Sunday, February 3, 2008

A brawl where a hockey game broke out

If there was any question entering this weekend whether there was bad blood between Minnesota and North Dakota in hockey - that was answered Friday and a bit more Saturday.

The two teams combined for five goals in six periods and one and a half overtimes as the Sioux came away with three points in a 2-1 overtime win Friday and a 1-1 tie Saturday.

The Gophers offense may have hit its low point of the season, as the team was only able to net one goal in each game. Evan Kauffman scored the long goal three minutes into the game Friday on a short-handed backhander that beat Sioux goaltender Philippe Lameoreux.

Ben Gordon scored the lone goal in the third period of Saturday's game from 30 feet out.

The lack of offense from the Gophers and two more outstanding performances from freshman goaltender Alex Kangas, who started his sixth straight game, were overshadowed by a game Saturday that featured 34 penalties, for a combined total of 160 minutes. Many were issued well after the game was over.

With three seconds left in the game, a meaningless faceoff outside the Gophers zone turned a may lay that resulted in six players being cited for penalties, with the Gophers' Tony Lucia and the Sioux's Darcy Zajac receiving fighting majors and game disqualifications.

The may lay started when Zajac crosschecked R.J. Anderson from behind after the horn blew. Immediately, Lucia jumped on Zajac and the two dropped gloves.

Both will not be able to play in their next contests. For Minnesota, that means Lucia will have to sit out Friday at Denver. Lucia will have Drew Fisher or Brian Schack to choose from to suit up.

The fighting didn't end, as UND defenseman Joe Finley (listed at 6-7) dragged Blake Wheeler from the handshake line, spearing him with his stick. That started another round of fisticuffs, with both coaching staffs taking their players off the ice before referee Don Adam made the decisions on penalties.

A crazy finish to a crazy weekend, which featured an acrobatic diving goal (rated No. 1 play on SportsCenter) in overtime for UND Friday. Cameras also caught UND coach Dave Hakstol flipping the bird at the linesman; UND's former athletic director sieving; and many uncaught profanities by players on the bench via the FSN microphones.

* Minnesota travels to third-place Denver next week for a two-game series. The Gophers are currently in seventh place, just ahead of St. Cloud State and Michigan Tech. They trail Wisconsin, Duluth and Mankato by less than four points.


PJS said...

I watched a little bit of the game last night, and it seemed like the Sioux were the aggressors. When there was a mini confrontation, it seemed ilke the Gophers were backing away.

On one hand, it would seem like the Sioux were the more physical team, and that surely helped. On the other hand, it could just indicate that the Sioux are coached by a raging lunatic, who you noted, flipped off an official. Real mature.

Anonymous said...