Gophers get overtime boost from captain Kyle Rau to finish in third place in the Mariucci Classic, read Saturday night's game story.
The Gophers haven’t had many chances to celebrate over past couple months, but Saturday night’s overtime excitement still wasn’t enough to make Kyle Rau forget about an otherwise mediocre weekend.
The captain scored the game-winning goal 2:34 into overtime to avoid what would have felt like meltdown at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers entered Saturday night 2-4-1 in their last seven games and feeling the pressure to turn things around quick.
Senior forward Seth Ambroz said Saturday night’s consolation third-place game felt almost like a “must-win” and Rau agreed.
“It felt good to win, but a loss and almost a tie in our building is unacceptable," Rau said. "So it was a good win, but we’ve got to get better, way better.”
The Gophers did show improvement offensively despite only scoring five goals. The offense produced 91 shots on goal in two games and a season-high 49 on Saturday night. They got off 42 shots in Friday night’s 3-2 loss to Merrimack.
“I think a few guys are a little snake-bitten right now,” Mike Reilly said after scoring one of the Gophers’ three goals on Saturday. “You can see a guy like Justin Kloos that got robbed at least twice this weekend and he had few other great chances, and [Seth] Ambroz had a good breakaway there at the end. So guys are a little snake-bit, but when that happens you gotta keep working hard and keep driving to the net and stay away from the perimeter to try to get in the house area to get goals and get the dirty goals. … Tips and rebounds. We got a tip-goal on the first goal and a rebound to win the game, so that’s how you score.”
Rau’s overtime goal scored off a rebound was his 54th career goal, 20 of which have been game-winning goals. He is the NCAA’s active scoring leader with 143 career points in 137 games.
Saturday’s box score.
(To view on mobile devices, click on player's/coach's name)
Gophers senior forward Kyle Rau
Gophers coach Don Lucia
Friday replay: Gophers return from break with another Mariucci Classic letdown, 3-2 loss to Merrimack. Read Friday night's game story and postgame blog. Watch postgame video of sophomore forward Connor Reilly, senior forward Seth Ambroz and coach Don Lucia.