Another Friday Loss for Gophers

Mark Remme

Five unanswered goals left Minnesota’s men’s hockey team stunned for the third straight Friday night, this time losing 5-3 at the hands of No. 15 North Dakota in front of 10,197 people at Mariucci Arena.

The Sioux capitalized on three second period goals, all of which were pounded home in the slot thanks to blue-collar work by North Dakota’s offense and lackluster play by the Gophers’ defense.

“It wasn’t even close to our best effort,” senior defenseman Mike Vannelli said. “To be honest it was pretty embarrassing.”

The Sioux (14-11-2 overall, 8-9-2 WCHA) benefited from the three-point performances of sophomore center Jonathan Toews and sophomore winger Ryan Duncan, who netted the game-winning goal at 19:49 of the second period.

The top-ranked Gophers (21-4-3, 13-3-3) played the contest with just 11 forwards, and the fatigue showed.

Minnesota seemed to turn off an energy switch after gaining a two-goal lead in the first period, and its momentum went with it.

Once Sioux junior defenseman Robbie Bina beat Gophers senior goalie Kellen Briggs on a short-handed 2-on-1 with 1:55 remaining in the first to cut Minnesota’s lead to 2-1, the tides changed and the Gophers were unable to recover.

Coach Don Lucia said goals like Bina’s, which resulted from a turnover at the blue line, tend to turn the tide.

“That starts to change the game,” Lucia said.

While Minnesota lacked men on the bench, it was North Dakota who suffered short-handed play through much of the game.

The Gophers neglected to take advantage of 11 power-play opportunities, going just 2-for-11 on the evening.

Sioux junior goalie Philippe Lamoureux played stellar between the pipes, allowing just three goals on 38 shots.

Game Summary

Sioux 1 3 1 5

Gophers 2 0 1 3

Scoring:

1st Period: UMN: Stoa-9 (Howe-3, Okposo-10), Goligoski-9 (O’Brien-3); UND: Bina-7 (Toews-15, Duncan-13)

2nd Period: UMN: no scoring; UND: Fabian-3 (Kaip-3), Toews-7 (Genoway-10, Oshie-19), Duncan (Toews-16, Chorney-12)

3rd Period: UMN: Bostrom-2 (Johnson-15, Okposo-11); UND: Dun”can-19 (unassisted)