Gophers fall 3-1 to Minnesota Duluth in series opener

For half an hour on Friday night at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, No. 13/15 Minnesota and No. 7 Minnesota Duluth were as evenly matched as it gets in the series opener of their interstate matchup. 

But the Bulldogs broke it open with a couple goals in the second period and ultimately prevailed, 3-1, over the Gophers.

With two power-play scores in the second period, by Jared Thomas and Austin Farley at 12:29 and 15:30, respectively, Minnesota Duluth took the lead. 

Brent Gates, Jr., a freshman forward, brought the Gophers back to 2-1 at 5:40 of the third period with his first collegiate goal. It was set up by Steve Johnson and Michael Brodzinski. 

But the Bulldogs responded with an even-strength score, netted quickly by Dominic Toninato just 32 seconds later at 6:12 of the third. They went 2 for 5 on the advantage and outshot the Gophers 35-24. 

Gophers goalie Eric Schierhorn made 32 saves, taking the loss to go to 0-2-0. Bulldogs netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo made 23 saves and is 1-1-0 on the season. 

On Saturday night, the two teams travel to AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., to close out the series.