Men’s Hockey: Gophers win 5-1

Brian Deutsch

Update: 7:53 MN PP goal, White (4) from Ness (9) and Lucia (4). Minnesota took a four-goal lead when White got just enough of a one timer from Aaron Ness to beat Weslosky top shelf on the glove hand. White, who got the game winner against Northeastern in OT two weeks ago, was aided by a fake from Ness at the point. Minnesota could have tagged one or two more goals in the second half of the period, but a pair of sound scoring chances by Jordan Schroeder and Mike Hoeffel both ended with the forwards putting their shots wide of the net. The Gophers’ WCHA-leading penalty kill (0.92) shut down the Huskies power play – killing seven opportunities on the night. St. Cloud State brought the shot chart back to near even with Minnesota leading 26-25. Quick reminders: St. Cloud State will unveil a retro jersey tomorrow night. Also Minnesota will let fans “Skate with the Gophers” next Saturday, but I’ll throw up a link to that later. See you tomorrow night in Cloud. Second: Unlike the first period, Minnesota’s pair of second period penalties had a lot more at stake. Cade Fairchild took an ill-advised penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct when he shoved a Huskies forward well after the whistle. Then Tony Lucia took a holding penalty 1:05 later to give SCSU 0:55 of 5-on-3. Alex Kangas played as well as I’ve seen him play in a long time (including a save where the Rochester native literally spun on his head) to kill both penalties. The Huskies killed off a tripping penalty of their own near the halfway point before Jake Hansen broke up a SCSU 2-on-1 chance with an interference penalty at 10:50. 13:55 MN Goal, Carman (6) from Fairchild (14) and Barriball (12). Fairchild found Carman right outside the crease to Weslosky’s left before the junior forward just ripped a shot through the goalie’s five hole. 14:15 SCSU Goal, Marvin (8) unassisted, Kevin Wehrs coughed up a turnover on the Gophers blue line and the sophomore forward, whose sister Gigi is currently an injured senior forward for the U’s women’s team, went in alone before slipping a goal between Kangas’ skate and the pipe. 17:04 MN Goal, Bostrom (4) from Hoeffel (5) and Wehrs (4). Hoeffel slipped a centering pass to Bostrom in the slot before the senior deked out the Huskies goaltender and sent a backhander top shelf. Minnesota still holds a shot advantage but it’s lessening. It now stands at 19-15. First: Minnesota leads St. Cloud State 2-0 after one period of play. 1:04 MN Goal –Hoeffel (5) from Hansen (3),Hoeffel slipped a breakaway wrist shot past Weslosky after the puck deflected off Hansen. 17:37: MN Goal Schroeder (9) from Flynn (8) and Anderson (2), Flynn had the puck behind the goal line and fed Schroeder in the slot. Schroeder didn’t get all of the puck but just enough to lift it over Weslosky’s blocker and in for his ninth goal of the season. Special teams were nearly kept off the ice in the first except for Ryan Stoa’s charging penalty with just under 1:30 to play in the period. That was the only power play of the period. A total of three penalties were called in the first, Tony Lucia and Oliver Lauridsen were hit with coincidental roughing after the whistle penalties at the 13:16 mark. Minnesota holds a sizable lead in shots at 11-4. Also, I’ve been meaning to throw this short piece about Michael Dorr up for a while but haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve been looking into whether or not college hockey has a similar rule to college football where coaches can limit where a player can transfer. Minnesota spokesman Jim Strick believes it is an NCAA rule applying to all sports, but also said the Gophers staff would not enforce the rule – saying they only wished the best for Dorr. Haven’t heard yet where Dorr is planning to transfer.

Pre-game; in brief.

 
Don Lucia will be behind the bench for the first time since mid December, Ryan Stoa is in tonight, David Fischer meanwhile is out.
 
Didn’t get a chance to post this yesterday, but Lucia addressed the media to announce his doctors have narrowed his illness down to either an infection or inflammation near a nerve in his head. Lucia will return to Mayo early next week for further tests.
 
Here’s the Gophers line-up for tonight:
 
Stoa-Schroeder-Barriball
 
Hoeffel-Carman-Hansen
 
Lucia-Sacchetti-Flynn
 
Bostrom-White-Larson
 
Ness-Anderson
 
Fairchild-Wehrs
 
Schack-Lofquist
 
Kangas in goal with Patterson and Kremer backing up.
 
Healthy scratches tonight are Drew Fisher, Joe Miller, and Grant Scott. David Fischer is out with a torn tendon in his leg, and Taylor Matson is out for the season with a blown-out knee.
 
Jordan Schroeder, the U.S. career leader in assists at World Juniors, has been ranked as the fourth best North American player eligible for the upcoming NHL Draft. Not surprisingly, Jonathon Tavares is ranked No. 1 while St. Cloud State recruit Michael Lee is the top ranked goaltender and third overall. (USCHO.com)
 
Good news for Bemidji State and any other program interested in joining the WCHA, the conference has voted to lift its moratorium on expansion. (WCHA)