Gophers men’s hockey loses 2-1 against Minnesota-Duluth, swept for first time this season

Sophomore Mason Nevers tallied the lone goal for the Gophers, marking a new career-high for goals in a season.

Forward Sammy Walker falls to the ice at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Oct. 25. The Gophers went on to lose 2-5 to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Kamaan Richards

Forward Sammy Walker falls to the ice at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Oct. 25. The Gophers went on to lose 2-5 to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

by Michael Lyne , Sports Reporter

The No. 4 Gophers men’s hockey team’s (3-3) rally fell short in a 2-1 loss to No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth Saturday evening, marking the first time they have gotten swept this season.

“I hate losing two games in a weekend, but we played a lot better tonight,” Gophers head coach Bob Motzko said. “They didn’t have as many chances while we did. Give their goaltender the nod tonight. He was definitely their best player on the ice. We had our chances.”

The Gophers got off to a slow start like they did Friday night and the Bulldogs scored two goals in the first period of play.

At the halfway mark of the first period (10:51), Wyatt Kaiser took a wrist shot from inside the blue line on the left side and Tanner Laderoute tipped the puck past graduate student Jack LaFontaine to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead.

Then, just minutes before the end of the first period, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 2-0. Louie Roehl took a shot from the point on the right side, LaFontaine could not control the rebound, and Blake Biondi was there to clean up the loose puck on goal to score his second of the series.

Although the Gophers had another rough first period, they picked up the pace in the final 40 minutes of play, outshooting the Bulldogs 20-15 to outshoot them 29-26 overall.

The Gophers’ lone goal of the game came 6:26 seconds into the third period as sophomore Mason Nevers tipped in junior Ryan Johnson’s wrist shot from the point to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 2-1. Johnson (3) and junior Ben Meyers (5) tallied the assists.

Nevers’ goal marks his third this season, marking a new career-high for goals in a season. He has five goals in his last eight games.

The Gophers begin Big Ten play next weekend as they host Notre Dame (4-1) on Friday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. at 3M Arena at Mariucci.