Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gopher Pucks Finally Get Elusive Friday Win

It wasn't particularly pretty, but the Gopher hockey team took game one of the series with Michigan Tech 3-2 in Houghton. More improbably, the victory came on a Friday night, and the Gophers simply do not win games on Friday nights.

Mike Hoeffel scored twice to tie the score after the Gophers spotted the Huskies a 2-0 lead on their home ice. The teams jockeyed through a scoreless third period before Patrick White's goal with 26 seconds remaining clinched the victory for Minnesota.

The Gophers are now 2-6-0 in Friday night games. The two most recent Friday games, at Michigan and against Minnesota State, were perhaps the Gophers' two worst performances of the season, so the win over Michigan Tech came at an opportune time.

The effort was much better Friday than the previous two Fridays. Minny threw 40 shots on Michigan Tech goaltender Kevin Genoe who was simply spectacular all night long. In the first period, Genoe kicked aside all 17 Minnesota shots.

However, the Gopher penalty kill was non-existent all night long. MTU received only two power plays the entire game, but cashed in on both chances. High-scoring Brett Olson notched the game's first goal midway through the first period and Jordan Baker notched a PPG early in the second to give Tech a 2-0 lead. The Gophers began their comeback shortly thereafter, led by Hoeffel's two goals.

Alex Kangas played well, making 23 saves, to pick up a victory.

Game two is Saturday night in Houghton, as the Gophers go for their first sweep since late October.

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