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2015 NCAA Hockey Tournament Northeast Regional Recap: Minnesota Golden Gophers Fall to Minnesota-Duluth 4-1

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Duluth's continued, mystifying dominance of the Gophers continues.

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Travis Boyd drive a one-timer wide in the first minute. It would get ugly after that.

The game was pretty evenly played until about the half way point, when Minnesota-Duluth would take control.  Tony Camerannesi scored on a backside one-timer 12 minutes into the period.  Brady Skjei never looked to cover the open wing as the puck came down the boards on the other side of the ice.  Flat-footed defenseman facing the wrong way will result in goals.

With 4:33 to go in the first, Justin Crandall tipped in a shot from the point to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.  It was a nice play by Crandall, but it was made possible because Taylor Cammarata lost a puck battle down in the corner of the Gophers defensive zone.  UMD sent the puck up to the point, the shot came in, and Crandall got the tip.

The third goal was the one that really hurt.  Willie Raskob came down on Adam Wilcox's right side, slid the puck across the crease where it deflected off of Mike Reilly's skate and into the net.  The period mercifully ended with Minnesota trailing 3-0.

The second period was absolute dominance by the Bulldogs.  For Minnesota fans it was notable only in how one-sided the play was.  Through thirty minutes of play, the Gophers had generated one decent scoring chance.  It's hard to generate offense when you're completely buried in your own zone.  All the pressure eventually led to a power play for UMD, on which they scored when the puck deflected past Wilcox off of both Kyle Rau and Brady Skjei. The amazing part of that goal is the puck was traveling well wide of the goal after hitting Rau, but went off Skjei's stick and into the net.

At this point, a four-goal lead seemed absolutely insurmountable for Minnesota.

The Gophers wouldn't even threaten to score until their first power play of the game came seven minutes into the third.  Boyd put a backhand shot off the crossbar.  After the power play, Minnesota managed some pressure in the offensive zone, but not enough to get a puck past Kaskisuo.

Of course, having written that, Seth Ambroz finally made it the front of the net and tucked in a rebound.  After he scored, Ambroz mostly looked exasperated.  I think we all agreed with the feeling.

For whatever reason, the Gophers were completely futile against Duluth this year.  Each of the last four matchups have looked the same: the Gophers were completely unable to get the puck into the slot in the offensive zone.  They were unable to move the puck through the neutral zone and establish a forecheck.  They were unable to get the puck out of the defensive zone.

It was an extremely disappointing end to this season.