Gophers Settle for Border Battle Split
MADISON, Wis. – The No. 14/16 Gopher Hockey program settled for a split in this weekend’s Border Battle series after falling to No. 20 Wisconsin by a 3-1 margin on Saturday at the Kohl Center.
A night after the Gophers rallied for a Big Ten win in the conference opener, the Badgers had their turn to come from behind for a victory in the series finale.
Minnesota (2-4-1 overall, 1-1-0-0 Big Ten) struck first in a opening period that saw the Big Ten rivals trade power-play goals. Brannon McManus notched his third goal of the year on a Minnesota five-minute advantage at 11:15 of the first stanza to claim an early lead for the Maroon & Gold. Off assists from Sammy Walker and Tyler Nanne, McManus rifled home the game’s opening goal to give Minnesota a power-play goal for the sixth-straight game.
Wisconsin (5-5-0, 1-1-0-0) answered back with a 4-on-3 power-play goal from Sean Dhooghe at 18:00 of the first period and then claimed a lead when Josh Ess found the net at 10:20 of the third period. Jack Gorniak added an empty-net tally for Wisconsin at 19:36.
Eric Schierhorn made 29 saves on 31 shots to take the loss for the Gophers, falling to 0-2-0 on the year. Daniel Lebedeff picked up the win, making his second start of the weekend and making 32 saves to move to 3-2-0 on the year. The Gophers.
Minnesota outshot Wisconsin 33-32 on the night while both teams were 1-for-4 on the power play.
The Gophers returns to action next weekend with a two-game, nonconference series against St. Lawrence at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Tickets for the Friday/Saturday series are available at MyGopherSports.com.