Here are some recaps of how the Gophers fared this weekend:
The Gopher men’s hockey team went to upstate New York for the first time since 2003 and came away with a win and a tie...though it was not pretty. Minnesota had the opposite problem as they did a week ago when the got up to big leads against St. Cloud State and could not hang on. This time, Minnesota went down early in both games and clawed their way back to win and tie in dramatic fashion.
The Gophers started their weekend Friday night at Clarkson. However, it appeared most of the team must have stayed back in Minneapolis for the first period. The Gophers played their worst period of the year so far (and that’s saying a lot), falling behind the Golden Knights 3-0 after one period. Gopher goalie Eric Schierhorn was not good, giving up three goals on eleven shots in the period. Minnesota would battle back however. Minnesota would outshoot the Golden Knights 13-5 in the second period and 11-5 in the third. The Gophers would cut the lead to 3-2 after the second period on two power-play goals by Mike Szmatula and Leon Bristedt. 4:11 into the third period it was the captain, Justin Kloos who tied the game at 3. Both teams would have good looks the rest of the period, but the game would go into overtime.
In the OT, Minnesota took advantage of their lone shot on goal as Bristedt would add his second of the game on a gorgeous centering pass from Rem Pitlick. The Gophers escaped with the 4-3 OT victory and would make the short drive down the road to face St. Lawrence Saturday night.
Once again, the Gophers started slowly. The Saints scored the first goal of the game midway through the first period to take a 1-0 lead. They would make it 2-0 early in the third on a huge shorthanded one-timer blast by Preseason All-American defenseman Evan Bayreuther. it appeared the Gophers would be stymied by Saints goalie Kyle Hayton, who had no problem with the first 41 shots the Gophers put on him. Finally, the Gophers would break through. Schierhorn was pulled with just over two minutes left in the game, and Minnesota would strike as Jack Sadek rifled a wrist shot past Hayton with a minute left in the game to cut the lead to 2-1. Thirty-seven seconds later the Gophers would again strike with the extra attacker as Szmatula put a rebound past Hayton to knot the score at 2. Neither team would have a great look in overtime, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
The Gophers now come home to face the former #1 team in the nation, North Dakota this weekend. The Fighting Hawks were swept at UMD last weekend and will surely look to pay back the University of Minnesota System this weekend. Look for a preview of that series later this week.
Gopher Women’s Hockey
The Gophers swept St. Cloud State this past weekend to remain in second place in the WCHA just behind Wisconsin. The Gophers cruised to a 5-2 win on Thursday with Kelly Pannek, Dani Camaranesi and Sarah Potomak all having big games.
The Gophers looked for the sweep Friday night one player shorthanded. Senior Captain defenseman Lee Stecklein missed the game to travel with the US National Team to play in the Four Nations Cup Tournament. Luckily for Minnesota, she was not needed at the Gophers easily cruised to a 3-0 shutout win.
Gopher senior Kate Schipper scored her first goal of the season in the first period, and Camaranesi added two insurance goals in the third period to get the win. Sydney Peters earnled a nine save shutout. Potomak added two assists on the two Camaranesi goals to increase her NCAA leading point total to 18. With Camaranesi’s six point weekend (3g, 3a) she is now just three points back at 15, good enough for third in the nation. The Gophers will stay home at Ridder again next weekend hosting a Friday/Sunday series with Minnesota State-Mankato.
Gopher Women’s Soccer
The Gopher soccer defeated Indiana 3-1 Sunday afternoon in the Big Ten Soccer Tournament quarterfinals and will host the Big Ten Semifinals and Championship game at home this weekend.
Minnesota got on the board early when Juliana Gernes took a Molly Fielder pass and put it in the back of the net just three minutes into the match. Josee Stiever would score in the 36th minute giving Minnesota a 2-0 lead going into the second half. Indiana would make the finish a lot tighter than Gopher fans would have liked when Mykayla Brown scored in the 80th minute to cut the Gopher lead to 2-1. However, the Gophers would put the game away three minutes later when Sydney Squires took a Stiever pass and put it behind the goalie.
With the win, the #1 seed Gophers earned the right to host the Big Ten Semifinals and Championship game at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Gophers will play #4 seed Michigan at 2:00 Friday with the other semifinal between #7 Rutgers and #3 Northwestern at 4:30 Friday. The two winners will play in the Championship Game at 2:00 Sunday.
Minnesota has a 0-0-2 record against the other three teams in the semifinals. Minnesota tied both Michigan and Northwestern with 0-0 scored in back to back games in October, and did not play Rutgers this season. Rutgers upset #2 seeded Penn State in the Quarterfinals.
Gopher Cross Country
Minnesota hosted the Big Ten Championships Cross Country Meet at the Roy Griak Golf Course Sunday. The Women finished in fourth place behind Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State. Madeline Strandemo was the lead finisher for the Gophers in 8th place overall with a time of 21:10:2.
The Gopher men also finished in fourth place overall. Wisconsin won first place, followed by Michigan State and Indiana. Charlie Lawrence led the Gophers in ninth place overall with a time of 24:54:9. He was named All-Big Ten Second Team along with Matt Welch and Connor Olson who finished in 13th and 14th place.
Both the Men’s and Women’s teams will complete in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Iowa City on November 11th.
Gopher Swimming and Diving
The Gophers swimming and diving teams completed a sweep of Iowa at home this weekend. The men won 185.5-113.5 Friday night, and the women won 186-114 on Saturday. Both teams will take on North Dakota at home in a duel meet on Friday night.