Men’s hockey Live Blog: Minnesota vs. Alaska Anchorage

by Max Sanders

FINAL-The referee’s wisely do not allow a post-game handshake between the team’s. What started off as a rather run-of-the-mill first period turned into a brawl filled, scoring affair. The end result is Minnesota’s first win of the season. The Gophers improve to 1-3-1, while Alaska Anchorage falls to 3-4-0. 00:08.2 3rd-These team’s simply do not like each other, as yet another brawl breaks out during three-on-three play. Each team now has nearly an equal amount of players in the box as on the bench. This time it was Seth Helgeson getting into it with Chris Crowell. 00:23.9 3rd-With under thirty seconds remaining, another brawl breaks out after Schroeder was put in a head lock. Schroeder has been going at it all night with the Seawolves defensenmen, and tempers have boiled over in the third. Each line has its entire unit sent to the box. Minnesota now has five men in the box, while Alaska-Anchorage has seven men in the box. The last 30 seconds will be played three-on-three. 1:36 3rd-Alaska Anchorage gets two men sent to the box, leaving the Gophers with a five-on-three for the remainder of the game. After the initial penalty of slashing was called on Sean Wiles, Craig Parkinson received the same penalty. 3:33 3rd-The Alaska-Anchorage power play ends with no scoring, good news for the Seawolves as they have surrendered two short-handed goals on the night. The Seawolves are now 1-8 on power play for the night. 5:33 3rd-The Seawolves will be on their eighth penalty, as Minnesota’s Taylor Matson is called for slashing. 13:16 3rd-The Gophers nearly add a sixth goal. Mike Hoeffel shot the puck from the right side of the net that went in the goal, but as he shot it Barriball fell into the net. The puck appeared to cross the red line before Barriball slid into the net, but after review the referee’s ruled no goal. 16:05 3rd-On the Alaska Anchorage power play, Jay Barriball steals the puck at center ice and sparks a two-on-one fast break for the Gophers. Barriball passes the puck to Tony Lucia, who takes the pass and shoots the puck to the top left of the net. The goal is Tony Lucia’s second of the night, both short-handed. The goal marks Tony Lucia’s second of the season and is the first two-goal game of his career. Further, with the assist Barriball now has 100 career points. MINNESOTA 5, ALASKA ANCHORAGE 1. 17:08 3rd-The Seawolves will get their seventh power play of the night, as Minnesota’s Ryan Flynn is sent to the box for slashing. 2nd Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Minnesota 3, (Lucia SH, Wehrs, Budish), Alaska Anchorage 0 Shots on Goal: Minnesota 11, Alaska Anchorage 8 Penalties: Minnesota 9; Alaska Anchorage 5 Instant Analysis: The period Don Lucia has undoubtedly been waiting for. With three goals in the second period, the Gophers match their goal production for the entire season. Physicality on both sides carried over to the second period, as evidenced by the brawl less than one minute into the period that resulted in five penalties. Despite spending nearly the entire first half of the period a man-down, Minnesota got on the board early and often, starting with a Tony Lucia short-handed goal. Lucia took a poke pass from Taylor Matson and scored the breakaway short-handed go-ahead goal. Matson has been one of the top players on the Minnesota roster tonight, as he has continually laid down and blocked Seawolves shots, hit the Alaska-Anchorage players hard, and made key passes during the first and second periods. The next two Gophers goals were career milestones, as both Kevin Wehrs and Zach Budish scored their first collegiate goals. For Wehrs, the goal was long in the waiting, as today is the junior’s 79th collegiate game. For Budish, it is a different story. The highly touted freshman from Edina High School scored his first goal during a Seawolves delayed penalty. Budish crashed the net and put the rebound off of Christianson’s pad into the back of the net. Minnesota’s four goals in the game through two periods is one more than they had all season coming into tonight’s game. The Gophers are finally playing like a top-20 team, just as they were dropped from the rankings. Lucia’s squad seemed to gain inspiration from Leddy’s hit in the first period, and since Leddy went down Minnesota has played smart, passing the puck efficiently, checking smart, killing Seawolves power plays and taking high percentage shots. 00:00 2nd-A period that began with a fight fittingly ends with a fight. Immediately after the buzzer Minnesota’s Seth Helgeson took down Tommy Grant, and the referee had to lay directly on top of Helgeson to stop the action from escalating. Both Helgeson and Grant received two-minute penalties for roughing at the 20 minute mark, to be served upon the start of the third period. 3:34 2nd-Minnesota continues to add to its stellar second period. During a delayed penalty on the Seawolves, Minnesota freshman Zach Budish scores his first collegiate goal on assists from Patrick White and Schroeder. Budish was crashing the net, and backhanded the puck past Christianson for the Gophers third goal of the period. MINNESOTA 4, ALASKA ANCHORAGE 1. 5:11 2nd-Minnesota gets on the board again for its second score of the period. Off the face-off in the Alaska Anchorage zone, Kevin Wehrs takes the pass from Tony Lucia and scores his first collegiate goal on a shot from just outside the blueline. MINNESOTA 3, ALASKA ANCHORAGE 1. 