MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota found itself in a similar position as many games this year headed into the third. The Gophers outshot the Tigers 32-8 but clung to a 1-0 lead.
“Getting some separator goals has not been easy for this team,” said Gophers’ coach Don Lucia.
“How often have we led by one here going into the third and had one go off a skate to tie or lose the game?” asked Lucia rhetorically.
This time, the bounces went to Minnesota. At 1:38 in the third period, a rebound tap-in by Jordan Schroeder put the Gophers up 2-0. Jacob Cepis took the initial shot in close. The puck found its way to the weak side, where Schroeder buried it past Joe Howe.
Josh Birkholz added a third goal at 11:36 on a great individual play. Birkholz held the zone and cheated in deep, firing a shot upper left corner over Howe’s blocker from 25 feet out.
The second period started in CC’s favor, as Minnesota took two minor penalties in the first two minutes. The Tigers got only two shots on the power play, including 35 seconds of a two-man advantage. It was one of two five-on-three’s CC had during the game.
“We have to be a bit more disciplined going down five-on-three twice,” commented Lucia.
One of the best scoring chances for either team in the second was a 2-1 rush for Colorado College halfway through the second. Kangas made a glove save on the shot by Matt Overman.
“I thought Kangas was confident; he smothered a lot of pucks,” said Tigers’ coach Scott Owens.
The game started quietly. Colorado College held a 2-1 shot advantage seven minutes into the game.
Minnesota took control midway through the first, running 12 straight shots, including a pipe by Mike Carman with 2:26 left in the period.
“We were skating in sand,” remarked Owens. “It should have been 3-0 after one.”
The most critical bounce of the game came at the end of the first.
Patrick White scored with .2 seconds remaining on a fluke bounce off a dump-in pass by Nico Sacchetti. Howe went behind the net to play the puck, but it came of the boards right to White, who buried the puck past Howe, who was attempting to get back in position.
The goal was reviewed and clearly crossed the line in time.
“Tonight, they got a break scoring a goal with .2 seconds left,” said Owens.
The same teams face-off tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.