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Friday, January 21, 2022

Men’s ice hockey: gophers dominate and complete victory over Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Winning the game completely is the statistics stored in baseball. But after Friday, Minnesota gophers can record them at a hockey rink.

In their most complete and dominant game of the season, which was at times inconsistent, the Gophers controlled both ends of the court, beating the much-publicized Wolverines 5-1 and climbing to number one in the Big Ten standings on Friday.

Billed as a competition between the conference’s deepest and most talented teams, the Gophers looked one step faster offensively and thwarted Wolverine’s attack in all three periods by repeatedly blocking shots, interrupting passes and taking advantage of the transitional attack.

“We said that today we have to lead the world in block shots, we need to be on the side streets, we need to upset them, and our guys did a good job,” said Gophers coach Bob Motzko.

The Gophers (10-7-0 overall, 6-3-0 Big Ten) scored a couple of goals in the first period from rookie Chaz Lucius and another from defender Brock Faber, both of whom played nearby for the US Ice Hockey Team’s Development Agenda. in the suburbs of Detroit before arriving in Minnesota.

“It’s nice to be with the boys again and play good hockey. The most important thing is that the team won, and that’s what matters, ”said Lucius, who missed six games early in the season due to injury. “It was really good. This is a game that our team has surely marked on the calendar. ”

Sammy Walker later scored goals from Blake McLaughlin and Johnny Sorenson as the Gophers opened up a formidable lead and chased after Michigan starting goalkeeper Eric Portillo 40 minutes later.

After being picked by Michigan players in four of the first five picks in the 2021 NHL Draft, there was a lot of hype around the Wolverines throughout the season, although the Gophers were picked to win the Big Ten in the preseason.

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At the Gophers goal, Jack La Fontaine chased his former team again, stopping all but one of 31 shots he faced and improved to 6-2-2 in his career against Michigan. Lafontaine played two seasons for Wolverine before moving to Minnesota.

The Jost Ice Arena is known to have one of the noisiest and most inhospitable student sections in all college hockey, so part of the Gophers’ game plan seemed to be to get them out of the equation as early as possible. They did this by building a three-goal lead and being in full control of the game in the first 20 minutes.

“We came out pretty strong and immediately set the pace, and we had that throughout the game,” Walker said. “It was definitely a game that you are looking forward to and definitely a fun game.”

They accelerated in the second period. Michigan appeared to score 3-1 almost halfway through, but Sorenson urged Motzko to challenge the game. The replay showed that the Michigan player was offside as he entered the offensive zone and the goal was removed from the board. Just 61 seconds later, McLaughlin scored 4-0 and the rout continued.

“Sorenson scored a goal and an assist today,” joked Motzko. “He immediately saw (offside) and shouted, so we give him such a game. He was great. There was a lot of time left on the clock, and then we sat down. It was a big stretch. ”

Portillo made 17 saves in 40 minutes of Michigan’s work (12-5-0, 5-4-0). Noah West, translated by Robert Morris, played for Wolverine in the third period and stopped all eight Gophers hits he faced.

The series will conclude on Saturday night with a throw-in at 18:00 CT.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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