9:58 2nd-Immediately after the power play the Seawolves have their best chance of the night to score. A rebound off Kangas goes back to Alaska Anchorage’s Alex Gellert on the left side of the ice, but Kangas is there to make the diving chest save. 12:04 2nd-The Seawolves will be on the power play yet again, as Minnesotas Kevin Wehrs is called for interference. Of the nine minutes of play so far in the second period, Alaska-Anchorage has spent nearly all of that time up at least one man. 14:13 2nd-After spending nearly the entire second period short-handed, Minnesota returns to full strength. The Gophers have dominated play seven minutes into the period, as the only damage done during the Seawolves nearly seven-minute power play was a Tony Lucia short-handed goal for Minnesota. Clearly the hit to Leddy, who has not returned from the locker room, has created bad blood between the two teams. That may be exactly what Minnesota needed, as it has played an extremely physical game that has the Gophers crowd at Mariucci loud for the first time all year. 15:13 2nd-After the puck is stolen by Taylor Matson, he pokes it ahead to Tony Lucia, who is left with the breakaway. Lucia skates down the ice and shoots a shot to the top left that beats Christianson for the short-handed goal. MINNESOTA 2, ALASKA ANCHORAGE 1. 16:25 2nd-Action continues to be fast and furious in the second period. One second before the Gophers were to be even-strength, Kevin Wehrs is sent to the box for boarding. The Seawolves will now spend another two-minutes on a man-advantage. Just before the first penalty was to end the Gophers stole the puck and had a three-on-one, but Mike Hoeffel’s shot was wide of the net. 17:05 2nd-Minnesota returns one player out to the ice, and returns to one-man down for the next 30 seconds. 17:55 2nd-The Seawolves will be on a two-man advantage, as Mike Carman is sent to the box for elbowing. The Gophers now have four players in the box. 19:06 2nd-Minnesota’s Jordan Schroeder is checked head first into the boards, sparking a brawl in front of the Alaska-Anchorage bench. Three Alaska-Anchorage players were seen hitting the Gophers’ Mike Hoeffel. Much more on the fight during intermission. The end result is three Minnesota and two Alaska Anchorage players getting sent to the box, giving the Seawolves a one-man advantage for two minutes. 1st Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Minnesota 1, (Ness); Alaska Anchorage 1 (Haddad PP) Shots on Goal: Minnesota 11; Alaska Anchorage 3 Penalties: Minnesota 2; Alaska Anchorage 3 Instant Analysis: What started off as a rather uneventful opening 10 minutes quickly changed, as both teams exchanged hard hits and goals during the second half of the period. The Seawolves got on the board during a power play. The shot by Trevor Hunt appeared to deflect off Nick Haddad, who was credited with the goal. Later, the Gophers had a power play of their own. Head coach Don Lucia stressed during the week that his team needed more set-up time on power play, and Minnesota was taking that a little too literally, stalling and passing the puck for much of their man-advantage. One second after the power play ended the Gophers scored for the first time in 146 minutes after Ness scored the equalizer on a pass from Jordan Schroeder. Later in the period on another power play Nick Leddy fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line, and after the shot Alaska-Anchorage’s Jade Portwood stuck out his foot and made contact with Leddy, who remained on the ice before being helped off and into the locker room. That hit seemed to inspire more physicality, particularly by Minnesota, as the remainder of the period was spent with the Gophers trying to lay-out every Alaska-Anchorage player in site. Look for that physicality to carry over to the second period, where Alaska-Anchorage will have 31 seconds of a man-advantage, carry over from the late first-period Gophers penalty on Ness. 00:00 1st-The first period concludes with the score tied at 1, and both teams exchanging hard hits to end the period. 1:28 1st-Minnesota’s Aaron Ness is called for tripping, putting the Seawolves on a penalty for the remainder of the period. The hit to Leddy has appeared to inspire a raise in physicality, as the Gophers have delivered several hard hits including a Nico Sacchetti check of an Alaska-Anchorage player into the boards. 3:16 1st-With two seconds left in the power play freshman Nick Leddy fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line, and after his follow through was tripped by an Alaska-Anchorage player. Leddy remained on the ice for several seconds before skating off with the help of a trainer and player, and was taken to the locker room. Further updates on his condition as it becomes available. 5:17 1st-The Gophers will be on their second power play of the night after Alaska’s Jared Tuton is called for holding. Minnesota scored its first goal one second after the first power play ended, so they will look to score their first man-advantage goal of the season, as they are currently 0-21 on the year. 6:35 1st-Minnesota gets on the board for the first time in nearly seven periods. Exactly one second after the conclusion of the power play Aaron Ness takes a pass from Schroeder and fires a shot from inside the right circle that goes through the right side of the net. Minnesota had gone 146 minutes without a score prior to the Ness goal. MINNESOTA 1, ALASKA ANCHORAGE 1. 8:36 1st-The Gophers will have 25 seconds of five-on-three play, as Alaska Anchorage’s Nick Haddad is called for hooking while play was going on in the Alaska-Anchorage zone. 10:11 1st-Minnesota will now look to tie the game on the man-advantage, as the Seawolves’ Tommy Grant is called for high-sticking. 11:51 1st-Any momentum gained from the Matson play did not last long. The Seawolves drove down the ice, and Trevor Hunt fired a shot that deflected off teammate Nick Haddad and into the net for the Alaska Anchorage power play goal. MINNESOTA 0, ALASKA ANCHORAGE 1. 12:34 1st-On the Seawolves power play a great effort by Minnesota’s Taylor Matson. Matson chased down the puck deep into the Seawolves zone, and his hard hit kept play going in Alaska Anchorage’s zone. 12:54 1st-First penalty of the night, as the Gophers’ Jordan Schroeder is sent to the box for interference.

14: 42 1st-Early on play is going back and forth, and Minnesota has had the best chance of the night thus far. After stealing the puck, the Gophers had a two-on-one but the centering pass to Tony Lucia could not get handled by the senior, and the shot ended up wide right of the net.