Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


Gophers men’s hockey falls 5-1 to Minnesota State in NCAA semifinals

Freshman Matthew Knies scored the lone goal for the Gophers before the Mavericks scored five unanswered goals.
Image by Ethan Fine
The Mike Richter Award is given to the best Division I goalie in the nation.

A strong first-period effort in weathering the storm by the Gophers was not enough as Minnesota State-Mankato continually overwhelmed Minnesota en route to a 5-1 comeback win Thursday night to punch their ticket into the NCAA Championship game.

The No. 1 seeded Mavericks had an all-around dominating performance against Minnesota. They scored five unanswered goals despite the Gophers keeping them off the scoreboard in the first period.

“For big chunks of the game, [Minnesota State] kicked our butt. The first period we were great, got the lead,” Gophers head coach Bob Motzko said. “Then, we made a couple of mistakes in the second period…but I’m so proud of our guys. This was a terrific group of guys we had and this is not indicative of the season we had. We had a terrific season, a terrific team. We just ran into a really good hockey team tonight.”

In a stretch of 6:11 in the middle frame, Minnesota-State’s Benton Maass and Reggie Lutz buried wraparound goals to help throttle the Mavericks into the driver’s seat as they earned their first lead in the game with 6:29 remaining in the second period.

After gaining their first lead of the night, Minnesota State did not let off the gas and added three more goals in the third period.

Ondrej Pavel scored Minnesota State’s third goal of the game 1:57 into the final frame after deflecting Jack McNeely’s shot from the point into the back of the net.

With the Gophers trying to find an answer, Mavericks’ David Silye fired a wicked wrister into the top left corner of the net with 6:43 remaining in the game to extend Minnesota State’s lead to 4-1.

To cement Minnesota State’s 5-1 victory in the Frozen Four round of the NCAA tournament, Brendan Furry scored an empty-net goal with 1:09 remaining in the contest.

“They’re a really good team and I think that they controlled the game,” junior Bryce Brodzinski said. “We made a couple of mistakes and they’re a team that capitalizes on those.”

Despite not recording a shot for nearly the first nine minutes of the game, it only took the Gophers one shot to score the game’s opening goal due to a costly turnover by Minnesota State.

Mavericks’ defensive partners Andy Carroll and Maass struggled to corral the puck at their blue line. Then, Brodzinski swooped in to gather the loose puck to create a 2-on-0 odd-man rush with freshman Matthew Knies against Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay.

Brodzinski and Knies combined for three back-and-forth passes before All-Big Ten Freshman Knies finished off the play as he buried a one-timer from one knee into the back of the net 8:52 into the contest.

Knies finished his first year with the Gophers lights out down the stretch. The Olympian’s go-ahead goal stretched his goal streak to four games, where he had five over that span plus an assist.

The Gophers’ loss marks the end of their 2021-2022 season, where they finished with an overall record of 26-13 while winning the Big Ten regular-season title.

“This one stings right now. This [loss] is what’s stuck in my head,” Knies said. “This was the best year of my life. This was the most fun group I’ve been a part of and I’m damn proud to be a part of this team.”

As for Minnesota State-Mankato, they advance to the NCAA Championship, where they will face off against Denver for a national title on Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. CDT.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *