The Gophers and Bulldogs hit the ice on Saturday with UMD needing to find some answers to salvage a series split. Minnesota came alive when absolutely necessary on Friday, and it showed. Adam Wilcox started in net for Minnesota while Matt McNeely took the ice for the Bulldogs.
Minnesota had the first two shots of record in the first two minutes, but UMD was right with the Gophers when not plagued at center ice by Minnesota defenders. In the early going, it was Kyle Rau who had both Minnesota shots of record, so those of us writers and prognosticators expected Rau to be a strong force for the Gophers.
Shots were only 3-1 through 5:35, but the game’s slow start from last night was not evident on Saturday. The game was fast and furious to say the least. Neither team had been given the penalty in the first eight minutes, but Minnesota’s Ben Marshall drew a holding call at 8:55. At the 10:09 mark, Adam Wilcox made the biggest save of the game to that point. After the whistle, coincidental roughing minors were called against Minnesota’s Erik Haula and UMD’s Cal Decowski with the same time of 10:09.
After each of the three penalties came to an end, the game slowed down slightly to a point where there were eleven total shots on goal at the 13:30 mark.
At the 16:21 mark, Minnesota received a power play when Dan DeLisle would serve a bench minor for too many men. Minnesota’s best chance during the power play the crossbar near the 18:00 mark, but the ultimate chance put Minnesota up 1-0 as Mike Reilly netted a ripper. Reilly was assisted by Ben Marshall and Sam Warning on the power play.
At the end of twenty minutes, shots were in UMD’s favor 12-9, with Minnesota going 1-1 on power plays and UMD going 0-1.
Each team had a shot in the first sixty seconds of the second period. At 2:13, Minnesota’s Seth Helgeson would be called for contact to the head (a roughing minor). UMD’s second power play of the night would yield little in terms of actually tying the score, and UMD held a 15-11 shots advantage after the penalty was over.
At 6:44, UMD’s Mike Seidel would go to the box for slashing, giving Minnesota their second power play. Moments later, on a play in front of Matt McNeely, a crowd gathered talking about girls and who they were pursuing if the boys didn’t have girlfriends. As such, coincidental minors were called against Minnesota’s Erik Haula for roughing and UMD’s Andy Welinski for cross checking. The calls were both made at 8:06.
As the game reached its midway mark, shots were even up at 16-16, and it appeared as though UMD was willing to do anything to get back in the game. At 11:15, Minnesota’s Kyle Rau drew a slashing minor, giving UMD a power play with which to work. The power play was effective, as Austin Farley scored his thirteenth of the year. Assists went to Caleb Herbert and Andy Welinski at 12:13.
UMD’s Andy Welinski would get a slashing call at 13:16, giving Minnesota its third power play of the night to work with, and the Gophers went hard to break the 1-1 tie that existed. The Gophers weren’t able to break the tie, but held a 20-18 lead in shots after the penalty ended.
Forty minutes ended at Mariucci on Saturday and each team was 1-3 on completed power plays with Minnesota shooting evenly with UMD as the teams had twenty each. At 19:45, Minnesota’s Brady Skiej would be called for tripping.
UMD had the first three shots of the third period, and to the two minute mark (forty-two minutes overall), there wasn’t a decisive leader. Minnesota’s Seth Helgeson took a boomer of a slapshot, and at 3:41, UMD’s Tony Cameranesi was called for the first penalty of the period which was boarding.
At 6:25, just after the power play that Minnesota had, Tom Serratore scored on even strength to make it 2-1 with a single assist to Travis Boyd. The final goal of the night was a UMD goal on even strength at 12:54 as Jake Hendrickson scored on even strength with assists going to Keegan Flaherty and Cal Decowski.
UMD's Drew Olson and Minnesota's Erik Haula drew coincidental penalties at 14:29 of the third, for roughing and slashing respectively.
Regulation ended with Minnesota up 37-34 in shots, and after overtime, Minnesota held a 40-37 advantage. UMD finished 1-5 on power plays while Minnesota finished 1-4.
Minnesota resumes its season next weekend with their final home stand of the regular season as Denver comes to town.
Geoff Discher is Examiner.com's Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner as well as the National College Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.com with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here as well as here and joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He's always chock full of fact and opinion. I’m also on Twitter @GophHkyExmnr. Check it out!
Until next time, I'll see you at the rink!