Gophers take series lead with 4-2 win in Game One

For Jay Barriball, taking a beating early in Friday nightâÄôs 4-2 win over St. Cloud State in game one of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff Series was well worth the result. The junior forward blasted home the eventual game-winning goal and indirectly contributed on Nico SacchettiâÄôs first period goal that opened the nightâÄôs scoring. After losing his balance and crashing into the boards halfway through the first period, Barriball drew an open-ice hit from the Huskies David Carlisle on his next shift that sent the senior defenseman to the box with a two-minute minor for checking from behind. âÄúI havenâÄôt been hit this hard, this many in times in I donâÄôt know how long,âÄù Barriball said after the game. The penalty to Carlisle set up the first of two power-play goals for the Gophers when Sacchetti knocked a rebound into the open net for his first career playoff goal. A Huskies penalty to Brent Borgen also set up Mike HoeffelâÄôs second-period goal âÄì a fact not lost on St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko. âÄúWhat we didnâÄôt need to have happen happened,âÄù Motzko said. âÄúThey were bad penalties we took.âÄù In a relatively quiet game âÄì only eight penalties were called all night âÄì the Gophers went 2-for-3 while on the advantage. âÄúItâÄôs hard to score 5-on-5 this time of year,âÄù Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. âÄúWe won the specialty battle, which you have to do.âÄù Garrett Roe sandwiched a pair of goals around BarriballâÄôs score to keep the Huskies close, but the Prior Lake nativeâÄôs slap-shot blast proved to be enough to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. âÄúI tried to use the defenseman as a screen,âÄù Barriball said. âÄúI donâÄôt think the goalie saw too much.âÄù Jordan Schroeder set up BarriballâÄôs goal and tallied his second assist of the night when he assisted on Ryan StoaâÄôs empty-netter with seven seconds left. âÄúWe said if we score one, weâÄôll score two,âÄù Motzko said. âÄúThe problem was we gave two more up.âÄù The loss to Minnesota is St. Cloud StateâÄôs fifth-straight this season and sixth-straight dating back to last yearâÄôs WCHA Final Five play-in game. Tony Lucia update Tony Lucia, who had scored in three-straight games coming into tonight, did not dress for the game. He wasnâÄôt even in the arena. The junior forward missed his first game since a concussion kept him out of the Minnesota State series in January with an illness. Don Lucia said he expects his son will be available for round two of the series tomorrow night. Uncharacteristic Kangas Alex Kangas, who carried a shutout into the third period, showed some uncommon emotion on the ice after RoeâÄôs second tally of the night. The sophomore goalie pleaded with officials, saying he felt he covered the puck for long enough to warrant a play stoppage. âÄúI thought so,âÄù Kangas said after the game when asked if he thought he had the puck, âÄúBut my opinion doesnâÄôt count apparently. The ref thought otherwise, and I didnâÄôt want to get too wrapped up in that. Kangas made 29 saves in the win.