Gophers Open Series Against In-State Rival With Loss
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Brent Gates Jr.’s first goal as a Gopher gave the No. 13/15 Minnesota men’s hockey team life late in Friday’s series opener with No. 7 Minnesota Duluth, but it wasn’t enough as the Gophers fell 3-1 to their in-state rival at Mariucci Arena.
The Bulldogs (1-1-0 overall, 0-0-0-0 NCHC) scored two power-play goals in the second period and added a third tally – this time an even-strength notch – right after Gates’ goal in the third to open the series.
Minnesota (0-2-0, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) played Minnesota Duluth to a scoreless tie through more than 30 minutes on Friday night until Jared Thomas and Austin Farley found the net at 12:29 and 15:30 of the second period, respectively, while on the advantage.
Gates, a freshman forward from Grand Rapids, Mich., brought it back to a one-goal deficit at 5:40 of the third period when Steve Johnson and Michael Brodzinski set up the rookie for his first score as a member of the Maroon & Gold.
The Bulldogs answered quickly, however. Dominic Toninato pocketed a rebuttal 32 seconds later at 6:12 of the third – Minnesota Duluth’s only even-strength goal on a night that saw the Bulldogs go 2-for-5 on the advantage while outshooting Minnesota 35-24.
In net for the Gophers, Eric Schierhorn made 32 saves, suffering the loss to move to 0-2-0 while Kasimir Kaskisuo made 23 saves to draw even on the season at 1-1-0.
Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth close out the home-and-home series on Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth.