Not entirely sure where to start with one. Because as bad as some of it looked, there was a lot of good to come from it. It wasn’t a loss (technically tonight’s result is a 6 – 6 tie) and they ended up getting an extra point in the standings, which we may look back on later in the year as helpful.
As well, there weren’t many stretches during the game tonight where the Gophers weren’t:
- The aggressor
- Defending well
- Playing without energy
They looked fresh, scored six goals, and should have won this game going away. But after blowing a three goal lead on Friday, then following it up with a blown FOUR goal lead on Saturday, it’s likely going to be something that lingers over their heads in these situations all year.
Going through each goal is going to be painstaking. To summarize, the Gophers got out to a 4 – 0 lead just after the 2nd period got underway. After losing their edge, they allowed Michigan to cut the lead in half, first by an own goal, then a shorthanded goal against. After gaining a three goal lead…TWICE…they had a 6 – 3 lead with seven minutes to play.
Goal…Goal…one minute left…Goal. Miraculously they survived a late penalty that stretched into OT and ended up winning (for the first time ever in the Big Ten) a shootout, without the help of Casey Mittelstadt, who basically spiked himself by losing control of the puck as he broke over the blue line on his attempt. Tyler Sheehy won it with a pretty upper corner shot and the Gophers did earn the extra point in the standings. Sheehy had a career high four points in the game and was easily the #1 star.
During the course of a season, even the best teams will have some blown leads, bad weekends, etc. And goalies have bad weekends and bad stretches. So by those tokens, perhaps this was just that weekend for this team and a handful of individuals. Good teams and players learn & bounce back quickly. It doesn’t get easier in any way against Harvard next weekend but hopefully just what this team needs.