Fourth line shines in Saturday win

Jerrid Reinholz, Jon Waibel and Garrett Smaagaard had a hand in each goal Saturday.

Lou Raguse

There were two roars in the Mariucci Arena crowd Saturday that were noticeably more deafening than the others.

The first came early in the third period when junior Jerrid Reinholz put the Gophers ahead with his first goal of the season, thrust his arms in the air and pounded his hands on the Plexiglas in celebration.

The second pop came later that period when Reinholz raced onto the ice in a line change and made a diving block – saving a potential tying-goal by Wisconsin.

Reinholz, after just his seventh game of the season, was the busiest man on the team during the post-game interviews, and he earned it. He and linemates Jon Waibel and Garrett Smaagaard had a hand in each Minnesota goal Saturday and stopped a Wisconsin team that came out more ready to compete than the night before.

“You know what, that line was probably our best line all weekend,” coach Don Lucia said. “They keep it simple – they get pucks in deep and work very well down low.”

Lucia had planned to also use Joey Martin or Brett MacKinnon in the roster spot opened up with Grant Potulny’s injury. However, after Reinholz impressed Lucia on Friday, the coach decided to leave him in the lineup.

Reinholz made an impact right away Saturday, as he found Chris Harrington breaking toward the net for the Gophers’ first goal. Smaagaard also assisted on that score.

Midway through the second period, Waibel tied the game for Minnesota shorthanded.

“Our line has a role to play,” Waibel said. “Tonight and this weekend we were successful at that. It was a good weekend for our team, because it showed how deep we really are.”

Reinholz battled injury early in the year and quickly found himself the odd man out of the lineup. When he was told he’d be suiting up for this series, Reinholz said he had no idea he’d have such a big part in the win.

“I was just hoping to bring energy and play hard,” Reinholz said. “It’s overwhelming – to score my first goal (this season) and then to come out with the win.”

In Reinholz’s game-winning goal, linemates Waibel and Smaagaard each notched assists.

“I’m real happy for Jerrid,” Waibel said. “He deserves it. He’s been here for three years now and hasn’t played in a while, but today he showed what he can really do.”

After Saturday’s game, Lucia said that he’s happy for Reinholz as well, and that he hopes the junior continues to make statements for playing time.

“He’s going to get more time now,” Lucia said. “Grant’s out this month and this is Jerrid’s chance to try to beat somebody else out.”

Helping hand

Minnesota goaltender Kellen Briggs assisted Waibel’s game-tying goal in the second period Saturday. It was Briggs’ third helper of the season, the most for a Gophers goalie since Robb Stauber had seven assists in the 1988-89 season.

‘Miracle’ screening

Harrington and some family and teammates attended a screening of “Miracle” on Jan. 29. The movie is based on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

The film has special meaning to Harrington, because his father John was a member of the team and was portrayed in the movie by former Gophers captain Nate Miller.

Chris Harrington said he enjoyed the movie and only found one mistake.

“There was a part where the U.S. was on the power play against Russia and my dad was out there,” he said. “I said, ‘Dad, I don’t think you were ever in on the power play.’ So I gave him a little crap about that.”