Golden Gophers nip Michigan 4-3

by | Feb 3, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 8  — vs Michigan State (Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena), 7:30 p.m.

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — In a game that was dominated by penalties and power-play opportunities, the University of Michigan ice hockey team was defeated by the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 4-3, on Saturday night (Feb. 2) in a Big Ten conference matchup inside the 3M Arena at Mariucci.

 

The Gophers opened scoring at 9:19 of the first period, on a deflected shot, to take a 1-0 lead.

 

For the second night in a row, the conference’s leading goal scorer, Rem Pitlick, ripped a one-time slap-shot from above the dot past Hayden Lavigne. The goal extended Minnesota’s lead to 2-0 with 4:10 left in the opening period.

 

Michigan went back on the power play shortly after and began to pepper the Minnesota goaltender before the Gophers were called for too many men, giving the Maize and Blue a short 5-on-3 advantage. Michigan moved the puck around the Minnesota zone but couldn’t convert on several opportunities, including a golden chance for sophomore forward Jack Becker. After one, the Wolverines trailed 2-0 despite outshooting Minnesota 13-10.

 

Minnesota took a quick 3-0 advantage just 0:47 into the second period.

 

Jake Slaker picked up the puck and sent a crisp pass to the right dot where Quinn Hughes fired a one-timer into the back of the net at 3:28 of the second period. Jimmy Lambert also picked up a secondary assist on the Wolverine’s opening goal.

 

Five minutes later, it was sophomore forward Michael Pastujov who pulled the Wolverines within one when he ripped a wrist shot past Minnesota’s netminder to make it 3-2. Pastujov’s fifth goal of the season was also his second in as many nights. Slaker notched his second assist of the game while junior defender Griffin Luce picked up his first helper of the season.

 

With the Wolverines still threatening shortly after, Hughes carried the puck into the Minnesota zone and weaved his way through several defenders as he dangled toward the netfront.

 

Just 1:44 later, Mike Pastujov netted his second of the night to tie the game, 3-3. Slaker picked up his third assist while Hughes recorded his team-leading 21st of the season.

 

Five minutes into the final period, Becker had a phenomenal chance in deep when he skated behind the Gopher net and stole the puck off one of their defender’s sticks. He skated around to the front and got a dangerous shot off from in close but couldn’t beat Minnesota netminder Mat Robson.

 

The Gophers broke the tie to take a 4-3 lead, on the power play, at 6:18 of the final frame.

 

Despite several third period chances, and seven power play opportunities throughout the game, the Wolverines fall to 6-7-4-2 in conference play. The Wolverines outshot Minnesota, 34-22. Hayden Lavigne and Strauss Mann combined for 18 saves.

 

Next week, Michigan will return home to Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena when it hosts in-state rival Michigan State on Friday (Feb. 8). Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The following night (Feb. 9) will feature the two rivals reuniting in the Motor City for their annual “Duel in the D” matchup at Little Caesars Arena where the “Iron D” trophy will be back up for grabs. Puck drop for Saturday’s contest will be 7:00 p.m.

 

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