Gophers Lose 3-1 to SCSU

Alex Kangas played brilliantly in goal and may prove the solution to the goalie dilema

by Nick Gerhardt

Friday night at Mariucci Arena proved freaky as Minnesota and St. Cloud State switched identities throughout the game.

The Gophers lost 3-1 to the Huskies despite grabbing the lead in the first period and outshooting SCSU 17 to 5 in the third period. But the Huskies got the goal and the saves they needed to clinch the victory.

“Our battle cry from Christmas has been, ‘sometimes we need one more save or one more goal in the third.’ That was what was able to happen,” SCSU coach Bob Motzko said.

In the third period with under two minutes to play Garrett Roe scored his second goal of the game on a two-on-one rush for the game winner.

The third period eerily resembled the first period as the team with the fewer shots scored a goal.

In the first period Minnesota was outshot 14 to 7, but the Gophers jumped out to a quick lead at the 2:37 mark when senior Mike Howe slammed home a rebound.

In the second period the Huskies pounded out shots for 16-7 advantage and finally converted a power play opportunity on their fifth try.

Roe scored his 12th goal of the season with a rocket shot from the point that hit freshman goaltender Alex Kangas, but skidded past him into the net.

“They came out roaring in the first and the second and weathered the storm in the third,” Kangas said of the Huskies.

The top line of Roe, Andreas Nodl, Matt Hartman, Garrett Raboin and Matt Stephenson did the heavy lifting as they accounted for all but two assists.

“We just needed a play and our big guys came through huge,” Motzko said.

Kangas made 32 saves in the loss for the Gophers.

“Alex certainly gave us a chance for the first two periods to give us a chance in the third,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said.

With the goaltending situation still not certain Kangas certainly elevated his name in consideration for the majority of the net minding.

In the second period SCSU had a 2 on none situation but Kangas made a dazzling pad save.

Later in the period the Huskies had a breakaway and Kangas made a glove save.

“Alex stepped forward tonight and that was good to see,” senior Mike Howe said.

Now how much time Kangas can continue to expect to see remains unknown, but he remains committed to winning the position.

“I’m trying my hardest,” Kangas said. “I’m fighting for a job right now.”