Gophers split weekend series with Vermont

Minnesota gave up four goals in the second period Sunday and lost 5-4.

Vermonts Sebastian Stalberg scores the Catamounts fifth goal in Sundays game against Minnesota.  The Gophers recorded their first loss this season versus UVM, 5-4.

Satchell Mische-Richter

Vermont’s Sebastian Stalberg scores the Catamounts fifth goal in Sunday’s game against Minnesota. The Gophers recorded their first loss this season versus UVM, 5-4.

Dane Mizutani

It was a story of two different Gophers teams that showed up at Mariucci Arena for MinnesotaâÄôs weekend series with Vermont.

There was the ever-attacking, energized team that laid a 6-0 drubbing on the Catamounts on Friday.

Then there was a young, undisciplined team that gave up four goals in the second period and took 11 total penalties in a 5-4 loss to Vermont on Sunday.

No. 8 Minnesota (5-1-0) scored early and often in FridayâÄôs matchup with Vermont and left no doubt from the start with a 6-0 victory.

âÄúWe didnâÄôt know much about this team coming in âÄî we have never played them, ever,âÄù Nick Bjugstad said Friday. âÄúWe didnâÄôt want to let our heads get too big after last weekend.

âÄúWe just emphasized we canâÄôt underestimate any opponent we face.âÄù

Kyle Rau netted a goal 44 seconds into the game and Sam Warning added a goal to give Minnesota 2-0 early in the first period.

Bjugstad stretched the lead to three when he fired a wrist shot five-hole on goaltender Rob Madore.

The three-goal lead would be more than enough for Kent Patterson, who recorded his third shutout of the season Friday.

Taylor Matson, Bjugstad, and Zach Budish added goals in the second period to make it 6-0, which stood as the final score.

âÄúThis is a game we could have come out and could have been a little relaxed,âÄù senior Jake Hansen said after FridayâÄôs victory. âÄúWe felt like we were on paper the better team and we came out hot, scored two goals on our first two shifts.

âÄúThatâÄôs something our coaches tell us every game day âÄî that the first 10 minutes is huge in every period. So far this year itâÄôs worked out pretty good for us.âÄù

The Gophers didnâÄôt come out with that same intensity on Sunday.

Instead, the Catamounts were the team with a clear edge.

âÄúWe had to turn the page quickly,âÄù Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said Friday. âÄúIn college hockey the quicker you can put away the tough defeats and get back to work, the better off youâÄôre going to be.

âÄúWe addressed it, we were pretty harsh on video and had a tough skate here on Saturday and put it behind us. We became a team having gone through that adversity.âÄù

The Gophers took an early 1-0 lead on Justin HollâÄôs first goal of the season. Amid seven second-period penalties, the Gophers jumped out to a 3-1 lead off of goals by Hansen and Nate Schmidt.

Then the tables turned.

Connor Brickley and Chris McCarthy scored 37 seconds apart to tie the game at three goals apiece.

It was BrickleyâÄôs second goal of the game and first power play goal for the Catamounts, who went 0-for-6 with the man advantage Friday.

Brickley was called for boarding two minutes later, which would have negated the Catamounts power play, but Blake Thompson took a crucial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to keep Vermont on the power play.

Sebastian Stalberg made Thompson pay, scoring 18:07 into the second period to give Vermont its first lead in the series. The Catamounts did not trail again.

Stalberg and Rau both netted goals in the third period to finalize the score at 5-4.

âÄúWe knew they were going to be better tonight,âÄù Schmidt said Sunday. âÄúIt was tough to see them score one after another after another. They came out with a lot of energy tonight.âÄù

Schmidt added: âÄúWe relied a little too much on Kent tonight. He made a lot of big saves that I donâÄôt think he should have had to make.âÄù

Patterson made 20 saves on 25 shots on the night and allowed his first goal at home this season to Brickley in the four-goal second period for Vermont.

âÄúThe way we played, we didnâÄôt give ourselves a very good chance to win the game tonight and we probably deserve what we got,âÄù Gophers head coach Don Lucia said Sunday. âÄúWe took some undisciplined penalties tonight and I was disappointed in our guys for that, but thatâÄôs all part of the learning process about who should be in our lineup and who shouldnâÄôt be in our lineup.âÄù

The Gophers will travel to Alaska next weekend for a WCHA matchup with Alaska Anchorage.