Minnesota and Minnesota State played the second game in their two game set at Mariucci this evening, and after a game last night which had the good, bad, and ugly, it would be interesting to see the response. Kent Patterson and Austin Lee made starts in net for the Gophers and Mavericks again tonight.
At forty seconds, Minnesota State drew the first penalty as Zach Lehrke was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving Minnesota its opening power play. Big hits and physical play was the name of the first minute of the man-advantage though Minnesota got two whacks on goal in the first 1:40 of the game. Minnesota State was able to keep Minnesota on the perimeter but only for so long. At 2:37, Minnesota’s Seth Ambroz would score the opening goal of the game with an assist from Zach Budish and Taylor Matson on the power play. Kent Patterson made the big save on a MSU even strength at about four and a half minutes with the shot coming from fourth line center Justin Jokinen. The first Tyson-Holyfield brawl of the game broke out at 5:03 and coincidental roughing minors were called on Minnesota’s Nick Bjugstad as well as and Minnesota State’s Tyler Elbrecht. Christian Isaacson would serve Bjugstad’s additional penalty for goalie interference. Minnesota State’s first power play of the night would run in the first minute without production, and to 5:59 in the game, shots were 9-4 in favor of Minnesota. Additional penalties were called at 5:59 as Minnesota’s Seth Helgeson and Minnesota State’s Eriah Hayes were called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Back to the Maverick power play…the final thirty seconds of advantage on one of the Bjugstad penalties (pick your poison) went up in smoke and the score remained 1-0 to Minnesota. At 8:24 however, Minnesota made it 2-0 on an even strength shot from Taylor Matson. Matson was assisted by his line mates Matson and Seth Ambroz. Nick Larson put the Gophers in the penalty box at 9:13 for a two-minute holding minor. The two minutes against Minnesota’s Larson would prove for naught for Minnesota State as the Mavericks would go 0-2 in a critical area early on. Minnesota State also made the game physical in its early minutes which removed the period from having any kind of flow whatsoever. At 14:00, shots were 12-11 in favor of Minnesota in spite of the previous statement. At 16:10, Minnesota’s Tom Serratore committed a terrible—absolutely butt ugly type terrible—boarding penalty which saw Minnesota State on an additional power play. The Mavericks third power play of the night went by the wayside and Minnesota kept their two-goal advantage before making it 3-0 at 18:41 when Kyle Rau avenged his -1 from Friday via a tipped puck past Austin Lee. Rau was assisted by Mark Alt and Zach Budish. The penalty fest didn’t stop there as coincidental penalties were called at 18:45 as Minnesota State’s Michael Dorr and Minnesota’s Kyle Rau were assessed slashing minors. At 19:36, Minnesota would get a power play when Eriah Hayes would be called for tripping, thereby giving Minnesota a 1:36 power play in period two. At the end of the period, one could say “Holy penalties” or “Holy goal mouth.” Minnesota was 1-2 on the power play in the first, counting the first moments of the Hayes penalty. Minnesota State was 0-3. Shots were 15-14 Minnesota after one.
Minnesota’s power play would continue into the second period, and the Mavericks would hold the Gophers off of scoring during the abbreviated ninety-six second advantage. Minnesota’s Justin Holl would draw a penalty at 2:03 for cross checking giving Minnesota State their fourth power play in 22:00. Minnesota State’s Zach Lehrke would cash in at 2:32 of the second period making the score 3-1 in favor of the home team. Lehrke was assisted by Jean-Paul Lafontaine and Eli Zuck. Minnesota would have a 21-18 edge as five minutes elapsed in the second period shots wise, and at 5:19, Minnesota’s Travis Boyd would be nipped by the zebras for interference, giving Minnesota State their fifth power play of the night. The middle of the game would creep up, and the Minnesota State power play from the Boyd penalty would go without success. At the 30:00 minute mark, shots were 24-22 in favor of Minnesota but even with the two goal lead, Minnesota couldn’t rest on their laurels. The frenetic end to end play that Minnesota and its opponents are famous for was notably absent in the third quarter of the period, but Minnesota State was doing its best to claw its way back to being one goal down. At 14:58, shots were 11-9 in favor of Minnesota (26-23 in the game) but the Gophers were up two goals thanks to Kent Patterson’s stingy defense. At about 17:00, Minnesota thought they were assured of a fourth goal when Kyle Rau unleashed his fury, but a video review determined that the puck hit the inside of the post and stayed out. The final two minutes of the period weren’t without controversy as Minnesota’s Ben Marshall would be called for interference at 18:41, giving Minnesota State its sixth power play of the night. At 18:57, Minnesota State’s Zach Palmquist would draw a roughing minor, meaning the 0:16 second power play of the Mavericks would be erased. Shots at the end of the second favored Minnesota 31-24 (16-10 in the second period). Minnesota was 1-2 on power plays while Minnesota State was 1-6.
Minnesota would get a sixteen second power play when the penalty to Marshall ended at forty seconds into the third period. The Mavericks would regain full strength as the opening minute of the final period expired. Through two minutes, Minnesota would get the opening shot on goal but it’s not where games are won. The scoreboard is where games are won, and Minnesota was doing its fair share of keeping a two goal lead intact. At 3:01 however, Minnesota’s Kyle Rau would be called for roughing, much to the chagrin of the Minnesota biased crowd. Minnesota would draw another penalty at 3:30 when Jake Hansen would be called for a two-minute slashing minor. Minnesota State would score a power play goal at 4:00 from Zach Lehrke with assists from Jean-Paul Lafontaine and Matt Leitner. At 4:43, Minnesota State’s Eriah Hayes would be called for tripping, giving Minnesota a 1:14 power play. Shots at 7:10 in the third period favored Minnesota 5-2, but the Minnesota defense gave the feeling that the game was going to be tied sooner rather than later. 8:29 brought a Minnesota penalty as Mark Alt was sent to hockey prison for a roughing minor giving Minnesota State a short nineteen second power play until 8:48 when the Mavericks would send Cameron Cooper for holding and Eriah Hayes for cross checking. Minnesota’s Kyle Rau would go to the penalty box for embellishment as well, which frankly was deserved. If all you’re going to do to get ahead is feign penalties and therefore feign the severity of contact, you deserve to be booked. No question. At 10:48, the game finally returned to five a side play. The next four minutes would result in even strength play, but the officiating crew would make themselves feel a part of the game with some good, and some bad calls. A tripping call (for Minnesota State) on their defensive end went unnoticed at near 14:00 played for example. Late in the game, Minnesota State pulled their goaltender in favor of the extra man, and Minnesota’s defense stood tall at the night’s end.
Shots at the end of the game favored Minnesota 40-28, and Minnesota finished 1-5 on the power play while Minnesota State finished a horrid 2-9.
Minnesota is back in action next weekend with a home series against Michigan Tech. Friday’s 7pm and Saturday’s 8pm starts will both be televised by Fox Sports North.
Geoff Discher is lodeplus.com’s Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner as well as the National College Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.comwith comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking hereas well as hereand joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He’s always chock full of fact and opinion. I’m also on Twitter @GophHkyExmnr. Check it out!
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!