Gophers Fall To UMD, 3-2, In NSCC Opener
It’s become all-too familiar at the North Star College Cup; the Gophers losing their opening game to an in-state rival. The No. 6 Maroon and Gold didn’t play poorly on Friday, but the top-ranked UMD Bulldogs prevailed 3-2 at the final buzzer.
“I liked a lot of what we did,” said Don Lucia. “39 shots and we had a great push in the third period...You can’t make mistakes against a good, quality opponent.”
Stacy, Minnesota native Hunter Miska was a big reason for the Bulldogs victory to open the tournament. A 21-year-old freshmen, Miska kept Minnesota’s high powered offense at bay, stopped 37 of 39 shots on the night. His play was especially apparent when he saved 21 of 22 shots in the final period.
Too Little, Too Late
The Gophers had a great third period, turning up the pressure and peppering UMD with shots. You’d think with 20-shot advantage in the final frame, Minnesota could even the score, but Miska stood tall throughout.
“Guys had good push until the end,” said Lucia. “We had a lot of good looks. Miska had a really good game.”
Quote of Night
When asked why the Gophers did well on the powerplay compared to 5-on-5, Gates gave a perfectly simple answer.
“I guess you got an extra guy, I don’t know,” said Gates.
By The Numbers
20 Shot advantage for the Gophers in the third period. Minnesota put 22 shots on net and scored once, but couldn’t even the score in the final seconds.
1 Game-winning goal by Avery Peterson. The Wild draft pick now had six points in eight comes since becoming eligible after Christmas.
3 Straight years the Gophers have lost the opening game of the NSCC. The last two years, Minnesota has gotten beat in both games of the tourney.
3 Brent Gates scored Minnesota’s two goals.
2 Goalie Hunter Miska stopped 37 of 39 shots on the night.
1 First draft NHL draft pick Riley Tufte paced the Bulldogs with a goal and an assist.
It’s the third year in a row where the Gophers will play the afternoon game of the NSCC. Minnesota will square off against No. 20 Bemidji State at 4pm Saturday.
And another big reason was the silly turnover leading to Avery Peterson's shorthanded breakaway goal. It's fitting that we bring down the Northstar cup curtain with another matinee performance.
Originally Posted by Grant_Erickson
Going to be a while before the student section can do their "Gopher Rejects" chant again