Gophers Hang On After Four First Period Goals
Minneapolis, Minn. – After the first four minutes, and three quick Gopher goals, it looked like free Culver’s was going to be a sure thing for the 9,072 announced attendance at Mariucci Arena. Northeastern (1-4-0) did mount a comeback, but Minnesota (2-3-0) held on for a 4-3 win and series sweep.
“Some guys that we needed to get on the scoreboard, scored some goals tonight with [Hudson] Fasching and Leon [Bristedt] and [Justin] Kloos picking up a couple points tonight,” said Don Lucia. “Our top guys that we needed to lean on and depend on got us going tonight.”
The coach also leaned heavily on his returning defensemen. Michael Brodzinksi, Jake Bischoff, Nick Seeler, and Ryan Collins all saw big minutes as Minnesota protected their early lead.
“We were all just battling trying to get pucks out of our zone and into their zone,” said Brodzinski. “It’s tough playing a team like that where they just keep pressuring and keep pressuring, and we just got to get it out of our zone and make the simple plays.”
Brodzinski said he played 25 minutes the night before and that he kind of expected to play that much again Saturday.
“That’s just the process that we have to go through with this group, they’re not that experienced,” said Lucia. “They weren’t leaned on a lot, and now all of a sudden these guys we have to lean on, and some of our d played a lot of minutes tonight. Jack being as green as he is back there, the five guys had to play a lot of minutes.”
The Gophers benefitted from a quick start. Fasching scored the opening goal on a rush with Bristedt 59 seconds into the game. Brodzinksi fired a puck through traffic into the upper left corner at 3:22 and then Bristedt got his goal 17 seconds later putting back a rebound.
The line of Fasching, Bristedt, and Tom Novak was Minnesota’s best group of the night and produced the most consistent offense of any line this weekend.
“I think we have that chemistry, we’re really good down low working,” said Bristedt. “We play simple together, that’s why I like playing with Fasching, I know where he is going and I know where he puts the puck, it’s easy for me to read and I think we can make some good plays together.”
Northeastern finally got on the board after their timeout at 4:07 of the first period. Kevin Roy fired the puck on net, Schierhorn struggled to freeze it, and John Stevens crashed the net to put the puck over the goal line. Fasching netted his third goal of the season on the power play, when he stepped out from the goal line to make it 4-1 at 18:38 of the first.
Northeastern added two goals during the second period, as one puck slipped under Minnesota goalie Eric Scheirhorn’s pad at 2:04 and another was deflected and fooled the goalie at 12:52.
“I thought Eric did a nice job again tonight, maybe he was a little over aggressive a little bit in that second period and chased a few pucks,” said Lucia. “What I liked about his game is that he was rock solid there in the third.“
The Gopher freshman goalie making his fifth consecutive start responded off the third Huskies goal and made a few nice saves on odd man rushes to keep Northeastern from tying to game.
Lucia felt his team did a pretty good job of keeping the puck to the outside, getting into shooting lanes and blocking shots in the third period. The team blocked 9 of Northeastern’s 22 attempts and helped force 4 shots wide in the third. The coach noted that some of his young freshman forwards were running around, but they needed to be put in those situations and grow from it.
“Northeastern’s got some good forwards, they’re big and strong,” said Lucia. “We’re not the biggest team, and when you’re young, you don’t have that strength.”
Minnesota has next weekend off before heading to South Bend to take on Notre Dame Nov. 6 and Nov. 7.
This is where the Home Page Articles reside
1 post • Page 1 of 1