Gophers win 4-1 over Wisconsin

Minnesota snapped their two-game skid Friday night, taking the first game of the series against the Badgers

Julianna Landis

  Minnesota jumped to an early two-goal lead en route to a 4-1 win in the first game of the Border Battle against Wisconsin. 

   They got on the board early in the first period, with Blake McLaughlin and Scott Reedy scoring in the first five minutes of the game. Reedy’s goal would be the eventual game-winner. He said that the win was something the team needed after a rough outing against Penn State last weekend, ” With a young team it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster right now, we just keep competing in practice and showing what we can do on Friday, and this is definitely huge for us.”  Reedy said.

 For Minnesota, getting to a two-goal lead hasn’t been a challenge as of late, their real struggle has been holding onto the lead and coming away with a win. Both against Notre Dame and Penn State, Minnesota came away with a loss after getting ahead on the scoreboard. 

  It looked like tonight could have gone that same way when after defending from a five-on-three Wisconsin was able to score on the power-play after Jonny Sorenson left the box after serving the Gophers penalty for too many players on the ice. While it looked like the beginnings of a possible Badgers come back, Minnesota was able to defend their lead both with a strong performance in net from Jack LaFontaine and 29 blocked shots. 

   LaFontaine did leave the game with about six minutes remaining after what appeared to be a shoulder injury, and while head coach Bob Motzko was unable to give an update on LaFontaine’s status post-game, he praised the goaltender’s focus and said he had been preparing well ahead of the weekend. 

Lafontaine himself also cited preparation as a huge key to the win, saying, “The right to focus for us has been so huge; and what I mean [by] ‘right to focus’, it’s an attitude thing with us, having a little piss and vinegar in us. Not being complacent and being a little bit more intense, which I really thought helped us.”