Men’s hockey Live Blog: Gophers vs. No. 20 Minn. Duluth

by Max Sanders

00:12 OT-With just 12 seconds to go in the game, Minn. Duluth ends it early on a goal by Travis Oleksuk. GOPHER 3, MINN. DULUTH 4. 3:06 OT-Mike Hoeffel’s penalty ends and the Gophers return to full strength. 00:00 3rd-We head to overtime, as the Gophers rebounded with a Sacchetti equalizer after previously allowing three unanswered Bulldog goals. 00:06 3rd-With just six seconds remaining in regulation, Minnesota’s Mike Hoeffel is called for interference. 2:19 3rd-Minnesota takes advantage almost immediately after starting their power play. Nico Sacchetti took a shot from just inside the right face-off circle and it went past the right leg of Reiter for the equalizer. GOPHERS 3, MINN. DULUTH 3. 3:46 3rd-Another penalty, this time on Minn. Duluth’s Jack Connolly, two minutes for holding. The penalty negates the remaining 56 seconds of the Bulldog’s penalty and will give the Gophers 1:04 of the man-advantage following the conclusion of their penalty. 4:49 3rd-Penalty is called on Minnesota’s David Fischer, two minutes for slashing. The penalty is the Gophers fifth of the game. 9:12 3rd-Each team will have a player sent to the box. Brian Schack is called for slashing. Mike Seidel is called for embellishment. 14:01 3rd-The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs have taken the lead. Despite the Gophers having two chances within three minutes to regain the lead, instead its the Bulldogs taking their first lead of the night. Cody Danberg had the puck behind the net and found Jack Connolly right in front, who put it past Kangas for the easy goal. GOPHERS 2, MINN. DULUTH 3. 14:16 3rd-The Gophers again come thisclose to regaining the lead. Kenny Reiter went behind the net and attempted to pass the puck away, but it was stolen by Jake Hansen. Hansen skated around and after avoiding two diving defensemen he fired a shot on net. The puck was stopped by Chad Huttel, who stood in the net and deflected the puck away with his arm. 17:49 3rd-Minnesota nearly regains the lead. Taylor Matson stole the puck just outside the left face-off circle of Minn. Duluth and after several jukes tried to go five-hole on Reiter, who fell on the puck. 2nd Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Gophers 2, (Schroeder, Hansen); Minn. Duluth 2, (J. Connolly, Danberg) Shots on Goal: Gophers 8; Minn. Duluth 12 Penalties: Gophers 3; Minn. Duluth 1 Instant Analysis: The third period is going to be crucial for both teams. For Minnesota, they simply cannot allow Minn. Duluth to continue to receive power play opportunities. The Bulldogs are just too good with the man-advantage and will put a puck in net when on special teams. For the Bulldogs, they must continue to press the action and force Minnesota to commit more penalties. Either way, the battle between both teams will continue in the third period, as each tries to capitalize on the others mistake and take two points in the opening night of the series. 00:00 2nd-After a zero goal first period, the second period was anything but, with a total of four goals scored. Minnesota struck first, scoring two goals to take a seemingly comfortable lead. The first goal came on a great play from both Hoeffel and Schroeder. Hoeffel made a great no look pass from behind the net. Schroeder took the pass and as he was falling back shot a backhander that sneaked past Reiter for the first goal of the net. Jake Hansen scored from just inside the blue line to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead. However, the Bulldogs were given chance after chance thanks to multiple Minnesota penalties, and the Bulldogs finally made them play, scoring on a Jack Connolly goal when he swatted a deflected shot down and into the net. The second goal for Minn. Duluth actually hit of a Gophers skate. The centering pass hit off David Fischer’s skate and into the net, tying the game. 4:18 2nd-Just like that, Minnesota’s two-goal lead is gone. After killing a Gophers power play, Cody Danberg drove down the right side of the ice. The junior centered the puck in front of the net and it bounced off the leg of Minnesota’s David Fischer and into the net, tying the game at 2. GOPHERS 2, MINN. DULUTH 2. 8:54 2nd-Another penalty, this time on the Bulldogs. Jordan Fulton is called for boarding, giving the Gophers their first power play of the second period. 