Slow start leads to Gophers’ first loss

Michigan State defeated the Gophers 5-3 on Friday in Houghton, Mich.

Drew Claussen

The Gophers learned Friday that they won’t all be easy.

Michigan Tech handed Minnesota its first loss of the season Friday, riding a fast start to its 5-3 victory.

The Gophers came into the game riding a high from last weekend’s sweep of Michigan State, that momentum came to a screeching halt Friday.

Michigan Tech’s Alex Petan started the scoring Friday. Petan fell down, returned to his skates, and scored on an odd-man rush created by a turnover by the Gophers’ Mark Alt.

Minnesota’s Nate Schmidt evened the score six minutes later on the penalty kill. Schmidt scored on a rebound after Nate Condon danced around a Michigan Tech defender and fired a shot on goal.

Michigan Tech scored two goals in the final six minutes and took a 3-1 lead into the break.

Nick Bjugstad notched his third goal of the season less than three minutes into the second period, which drew the Gophers to within one. That was the closest the Gophers came to tying the game.

Chad and Blake Pietila scored the next two goals to seal the game for the Huskies.

Travis Boyd scored with just more than two minutes remaining, but the Huskies denied the Gophers’ last-ditch effort to tie the game.

Michael Shibrowski started in goal for the Gophers but was replaced by Adam Wilcox after giving up four goals on 14 shots. Wilcox gave up one goal on 11 shots.
The two teams will face off again Saturday at 6 p.m.