Gophers hockey outmatched by Wolverines in offensive frenzy
The No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s ice hockey team lost 7-5 to the Michigan Wolverines at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. Minnesota (10-7-1, 1-2-1-0 B1G) suffered a sweep in the two-game series after losing Friday night in overtime to Michigan (12-7-0, 4-1-0-0 B1G).
Six different Wolverines and four different Gophers scored. The two teams traded goals back and forth, but Minnesota trailed by at least two tallies for much of the game.
"Our effort was there, but execution was not," said Gophers senior forward Seth Ambroz after the game. "Anytime you go down 4-1 in this barn, that’s one hell of a hole to dig yourself out of, and we just have to go one goal at a time and give ourselves a chance."
Gophers senior forward Travis Boyd led Minnesota with two goals, including the first tally of the game early in the first period with assists from freshman forward Leon Bristedt and senior defenseman Ben Marshall.
Michigan soon took the lead with a goal from senior forward Travis Lynch and a power play goal by captain Andrew Copp from the right circle. Goals by Zach Hyman — who had four points in Friday’s contest — and J.T. Compher in the final minute of the first period gave the Wolverines a hefty 4-1 lead.
Minnesota came back strong in the second period with an early goal by Boyd with help from Ambroz. A Wolverines goal by Michael Downing from just inside the blue line convinced the Gophers to shelve starting goaltender Adam Wilcox after 11 saves and five goals against, bringing out freshman goaltender Nick Lehr for his first career appearance. Lehr took the loss after playing 33:28 with 16 saves and two goals against.
Ambroz earned his second point of the game with a goal just 14 seconds after Michigan’s. Wolverines freshman forward Dylan Larkin scored on the power play after Bristedt was called for holding. Their three-goal lead once again intact, Michigan relieved goalie Steve Racine, putting sophomore Zach Nagelvoort in net.
Gophers redshirt sophomore Connor Reilly tapped in a goal before the end of the second period, extending his career-best point streak to eight games. Hudson Fasching had a nice assist on the play and Minnesota ended the second period down by two tallies.
Michigan’s Larkin scored a second goal to regain a three-goal lead in the third period. Minnesota was stymied on their second power play of the game, but quickly followed with a hit to the back of the net by A.J. Michaelson. Minnesota pulled the goalie with 1:50 remaining, but to no avail.
Michigan head coach Red Berenson earned his 800th victory, joining current Boston College coach Jerry York (974 wins), former Michigan State coach Ron Mason (924 wins) and former Boston University coach Jack Parker (897 wins) as the fourth head coach in Division I men’s hockey to reach the milestone.
Next up: Minnesota hosts Wisconsin for a Friday-Saturday series. Tune in to FOX Sports North on Saturday, Jan. 17 for Hockey Day Minnesota, which will include a live broadcast of the series conclusion from Mariucci Arena at 5 p.m.