No. 1 North Dakota outguns U;

Tim Nichols

The Gophers men’s hockey team’s winless streak has reached an all-time high — or is that low? — of 10 games, after No. 1 North Dakota’s sweep of Minnesota, 5-4 and 6-5.
But, surprisingly, the Gophers didn’t seem that upset.
“This weekend is probably the best hockey we’ve played as a team,” senior captain Wyatt Smith said. “They got a couple bounces, a couple controversial calls, but we were still in the game. We gave it everything we had; we just didn’t get the bounces.”
For the most part, Smith was right.
Minnesota (7-13-6 overall, 5-8-3 in the WCHA) battled hard for the entire series, even chasing Saturday’s starting goaltender Andy Kollar out of the net in the first period with three quick goals. And North Dakota (19-2-1, 14-1-1) coach Dean Blais admitted that his team was fortunate to win on Friday.
But as has happened for most of the season, the slightest mental error or quirky bounce of the puck came back to bite the Gophers.
Committing 16 penalties for 40 minutes and giving up three power play goals during Saturday’s 6-5 loss didn’t help either.
“I think the team pulled together,” coach Doug Woog said. “But one thing we did wrong was with the penalties. Some of them were unnecessary — about half a dozen of them. And the problem was that the guys who were getting called were the offensive players, our best skaters.”
The biggest — and most controversial — goal of the game turned out to be at even strength, however.
At 7:07 in the third period, on a play that appeared to be offsides, Sioux forward Jeff Ulmer put home the game-tying goal and stole back the momentum for the remainder of the game.
“Take the video, you’ll see that that goal, which gave them the momentum, was three feet offsides.” Woog said. “That’s a fact.”
Despite their effort, the Gophers simply could not answer the onslaught of North Dakota players who pounded Hauser with shots, outshooting Minnesota on Saturday 40 to 26, 68 to 56 for the series.
On Friday, it was one man who sealed the Gophers fate — Sioux sophomore Jeff Panzer.
The center from Grand Forks scored four goals and assisted on the other in North Dakota’s 5-4 win.
It was a game in which Minnesota held tight for the majority of play. But every time the Gophers would threaten, Panzer would squash all hopes of a comeback.
“Jeff was supercharged tonight,” Blais said. “He was dumping the puck in and retrieving it before the defensemen got there. That’s how quick he can be.”
Despite Panzer’s superhuman effort and the Gophers’ inability to put teams away, they were still surprisingly upbeat.
But the frustration of a 10-game winless streak seems to be wearing on Minnesota, especially when the team has shown some improvement in the last 10 games.
Perhaps it’s fate, bad karma, wretched luck or stronger opponents. Or, most likely, a combination of each.
“The irritation is with the offense,” Woog said. “For some reason that’s happening. We need to be rewarded here somehow. Somebody must be testing us.”

SCORING SUMMARIES

Saturday
North Dakota 1 2 3 — 6
Gophers 3 2 0 — 5
FIRST PERIOD: Minn — Berg 9 (Westrum 14, N.Miller 5), :18. Minn — Miskovich 7 (Smith 16), SHG, 3:16. Minn — Wendell 3 (Pohl 5, Senden 3), 11:22. UND — Blake 13 (Jay Panzer 16, Jeff Panzer 20), PPG, 18:05.
SECOND PERIOD: Minn — Kohn 1 (Westrum 15), 4×4, 9:31. UND — Mazurak 2 (Bull 15), 4×4, 9:59. UND — Jason Ulmer 4 (Armbrust 3, DeFauw 8), PPG, 13:28. Minn — Leimbek 1 (Lyons 4, Angell 5), PPG, 18:38.
THIRD PERIOD: UND — Jay Panzer 14 (Blake 24, Hoogsteen 6), PPG, 5:45. UND — Jeff Ulmer 8 (Blake 25, Mazurak 6), 7:07. UND — Jeff Panzer 12 (Bull 16, Jay Panzer 17), 8:15.

Friday
North Dakota 3 1 1 — 5
Gophers 1 1 2 — 4
FIRST PERIOD: UND — Jeff Panzer 8 (Williamson 20, Goehring 2), PPG, 9:56. Minn — Berg 8 (unassisted), 17:31. UND — Jeff Panzer 9 (Williamson 21, Bull 14), 19:05. UND — Bull 6 (Jeff Panzer 19, Williamson 22), 19:35.
SECOND PERIOD: Minn — Anderson 4 (Leimbek 4, Miskovich 5), 3:05. UND — Jeff Panzer 10 (Jay Panzer 14, Williamson 23), PPG, 9:49.
THIRD PERIOD: Minn — Smith 15 (Miskovich 6), SHG, 1:53. UND — Jeff Panzer 11 (Jay Panzer 15, Williamson 24), 6:07. Minn — Spehar 8 (Westrum 13), PPG, 11:14.