Gophers Survive, Advance Versus Robert Morris

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Eckes
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Gophers Survive, Advance Versus Robert Morris

Post by Eckes » Sat Mar 29 8:29 pm

Condon's Two Goals Pace Gophers Over Colonials

Minneapolis – “This time of year, nobody’s going to give up.”

Kyle Rau’s words rung true tonight, as Minnesota had to fight hard to beat a pesky Robert Morris squad. Although Minnesota won 7-3, the game was much closer than the score indicated, with Robert Morris coming back from a 4-goal deficit in the second period to close within two and make the game very interesting into the third period.

Minnesota came out like a house of fire, registering a 5-1 shot advantage just 90 seconds into the game. However, a couple of early penalties would give Robert Morris a two-man advantage early in the first. The Gophers’ penalty kill stood strong, and they were able to kill off the man advantage.

The game settled in at 0-0 for much of the first, with the Gophers looking slow and generally not moving their feet. Nate Condon changed that with a dynamic end-to-end rush up the ice with just under four minutes to play in the opening frame. Condon beat a pair of RMU defenders before shooting the puck from the top of the left circle into the lower corner of the net, relieving the tension and giving the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

“I believe momentum is a big thing in hockey,” said Condon after the game, and it certainly was for the Gophers late in the first. Minnesota would add two more goals late in the first – goals from Brodzinski at the point and Kloos in front of the net – to go into the locker room up 3-0 after one.

Minnesota’s Rau would score in the second to give the Gophers a 4-0 lead, but Robert Morris never gave up. Goals by Cody Wydo and Zac Lynch before the end of the second drew the Colonials within two.

Much of the third period was played at that 4-2 score, and Robert Morris certainly had their chances to draw within one goal of the #1 overall seed, but Hudson Fasching scored at 14:22 of the 3rd to get the Gophers a three goal lead at 5-2. Still, though, Robert Morris wouldn’t fold, scoring their own goal just 25 seconds later to get back to two-down at 5-3.

Minnesota would add a shorthanded empty netter from Nate Condon and a seeing-eye goal from Mike Reilly as time expired to give the Gophers a 7-3 victory.

“We had the type of game we needed to have tonight,” said Gopher coach Don Lucia. “We were led by our captains; both Nate [Condon] and Kyle [Rau] had outstanding games tonight.”

The win means that Minnesota will play the winner of tonight’s contest between Notre Dame and St. Cloud State for the right to advance to the Frozen Four. That puck will drop at 6:30.
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