Gophers Grab Victory on Rau's Overtime Goal

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Gophers Grab Victory on Rau's Overtime Goal

Post by Eckes » Sat Jan 03 10:28 pm

Lettieri, Mike Reilly also score for Minnesota in the Win

Minneapolis, MN – It’s been a tough week for Gopher fans, but at least the hockey team was able to end it with a win.

Tonight's win was perhaps harder than it should have been, but the Gophers (10-5-1 Overall, 1-0-1 B1G) downed the RIT Tigers (5-10-3 Overall, 4-5-3 Atlantic Hockey) 3-2 in Overtime. Kyle Rau tipped in the rebound at 2:34 of the extra session to give Minnesota the much-needed victory.

The game started well for Minnesota, with a tip-in goal by Vinni Lettieri just 3:45 into the first period. Taylor Cammarata took a hit to keep the puck in at the blueline before finessing it to Christian Isackson, whose shot from the high slot was tipped by a cutting Lettieri past RIT goalie Mike Rotolo. Lettieri’s third goal of the season gave Minnesota the early 1-0 lead, but RIT would tie it at one at 9:14 of the period, as Dan Schuler scored his first of the season on a two-on-one.

Minnesota regained the lead in the second on a Mike Reilly powerplay blast at 6:32. Travis Boyd and Kyle Rau assisted on the tally.
RIT was not done, though, and with just 7:08 left in the third period Brandon Thompson rifled a wrister past Adam Wilcox to tie the game at two. Both teams traded late powerplay chances, but the teams headed into overtime tied at two.

In overtime, Kyle Rau was once again the hero. The senior captain notched his seventh goal of the season on a rebound off of a Hudson Fasching shot from the left circle. Fasching (along with Ryan Collins) was back from the World Junior tournament today to play in tonight’s game. The team jumped off the bench and celebrated like they had won the tournament (not just third place), showing how important it was for them to get this victory.

Minnesota resumes conference play next weekend, as the Gophers travel to Michigan to take on the Wolverines. Friday’s contest starts at 5:30PM and can be seen on BTN and streamed on BTN2Go. Saturday’s game is a 3:00PM affair and is on FSN+ and BTN2Go. Both games can be heard on 1500ESPN radio.

Notes & Quotes

Final shots on goal: Minnesota 49, RIT 21

Three Stars of the Game: 3) RIT Goalie Mike Rotolo, 2) Mike Reilly, 1) Kyle Rau

UMass-Lowell beat Merrimack 3-1 in the Championship Game to capture this year’s Mariucci Classic title.

The All-Tournament Team was as follows: UML F Evan Campbell, UML F Adam Chapie, MC F Brett Seney, UM D Mike Reilly, UML D Zack Kamrass, MC G Rasmus Tirronen. Most Outstanding Player of the tournament was UML D Dylan Zink.

Kyle Rau was the only multiple point getter for the Gophers tonight, with 1G-1A-2P

Don Lucia, on shot selection: “We talked a lot about getting tips and rebounds. Just this afternoon we talked about ‘When was the last time we scored a tip in goal?’ We got one of each tonight.” On the weekend: “I’m happy with the offense, we had 90 shots on goal and more zone time this weekend. Sometimes you get chances and the puck just doesn’t go in, and now is one of those times for our team.” On the absence of junior defenseman Brady Skjei: “Brady is close, we’ll find out this week if he’ll be back for next weekend.”

Kyle Rau, summing up his thoughts on winning the game and the effort this weekend: “The win feels good but obviously a loss and almost a tie in our own building is unacceptable. We need to get better – a lot better – for the rest of the season.”
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