9:02 2nd-The Gophers kill off yet another power play. Minnesota has already given up one power play goal and cannot continue to give the Bulldog’s opportunities on special teams if they hope to keep their lead. 11:21 2nd-Minn. Duluth will get yet another power play. Zach Budish is sent to the box for the second time tonight, this time for holding. 12:51 2nd-The Bulldogs respond. Rob Bordson put a shot on net that was knocked in the air by Kangas. Minn. Duluth’s Jack Connolly swatted the puck down and into the net. The power play goal is the Bulldog’s 23rd of the season. GOPHERS 2, MINN. DULUTH 1. 13:40 2nd-For the second time this game, Minnesota is penalized following a goal. While Budish was called after the first goal, this time Mike Hoeffel is cited for hooking, giving the Bulldogs their third power play of the game, second of the period. 15:00 2nd-Minnesota strikes again. Following a kill of the Bulldog’s power play, Jake Hansen took the puck and from just inside the blue line fired a shot on the left side that got past Reiter. The goalie was actually shielded by his own defenseman, allowing Hansen to score. A late assist was given to Gophers’ captain Ryan Flynn. GOPHERS 2, MINN. DULUTH 0. 18:29 2nd-Zach Budish is sent to the net for tripping, giving Minn. Duluth its second power play of the night. 19:17 2nd-The Gophers get on the board off a beauty by Jordan Schroeder. Mike Hoeffel had the puck behind the Bulldog’s net and found Schroeder right in front of the net. The pass was trailing Schroeder, and as he was fading away from the net Schroeder fired a backhander past the right foot of Reiter for the goal. GOPHERS 1, MINN. DULUTH 0 INJURY UPDATE: Matson’s injury appears to be minor as he is back on the bench for the start of the second period. 1st Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Gophers 0; Minn. Duluth 0 Shots on Goal: Gophers 8; Minn. Duluth 8 Penalties: Gophers 1; Minn. Duluth Instant Analysis: As even of a first period as can be, both teams alternated offensive control. The Gophers looked particularly strong on both ends of special teams, killing a Minnesota Duluth power play and putting five quality shots on goal during a man-advantage of their own. The Bulldogs have been the far more physical team, leveling a few Gophers with bone-rattling hits. Minnesota cannot afford another injury to a key starter, so they will hope the Matson injury proves to be just a minor injury and not anything more severe. 00:00 1st-The first period comes to a close, but the Gophers have yet another injury as they closed out the period. With just under two minutes remaining in the first period, Taylor Matson appeared to block a shot with the puck deflecting off his chest. Matson was able to skate off the ice on his own, but soon after sitting down on the bench went inside to the locker room. The severity of his injury is not yet known, and it will be noted whether the sophomore returns to the bench for the start of the second period. 5:47 1st-The Gophers are maintaining offensive control, but the Bulldogs are laying out several players with hard hits. Tony Lucia was the unfortunate recipient of a particularly hard hit by Minn. Duluth’s Mike Montgomery. 11:57 1st-The power play ends with no goals, but not due to a lack of effort. Minnesota constantly attacked the net during the two minute man-advantage, registering five shots on goal. Multiple centering passes were made but could not be pushed through the net. The power play while not succeeding in putting a point on the board did get the crowd on its feet and swing the early momentum in favor of the Gophers. 14:03 1st-Minnesota will be on its first power play of the night, as the Bulldog’s Rob Bordson is called for hooking. 15:43 1st-The Gophers continue their solid penalty kill, not allowing Minnesota Duluth to present any real threat during the power play. 18:20 1st-This is not the start Minnesota wanted. Josh Birkholz is sent to the box for tripping, and after Lucia stressed not allowing a dangerous Minnesota Duluth team to be on power play the Gophers have done exactly that just one minute into the game.

18:35 1st-First shot of the night is stopped by Kangas. Fontaine fired a hard wrister from just inside the blue line but Kangas came up with the glove save.