Gophers Blow Late 3rd Period Lead, Lose Shootout vs UW

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Eckes
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Gophers Blow Late 3rd Period Lead, Lose Shootout vs UW

Post by Eckes » Fri Jan 16 11:44 pm

"Frankly, it's embarrassing" - Travis Boyd

Minneapolis, MN - If this isn't rock bottom, then I don't know what is.

The Minnesota Gophers (10-7-2 Overall, 1-2-2-0 B1G) saw their two-goal third period lead evaporate in less than two minutes, and couldn't muster a game-winner, eventually falling to the horrendous Wisconsin BADgers (2-12-3 Overall, 0-2-1-1 B1G) in the shootout.

You've seen this movie before: the Gophers absolutely dominated the first period, holding Wisconsin to just three total shots (their first coming with just about five minutes left in the period). However, despite the almost mind-numbing shots, chances, faceoffs and powerplay advantages (shots 20-3), Minnesota could only muster one goal, a Sam Warning snapshot off of a good hustle play by Travis Boyd to steal the puck.

Minnesota continued to dominate play throughout the second, but couldn't get another one past UW goalie Joel Rumpel, and Wisconsin kept gaining hope shift after shift.

The Gophers finally scored their second goal 6:51 into the third, when Hudson Fasching deflected a Jake Bischoff shot from the point into the net. The play was on a delayed penalty, so Minnesota went to the PP afterwards, and another UW penalty gave Minnesota 1:41 of five-on-three. However, the #1 PP in the nation failed to convert (going 0-5 on the game), and Wisconsin seized the momentum.

Taylor Cammarata spun himself to the ground trying to make a pretty play to make the game 3-0, Minnesota made a bad line change, and tic-tac-toe later Wisconsin is back in it at 2-1. Another bad defensive effort just 117 seconds later and the game is tied.

Justin Kloos had the best chance of the game in overtime, but Rumpel challenged the shot at the top of the crease and Kloos hit Rumpel right in the 'W'.

The game went to a shootout, which of course the Gophers lost - Minnesota has never won a B1G shootout.

Despite the all the opportunities, despite all the offensive chances, this team just doesn't have 'it' right now. They'd better find 'it' soon, because they're playing themselves so far out of the tournament that they'll need to win the B1G conference tourney in order to even make the field.

Minnesota takes on Wisconsin again tomorrow at 5PM. The early start is due to the Wild playing later tomorrow evening for Hockey Day Minnesota. The game can be found on FSN, BTN2Go and AM1500 ESPN.

Notes & Quotes

Shots on goal: 49 MN, 20 UW

Shot attempts: 91 MN, 37 UW

Faceoffs: 46 MN, 22 UW

Power Plays: MN 0-5 with 10 shots, UW 0-1 with 0 shots

Three Stars of the Game: 3) Jedd Soleway, 2) Mike Reilly, 1) Joel Rumpel

No Gophers had multiple point games

Gopher forward Travis Boyd: "We've just got to bear down. We've got to finish. 50 shots, we did a lot of good things, but we have to finish."

Gopher coach Don Lucia: "I'm not disappointed with how we played. I am disappointed with the mistakes late in the third period. Credit to Rumpel, he played a good game, but we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place."
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