power-play units.  1-for-19 combined on the power-play last night…ouch.  The Gophers took sole place atop the WCHA last night with their single point, but this early in the season that doesn’t much matter.  Meanwhile the Badgers still remain winless and their streak now sits at 5 games, a win tonight would definitely mean more to Wisconsin than Minnesota right now. 

Here are the Gophers lines, nothing new really…

Stoa-Schroeder-Barriball

Lucia-Carman-Flynn

Hoeffel-Sacchetti-White

Hansen-Matson-Bostrom

Fairchild-Fischer

Ness-Anderson

Wehrs-Lofquist

Kangas in net with Patterson backing him up.