For the second night in a row, the Gophers gave up a lead to St. Cloud State, leading to a series sweep by the Huskies.
Minnesota had the chance to avenge a blown lead from Friday’s loss as the team led through one period on Saturday. But the series finale at St. Cloud took a familiar turn, and by the end of the game, the Gophers had lost by one goal.
“I liked a lot of our game,” said head coach Don Lucia. “I didn’t like the end of our game.”
No. 7 Minnesota (2-2-0) may have scored 7 goals over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to outmatch the late-game work put in by No. 14 St. Cloud State (2-2-0).
The Huskies overcame a 5-2 deficit on Friday to win 6-5 in overtime and erased a 2-0 Minnesota lead Saturday for a 3-2 victory.
“We quit playing,” said senior captain Justin Kloos on Friday. “We didn’t finish the game.”
The Gophers looked poised to win their home opener with a seemingly comfortable three-goal lead early in the third period, but St. Cloud State managed to come back and tie the game with 1:13 left to send the two teams to overtime.
St. Cloud State had 18 shots in the first two periods combined and fired off 18 in the third period alone.
“All of the sudden we got on our heels,” Lucia said Friday. “We gave them too much room. We had some breakdowns, and it’s going to cost you, and it did tonight.”
The team faced a similar struggle when it hit the road for the second half of the home-and-home series.
The Gophers got out to an early lead thanks to sophomore forward Jack Ramsey, who scored the first goal of his collegiate career in the first period Saturday night.
Ramsey’s line added to the lead when senior forward Taylor Cammarata scored his first goal of the season late in the first period to put Minnesota up 2-0.
“It feels good,” Cammarata said. “[It’s] nice to get that first goal, so it helped me have a pretty good game.”
The Huskies quickly tied the game in the second period and another goal in the third period gave St. Cloud the victory and series sweep.
St. Cloud State forwards Jake Wahlin and Mikey Eyssimont were the heroes for the Huskies over the weekend. Both scored game-winning goals in the two games.
The Gophers finished the weekend with a disadvantage in shots. The Huskies grabbed Friday’s lead and victory when they outshot the Gophers in the third period and did the same with Saturday’s victory in the second and third.
The Gophers are now on a 1-9 streak against in-state opponents over the last two seasons.
Lucia said that the endings of games for Minnesota are a focal point that the team missed over the weekend.
“I think it’s a step back when you lose two games,” Lucia said Saturday. “You’ve got to win third periods. That’s the big takeaway.”