Minnesota would start off the 2013 college hockey season by playing in the night cap of the opening night of the IceBreaker at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Their opponent was the Lakers of Mercyhurst and the game saw Minnesota start Adam Wilcox while Jordan Tibbett took the net for Mercyhurst.
The first penalty of the 2013 campaign for Minnesota came only 2:20 in as Michael Brodzinski took a hooking minor that only gave Mercyhurst twenty-eight seconds of power play time before the Lakers had a penalty from Chris Bodo for interference. Those penalties expired without a power play mark and then Randy Cure took a tripping minor at 6:03, giving Minnesota its second power play of the game.
On that power play, Kyle Rau put the home team ahead 1-0 on a goal that saw assists from Ben Marshall and Travis Boyd. Shortly thereafter, at 8:17, Tom Serratore was assessed a two-minute minor for high sticking which gave Mercyhurst their second power play. They couldn’t score on it, so that left the game 1-0 into the second half of the opening period.
At 17:33, Minnesota’s Brady Skjei went off for holding, but the Lakers couldn’t punish Minnesota with the man-advantage. As such, shots ended up 14-8 to the Golden Gophers through twenty minutes.
The second period saw a triumvirate of goals scored, and all were scored by the home team. Sam Warning took a play all alone at 3:37 to put the Gophers up 2-0, and that goal would seemingly be all the insurance needed. But, there was more. After a Minnesota bench minor for too many men that Mercyhurst couldn’t score on, the Lakers and Gophers each sent men to the box at 11:30 for roughing after the whistle. Daniel Bahntge (Mercyhurst) and Seth Ambroz (Minnesota) were the guilty parties, and Sam Warning made the Lakers pay in four on four time, scoring at 11:52 with an assist by Kyle Rau.
After Mercyhurst’s Tyler Shiplo got called for delay of game at 13:41, Minnesota again made Mercyhurst pay on the power play, with this one coming from Justin Kloos. Kloos was assisted by Nate Condon and Mike Reilly on the marker, giving Minnesota a 4-0 lead at this point. A hooking penalty at 17:52 to Mercyhurst’s Kyle Dutra was the only other major event of the period, which went un-scored upon by the Gophers, giving Minnesota a 33-13 advantage with shots on goal through forty minutes.
After a Justin Holl tripping call opened the third period at 3:10, Minnesota would score eight minutes later on even strength. Mike Reilly’s opening goal of the campaign saw assists from Hudson Fasching and Sam Warning. Michael Brodzinski netted the sixth goal at 18:20, 6:57 after Daniel Bahntge took his second penalty of the game for Mercyhurst which was a boarding minor. Shots at the end of sixty minutes favored Minnesota 48-25, with the Gophers finishing 2-6 on the man advantage. Mercyhurst finished 0-5.
Minnesota takes on New Hampshire in the IceBreaker championship game tomorrow night at 7pm, and the game can be seen on FOX Sports North PLUS.
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 @Disch_InTheVOX.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!