Men’s Hockey: Gophers win 3-2 in OT

Brian Deutsch

Update: Despite the longer overtime period, it only took 1:38 for Patrick White to end the game with his third goal of the year. Barriball and Stoa had helpers on the play. All-tournament team: Patrick White (F-MN), Justin Bostrom (F-MN), Wade MacLeod (F-NE), Aaron Ness (D-MN), Louis Liotti (D-NE), Brad Thiessen (G-NE) MVP – Aaron Ness The McAttack goal is no more already. Scoring officials gave goalie Brad Thiessen a second assist on the play, which made it 2-1 Northeastern. Now if it was McThiessen, we’d have something, but as it stands it just doesn’t make sense. Aaron Ness, the Islanders draft pick of 2008, couldn’t have scored his first career goal at a better time. The freshman defenseman blasted a slap shot high to Thiessen’s glove side that deposited itself in the top of the net to make it 2-2 at the 11:32 mark of the third. The goal was reviewed because David Fischer nearly tipped the puck out of midair and into the net. After a review, officials decided Fischer did not touch the puck, but the play would have been waved off for high sticking if he had. Instead Fischer, along with Jake Hansen, tallied assists on the play. My question is what was Fischer, a defenseman, doing in front of the net to begin with. Minnesota is darn lucky to be tied right now. Northeastern has rang a pair of shots off the pipe this period already. This one’s going to overtime, which will be very different than your standard OT. They’ll re-surface and then play a 20-minute sudden death period. Without question, this game beats out the consolation game. Second: Call it cheesy but Northeastern’s go-ahead goal at 8:58 will forever be known as “The Mc attack goal” by this blog. After outshooting the Gophers 9-6 to start the second period, Tyler McNeely had a nifty goal when he went backhand over Alex Kangas with a little help from Dennis McCauley. It was a very pretty goal for those of you who didn’t see it. McNeely drove to the net forehand, and faked out Kangas when he switched over to his backhand. Other than that one goal, the game looks very close, and Minnesota is holding its own despite being down a goal. Ryan Stoa, who has been visibly frustrated on the ice tonight, was called for roughing along with a Huskies player, but during the four-on-four it looked like Minnesota was on the power play. The Gophers just kept peppering the net and getting offensive rebounds. What they couldn’t get though was a goal, and they’ll need at least one of those to prevent a loss. Northeastern holds the shot advantage now at 20-16. With no publishing, I don’t get a chance to look at some of the press materials I normally get, but I saw one today that was pretty relevant to how even these teams are. Both have 9-3-5 overall records coming into today’s game. First: Here’s the word from coach Lucia himself. He’s gone through numerous tests that have all turned up nothing, which he appeared to take as a positive. However, Lucia said there were still a few things it could be and unfortunately a test for one of those things will have to be done next Friday meaning he will miss the series in Grand Forks next weekend with UND. Lucia and Dr. Rob LaPrade, the team doc, issued brief statements and took no questions, but both denied all diagnosis that have been reported so far aka stage four brain cancer and Bell’s Palsy. Again, both denied any diagnosis so far. That was all either really had to say on the matter. To me, I thought Lucia looked like he was doing well although I thought his breathing and speech were a little off, and other members of the press box disagreed with me and thought coach Lucia looked a little unlike himself. Other news: Just found out the Minnesota women’s team destroyed Niagara on the road 8-0 behind six points (two goals, four assists) from Gigi Marvin – a career high for the captain. Alyssa Grogan and Jenny Lura combined for the shutout. The Gophers play Niagara again tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. First Period: Minnesota has had several poor passes already in the first period; not something you normally see from this team. Their attempts just aren’t hitting the mark the way you’d expect, and it’s costing them in turnovers. Northeastern got on the board at the 13:28 mark in a controversial play that ended with Wade MacLeod blasting a wrister past Kangas during a Huskies four-on-one. The fans felt there should have been a Northeastern penalty on the play as Aaron Ness was all but dragged to the ice in the Huskies zone before coughing the puck up to Louis Liotti, who recorded the single assist. Tony Lucia’s leg made it even at 1-1 when the junior deflected a great, falling down shot by Aaron Ness past goalie Brad Thiessen for Lucia’s fourth of the year. Jay Barriball also got a helper on the play, which occurred at 18:33 during a Minnesota power play. Minnesota held a 9-8 advantage on shots on goal, and both teams were whistled for four penalties. Pre-game


Since it hasn’t been reported yet, the No. 21 Minnesota men’s basketball team picked up its first Big 10 win of the season with today’s 68-59 win over Ohio State.
More news on Don Lucia’s health…Lucia will be in the building tonight although he will not coach; he’ll watch from the locker room. He’ll also address the media after the first period. His doctor will also make a statement, which tells me this isn’t just the flu. I’ll be back as soon as the press conference is over to update.
On with the games, Brown and Western Michigan just skated to a 1-1 overtime tie that with only one game left looked like the game of the tournament (or at least the 15 minutes of play I saw). Western Michigan actually looked like it had the game iced in OT, but Brown’s goalie came up with the save every time.
Now it’s time for the game everyone had hoped to see this weekend; No. 4 Minnesota against No. 6 Northeastern. The Gophers have played well in 11 games against ranked opponents this year. In those games, Minnesota (9-3-5 overall) are 6-3-2 against its foes.
It’s fun to watch some of these schools from out east because they’re fresh faces. Minnesota plays at least two games (usually four and sometimes even more) against WCHA teams, so when you get to watch teams like Northeastern, Western Michigan, and Brown play, you’re seeing something different. One thing you aren’t seeing is Minnesotans. Of the three visiting teams, Western Michigan is the only team that lists a Minnesota on its starting roster. Broncos goalie Riley Gill of Northfield has split time with tonight’s starter Jerry Kuhn this season. Gill did play last night in Western Michigan’s 3-1 loss to Northeastern, but he’s also recorded each of the Broncos three wins this year.
Lines are identical to last night…once again no Grant Scott:
Tony Lucia-Ryan Stoa-Jay Barriball
Jake Hansen-Mike Carman-Ryan Flynn
Justin Bostrom-Patrick White-Nico Sacchetti
Drew Fisher-Nick Larson-Joe Miller
Aaron Ness-David Fischer
Kevin Wehrs-R.J. Anderson
Brian Schack-Sam Lofquist
Alex Kangas in net with Kent Patterson and Jake Kremer backing up.
Around the WCHA:
Wisconsin’s unbeaten streak came to an end with a 3-2 loss against Northern Michigan. Bemidji State had a close game with UND; losing 4-3 to a team they’ve only beaten once in history. Denver tied Holy Cross 2-2 in overtime, and UMD edged UMass Lowell 2-1.
Speaking of the Sioux, former UND standout and current Chicago Blackhawk Jonathan Toews was named a starter for the Western All-Stars. He and the West will take on an Eastern Conference team that will start four members of the Montreal Canadiens after a very controversial vote by fans this year.