After the first 40 minutes of tonight’s men’s hockey game produced zero goals, the final 20 made up for it with a combined six scores.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, four of them were scored on junior goalie Jeff Frazee as the Gophers dropped the first game of the series to the Sioux 4-2.
“We executed our game plan to a T. In the third period, we played hard, scored two goals. That’s a huge positive for our teamÖ,” junior forward Blake Wheeler said. “To come up short, really hurts.”
Frazee and his counterpart, senior Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, were perfect in the first two periods but in the third, Lamoureux reigned supreme.
Twice in the period, the Sioux were able to jump out to a one goal lead thanks to goals from sophomore defenseman Chay Genoway and senior forward Rylan Kaip.
But the Gophers (8-8-1 overall, 4-7-0 WCHA) were able to answer back knotting the game at 1-1 and 2-2 with a pair of power-play goals from Wheeler and sophomore forward Ryan Flynn.
Minnesota went 2-for-2 on the advantage in the last period of play after going 0-for-3 in the first two periods.
The Sioux went 0-for-3 on the night in the category.
However, North Dakota (8-5-1, 6-5-0) added another two unanswered goals at the 16:23 mark and again 32 seconds later to make it 4-2 ñ a score that the Sioux would maintain thanks largely to the play of Lamoureux in goal.
“For us tonight, Lamoureux was the key,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “He gave us a chance to work our way out of it, and then to the credit of the guys in front of him, they did.”
Meanwhile, Frazee struggled in the third after playing solidly in the first and second.
Three of his four allowed goals beat him high on the glove side while an additional three shots on the night beat the junior only to hit the pipes.
Frazee ended the night stopping 26 of 30 shots.
The Sioux didn’t look like the dominant team in the first two periods ñ the team combined for just 12 shots on goal in the games first 40 minutes.
The third was a different story though as North Dakota out-shot Minnesota 18-13 in the period.
However, the final score didn’t deter Lucia from feeling that his team made progress in the loss.
“Going into the game, if you had said we were going to get a couple power-play goals and get close to 40 shots on goal, I would have thought we would win the game.”
The last time North Dakota beat Minnesota at home was in 2004 ñ also a 4-2 win for the Sioux.
The Minnesota women’s hockey team won tonight ñ defeating Minnesota State 6-0 on the road.
Junior forward Gigi Marvin led the Gophers with two goals and an assist while senior defenseman Anya Miller added two goals of her own.