The Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team did two things they had not done yet this season. They allowed a power play goal, and they trailed. Arizona State scored on the power play to open the game and take a 1-0 lead but Minnesota answered back with three goals in the second period and one in the third to earn a 4-1 win and remained undefeated at 9-0 on the season.
Minnesota came out a bit sloppy after being off of the ice for almost a month to start the game. Sampo Ranta would pick up a charging penalty early in the first period for running Sun Devil goalie Evan DeBrouwer after losing posession of the puck. Arizona State would take advantage when freshman Matthew Kopperud put the puck past Jack Lafontaine just 4:53 into the game snapping a perfect 17-17 start on the penalty kill for the Gophers this season. It would also be the first time Minnesota would trail this season and it would last for just 18:05 of game time.
Minnesota started their come back just under three minutes into the second period. Freshman defenseman Mike Koster scored his second goal on the year on a gorgeous tip of a Ben Meyers pass to make it 1-1.
Just 2:12 later it would be Jonny Sorenson scoring what would be the game winning goal on a rebound of a Brannon McManus shot to put Minnesota up 2-1.
Sampo Ranta would make it 3-1 Gophers to cap a run of three Minnesota goals in five minutes of action. He picked up a turnover in front of the ASU net after two Sun Devil players collided and flipped a backhand over DeBrouwer.
Neither team scored in the third period until Ranta added his second of the game with just 3:35 left. Ranta found a rebound of a Scott Reedy shot that went wide and bounced off the end boards and put it easily into the net to complete the 4-1 score.
Jack Lafontaine picked up the win for the Gophers to move to 9-0 on the season. He kept is goals against average at 1.0 for the season and make 26 saves on 27 shots. The FSN crew was speculating that Bob Motzko might finally give Jared Moe a start in net in Monday night’s series finale against the Sun Devils before the Gophers restart the Big Ten season Friday night in Madison against Wisconsin.
The Gophers will go for their fifth consecutive sweep and try and keep an unblemished record at 7PM Monday night once again on FSN.