Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Weekend Wrap, Wayne Awaits

By Joe Gigliotti

After a disappointing 4-3 regulation loss to the RIT Tigers in the semifinals of the Dodge Holiday Classic, the Gopher Men's Hockey Team rebounded, a bit, on Sunday night in the third place game against Air Force. Although it will go down in the books as a 2-2 tie, Minnesota earned third place as they won 2-0 in a four-round shootout after an overtime period went scoreless.

With an early third period goal from Tom Pohl, Minnesota grabbed a 2-1 lead; a lead that was held for almost the remainder of the contest. However, Air Force's Ben Olson beat Minnesota net minder Alex Kangas with just under a minute to go in the game. This second Olson goal hurt as Kangas had played an extremely solid game of hockey all night, and, unfortunately, let a second one get by him with so little time left in the game; so close to a win.

After the aforementioned scoreless overtime, the first shootout in the history of Minnesota Golden Gopher Men's Hockey commenced. The Maroon and Gold avenged a fairly sour weekend with a 2-0 victory in the rare shootout, therefore capturing third place in the tournament.

Up next for the Gophers is a two-game set with the Wayne State Warriors. For the season, the Warriors currently sit at a less than impressive 3-13-2 record, and just a 1-5-0 record in the CHA conference.

As was the case for this past weekend, Minnesota finds themselves with a mediocre opponent (not that the Gophers have been amazing this year, either, but they sure are capable of playing better than they have). The Gophers and Warriors met last season in a series at Mariucci. The Gophers took it to Wayne State pretty much all weekend, coming away with 7-1 and 5-1 victories.

I shall have more on this upcoming non-conference series as the week progresses.

Happy New Year to all!


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