Men’s hockey Live Blog: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

Max Sanders

FINAL-The Gophers, despite fighting back in the third, dug themselves too big a whole with a sloppy second to recover. Wisconsin with the victory improves to 4-2-1, including 2-2-1 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. Minnesota falls to 2-4-1, including 2-4-1 in WCHA Conference play. 2:25 3rd-After Schroeder nearly tied up the game, driving to the net before getting stopped, Wisconsin puts the game out of reach. Driving down the ice after the Schroeder shot fails to connect, Michael Davies drives down the right side of the ice and finds Ben Street, who stretches out and puts the shot past a diving Kangas. WISCONSIN 4, GOPHERS 2. 4:30 3rd-Patrick White nearly tied the game up. After shooting the puck on net, he followed his on rebound and nearly put a backhander past Bennett, who was able to stop the put-back with a chest save. 8:33 3rd-Minnesota’s third line is keeping the Gophers in this game. Hansen chased down a loose puck and found Budish, who fired a shot that was glove saved by Bennett. 11:13 3rd-The Gophers pick the perfect time to add their second power play goal of the season. With six seconds remaining in the power play Tony Lucia shoots the shot from just inside the left circle, and the puck bounces in front of the net and is cleaned up and put in the net by Patrick White. White has scored both power play goals for the Gophers this season. WISCONSIN 3, GOPHERS 2. 13:55 3rd-Minnesota will be on the power play as Wisconsin’s Ryan McDonagh is called for holding. 14:45 3rd-After a dismal second period, Kangas has responded playing extremely well in the third. After the pass was centered to Jordy Murray, Kangas made a great glove save to keep the lead at two. Kangas has made two tough saves in the third. The last save ended the Badgers power play. 16:41 3rd-The Badgers will be on power play, as Minnesota’s Mike Carman is called for hooking. Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Wisconsin 2 (Goloubef, Geoffrion); Minnesota 1 (Hoeffel) Shots on Goal: Wisconsin 10; Minnesota 7 Penalties: Wisconsin 2; Minnesota 0 Key Area to watch for the third period: Penalites. The game has been relatively penalty free, as there are only five total penalties combined entering the third period. Minnesota needed a goal on their last power play to try and cut the lead to a manageable one heading into the final period, but were unable to do so. At 0-3 on the game, the Gophers will need to capitalize on another man-advantage if the situation presents itself if they hope to avoid losing three of four Friday night games to open the year. For Wisconsin, they will look to continue there solid level of play, in which they have earned their two-goal lead through smart passes, hard hits and timely shots. 00:00 2nd-The second period comes to a close, and it was thoroughly dominated by the Badgers. While the Gophers scored early to tie the game, the tie last just minutes, as Wisconsin responded with a Cody Goloubef goal. The goal was allowed after Minnesota turned the puck over and simply did not make a defensive effort, allowing Goloubef to skate free in front of the net and put a backhander past a defenseless Kangas. Blake Geoffrion added his second goal of the night and fifth of the season on a shot that frankly should have been stopped. Geoffrion shot a slapshot from the right circle that went past Kangas, giving Wisconsin the two-goal lead it currently has as we enter the third period. Minnesota has had chances on power play, but Nico Sacchetti was unable to put a second put-back in net after Fischer fired a shot from just inside the blue line. 6:37 2nd-Minnesota musters just one shot on the power play, although their second shot could have easily found the net. The Gophers needed a goal to put the Wisconsin lead back to a reasonable one, but as they have all season, could not find the net on the man-advantage. 7:15 2nd-The Gophers have their best chance of the night on power play. After Fischer fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line, Nico Sacchetti was on the right side of the goal for the rebound. After his first put back was stopped, he had a wide open look at the net, but fired a shot high and out of play. 8:37 2nd-Minnesota will be on their third power play of the night, as Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz was called for tripping. 