Minnesota wins, ties against UMD

The Gophers won Friday’s game and tied and lost in a shootout Saturday.

Grant Donald

The Gophers found out over the weekend just how hard life on the road will be in the WCHA this year.

They battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period Saturday but eventually fell in a shootout to Minnesota-Duluth.

Minnesota took all three points from the Bulldogs on Friday night with a 3-0 victory.

But on Saturday, they weren’t able to do that.

After trailing for nearly the whole game, senior forward Meghan Lorence scored a goal near the midway point of the third period to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-2. Then with five minutes left in the game, junior forward Hannah Brandt scored one of her four goals on the weekend to tie the game and force overtime.

The teams skated through a scoreless overtime. Then UMD edged the Gophers 2-1 in the shootout to gain the extra point in the WCHA standings.

“We have had so much success here over the last few years that [we forgot] that this is a standard weekend on the road,” head coach Brad Frost said.

Friday, sophomore forward Dani Cameranesi led the charge with three points in the victory.

“[Cameranesi] was good all weekend, just played extremely solid,” Frost said. “Her and Hannah Brandt showed a lot of character and really willed our team back [Saturday] night.”

Junior goaltender Amanda Leveille made 51 saves over the course of the weekend, 26 of which came Friday night in her first shutout of the season.

“[On Friday] night [Leveille] faced a lot of two-on-ones, and she was amazing in stopping them,” Brandt said. “[On Saturday] we left her hanging a few times out there, and we need to help her out a little more.”

The Gophers started the year scoring an alarming 66 percent of the time when they were on the power play, but they failed to capitalize on all three of their opportunities Saturday night.

Combine the Gophers’ inefficiency on the power play and a few unlucky deflections that led to UMD goals, and Minnesota just ran out of time to complete the comeback.

“We had plenty of chances on the power plays, and obviously I would have loved to convert on one of those,” Frost said. “But it’s unrealistic to think that we could maintain our 66 percent split much longer.”

The weekend can serve as a learning experience for the Gophers early in the season.

“We kind of had a rough week of practice, and I think it just goes to show that you get out what you put in,” Cameranesi said. “I think that we are going to be able to bounce back even stronger for next weekend and all the weekends after that.”

The Gophers will have little time to dwell on the weekend, as they travel to Wisconsin to play the Badgers next week.

Wisconsin was ranked No. 2 in the country heading into this weekend’s competition and completed a sweep of UMD last weekend.

“We are a young team, and we got a lot of young players in the lineup,” Frost said. “[This weekend] will make our kids refocus a little bit in practice this week and get ready for a tough opponent in Wisconsin.”