Sam Warning Scores Early, Gophers Hang On Late to Win Opener

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Sam Warning Scores Early, Gophers Hang On Late to Win Opener

Post by Eckes » Sun Oct 12 11:29 am

Minnesota Opens Season with 4-3 Win vs. UMD

Nearly every year expectations are high for the U, but this season could be one of the most anticipated in recent memory for Gopher fans.

Coming off a heartbreaking 7-4 loss in the National Championship game to Union, the Gophers returned every NHL eligible player and are ranked #1 in the preseason polls. The team's difference makers from last season all came back with one goal in mind: winning the National Championship.

Those difference makers were on display early on in the team's season-opener against the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. On the first shift of the season, Kyle Rau threaded a breakaway pass to Sam Warning, who shimmied in front of the goalie before sliding the puck through UMD's Kasimir Kaskisuo's five-hole.

Rau would score his first goal and second point of the year just a few minutes later to put the Gophers up 2-0, completing a give-and-go shorthanded play with Hudson Fasching. Justin Kloos, another player Minnesota will rely on this season, notched his first goal of the year on the powerplay early in the second period.

UMD's Dominic Toninato would add a PP goal of his own to draw the Bulldogs closer at 3-1 midway through the second. With just 1:15 left in the middle frame, Fasching picked up his first goal of the season to put the Gophers ahead 4-1.

The third period featured a furious comeback from the Bulldogs, who scored two goals in the first five minutes to get within one goal at 4-3. UMD pulled their goalie, but Minnesota's defense held firm to seal the victory.

The Gophers (1-0-0) move on to face the RPI Engineers in the Icebreaker Championship game. RPI beat Notre Dame on Friday night. That game starts at 11:00 AM, and is available to stream on and on the radio at AM1500 ESPN. Check the Schedule page on GPL for more information.
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