Minnesota Loses to Michigan 4-3 in Overtime

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Minnesota Loses to Michigan 4-3 in Overtime

Post by Eckes » Sat Jan 10 2:09 am

Cutler Martin Scores OT Winner for Michigan to down visiting Gophers
Minnesota falls to 3-6-1 in their last 10 games

Ann Arbor, MI - Minnesota felt the thrill of victory last Saturday in their high-pressure overtime win against RIT. Tonight's overtime period in Ann Arbor brought the agony of defeat.

Michigan (11-7-0 Overall, 3-1-0 B1G) celebrated a game-winning overtime goal tonight, as Cutler Martin's tally at 2:16 of overtime lifted the Wolverines over the Gophers (10-6-1 Overall, 1-1-1 B1G) at Yost Ice Arena.

As has been the case recently, Minnesota got off to another hot start in the first period, settling in after the first five minutes to dominate puck possession, zone time and shots on goal. The Gophers jumped out to a lead early in the game as Connor Reilly notched his team-leading ninth goal of the season on a rebound putback. The goal, scored at 7:03 of the first, was assisted by Ryan Collins and Mike Reilly and gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

Although Minnesota continued to press their advantage throughout the period, they could not get any more pucks past Michigan goalie Steve Racine. Racine was good tonight but brilliant in the first period, stopping 15 of Minnesota's 16 shots including several golden opportunities for the Gophers.

Minnesota sagged in the second period, though, and Michigan took advantage. The Wolverines started slow this year, but have been hot of late, coming off a win at the Great Lakes Invitational last weekend and holding an 8-2-0 record over their last 10 games coming into tonight's contest. Senior leader Zach Hyman once again led the way, scoring his 10th goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1 at the 1:44 mark of the period.

The Gophers were not firing on all cylinders at the start of the third period and Michigan made them pay. A powerplay at the 7:24 mark gave the Wolverines all the chance they needed to take the lead, and freshman forward Dylan Larkin put his fourth goal of the season past Adam Wilcox at 7:48 to go up 2-1.

20 seconds later, though, Kyle Rau drew a five-minute checking from behind major on Michigan captain Andrew Copp, and the Gophers had an opportunity to even it up on the man advantage. Justin Kloos scored at 9:54 on the PP, and Travis Boyd put another one in on the same powerplay at 10:35 to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead.

Michigan killed off the rest of the penalty, and 21 seconds after it expired at 13:29 the Wolverines' Justin Sellman evened the game up at 3-3.

The overtime was a bit frantic, but Michigan's Cutler Martin was the hero, firing a wrister from the point that found its way through several screens before beating Adam Wilcox on his glove side and giving Michigan the 4-3 win.

The two teams skate to a rematch Saturday at 3:00PM Central time. The game is televised on FSN+ and BTN2Go streaming, as well as 1500ESPN on the radio.

Notes & Quotes

Brady Skjei returned to the ice against Michigan. His presence, along with Leon Bristedt's return from the World Junior tournament, meant that the Gophers had their full roster available to them for the first time in a long time.

Mike Reilly was the only multiple point getter for the Gophers. He had two assists on the evening.

The loss dropped the Gophers to 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, a record that is indicative of how much the team has struggled over the last few months.

Final shots on goal were 35-30 in favor of Minnesota. However, after the first period Michigan had the advantage in shots at 23-19.

Minnesota's power play went 2-5, with both goals coming on the five-minute major in the third period. The penalty kill was 1-3.

Three Stars of the Game: 3) Mike Reilly, 2) Cutler Martin, 1) Zach Hyman

"Hard work isn't good enough. Winning is good enough." -Doug Woog, speaking about another year's Gopher team, but it sure as hell applies here.
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