9:44 2nd-For the second time tonight, Blake Geoffrion finds the back of the net. This time Kangas has no excuse, as Geoffrion fired a slap shot from just outside the right circle that simply just went past Kangas and just inside the left pipe. WISCONSIN 3, MINNESOTA 1. 14:07 2nd-The Gophers futility on power play continues, as the best chance during their man-advantage was by Wisconsin. The Badgers stole the puck on the far right side of the ice and had a two-on-one, but the pass was mishandled and no shot was put on the Gophers net. For those scoring at home, Minnesota is now 1-31 on power play for the season. 16:07 2nd-Minnesota will be on the power play, as Wisconsin’s John Ramage is sent to the box for checking from behind. 16:30 2nd-Wisconsin wastes little time reclaiming the lead as Minnesota experiences a defensive breakdown. The Badgers Cody Goloubef steals the puck to the left of Kangas and skates un-checked to center ice, where he fires a backhander that gets past the left of Kangas’ outstretched glove for the easy goal. WISCONSIN 2, GOPHERS 1. 18:29 2nd-Minnesota responds early in the second. After a Badgers turnover in the Minnesota zone the Gophers have a four-on-one fast break. Schroeder drives down the right side of the ice and finds Hoeffel, who puts the puck through the wide open net. WISCONSIN 1, MINNESOTA 1. 1st Intermission Re-Cap: Goals: Wisconsin 1,(Geoffrion); Gophers 0 Shots on Goal: Wisconsin 12; Gophers 6 Penalties: Wisconsin 1; Gophers 2 Instant Analysis: Wow, an action packed first period from the first drop of the puck. The Badgers sent the 14,000 plus crowd at the Kohl Center into a frenzy early, as Blake Geoffrion put a tipped puck past Kangas just 24 seconds into the game. After that goal play was even for the rest of the period, with both teams seeing very capable opportunities of putting goals on the board. Heavy hitting has been done mostly by the Badgers early on and Minnesota’s offensive struggles continue, as they are now 1-30 on the power play after going 0-1 in the first period. Key Area to watch for the second period: Power play. If the Gophers are going to get into this game, they will have to solve what has been plaguing them all season; scoring on the man-advantage. Head coach Don Lucia said he expects at least one power play goal each night if his team expects a good chance at winning, so they will need someone on the power play unit, most likely either Taylor Matson, Schroeder or Hoeffel to step up and put quality shots on net. 00:00 1st-The action-packed first period ends with the Badgers ahead 1-0. Wisconsin staked the early lead after Blake Geoffrion’s shot was tipped past Kangas. After that, play was solid on both ends, with each team having strong chances to put pucks in the net. The Badgers had a breakaway after Minnesota’s Sam Lofquist’s pass was intercepted at center ice by Craig Smith but the shot by Smith was high of the net. Later on a Wisconsin power play the Gophers nearly added their third short handed goal of the season on a three-on-two fast break, but Mike Hoeffel’s shot off a pass from Schroeder was wide left of the net. 00:52 1st-The power play ends with the best chance coming from the Gophers. Patrick White stole the puck but couldn’t center the pass. 2:52 1st-A flurry of action as we wind down the first. On the Minnesota end Schroeder makes a beautiful pass down the right side to Hoeffel, whose shot is wide left of the net. Sam Lofquist gets the rebound and makes an errant pass through center ice that leads to a Badgers breakaway by freshman Craig Smith. Smith drives down the ice alone, but his shot is fired high of the net. Lofquist is then called for holding, giving the Badgers a man-advantage, their second of the period. 9:46 1st-Minnesota steals the puck at center ice and Schroeder sparks a two-on-one. The puck is passed back and shot, but a body save is made by Bennett for the save. 10:18 1st-On a Wisconsin charge Minnesota’s Jake Hansen is called for hooking as the shot fell wide of the net. The Badgers will be on the two-minute power play. 15:50 1st-Minnesota’s season-long struggle on power play continues, as they fail to register one shot during the man-advantage. The game could not have started much worse for the Gophers, who staked the Badgers to an early one-goal lead and now are going to have to play from behind, an area all too familiar for Minnesota this season. 17:50 1st-The Gophers will be on power play, as Wisconsin’s Jake Gardiner is sent to the box.

19:32 1st-Well, that didn’t take long. Wisconsin gets on the board with a Blake Geoffrion goal. The shot sneaked past the defense and through Kangas’ line of sight for the score. WISCONSIN 1, GOPHERS 0.