Gophers continue Friday night woes, at DU

DENVER — The Minnesota men’s hockey squad continues to falter on Friday nights.

The Gophers endured another defeat to start a weekend series Friday, falling 5-3 at Denver, continuing a season-long trend.

The Gophers scored first Friday, on an unassisted score from Nate Condon. But host Denver promptly flipped the switch, tallying three unanswered goals. Denver fired 19 total shots in the first period, and owned a commanding, 3-1 advantage after the first 20 minutes.

“We clawed our way in, and then we took our way back out of it,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said afterward. “Tonight I thought we did too much waving at pucks.”

The Pioneers’ attack was paced by Shawn Ostrow, who recorded three points on the night. The Gophers, now 19-10-1 overall, got two points apiece from Zach Budish and Nick Bjugstad, but it wasn’t enough.

The Gophers got the final goal of the game, from Budish late in the second period, but their offensive attack stalled from there.

Minnesota and Denver (16-9-4) return to action Saturday night.

“I think the biggest thing,” said Budish late Friday, “is we have to ‘park’ this game, and get ready to go (Saturday).”