ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sophomore center Ryan Potulny continued his early-season heroics, scoring with 31 seconds remaining to lift Minnesota to a 1-0 victory over Massachusetts in the opening game of the Nye Frontier Classic.
Both the Golden Gophers (2-0-0) and the Minutemen (1-1-0) struggled offensively, but Minnesota found a way to win with its first 1-0 triumph since downing Alaska Anchorage on March 13, 1999.
With overtime looming, Potulny recorded his fourth goal in two games. Linemate Danny Irmen dug the puck out from the boards and fed Kris Chucko, who threw the puck out front. Potulny gained possession and beat UMass goaltender Gabe Winer with a soft backhander.
Chucko’s assist marked his first point as a Golden Gopher, while Irmen now has two assists this season. Potulny has both of Minnesota’s game-winning goals and four of six lamplighters this season.
Sophomore goaltender Kellen Briggs picked up the win and his fifth career shutout, stopping all 17 Minutemen shots.
The Gophers opened the game in sluggish fashion, tallying only two shots on goal in the first period. Massachusetts, meanwhile, recorded five shots on goal in the opening period, all on the power play. For the period, both Minnesota and UMass went 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
The second period saw the Golden Gophers control play, but fail to put the puck in the net. Minnesota outshot the Minutemen, 10-4, in the period.
The third period looked to be another scoreless affair until Potulny’s game-winner at 19:29. The Golden Gophers outshot UMass, 9-8, for the final period. For the game, Minnesota held a 21-17 advantage on the shot board. Both squads went scoreless on the power play — Minnesota at 0-5 and UMass at 0-6.