Sluggish, disjointed Gophers shut out by Denver

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 2, 2013 - 12:14 AM

The Gophers' power play, ranked the best in the nation, failed them in the opener against Denver.

As the Gophers prepared for Friday's game against Denver, coach Don Lucia pointed out that the page had turned on the calendar. The dawn of March meant it was time for his players to turn things up a notch with only four regular-season games remaining to gain steam as they move toward the WCHA playoffs.

To Lucia's surprise and consternation, the No. 2 Gophers took a step backward in a wretched 2-0 loss at Mariucci Arena. They were outplayed throughout a plodding, dull game, failing to put any pressure on the No. 10 Pioneers until very late. The Gophers (21-7-5, 13-7-5 WCHA) were outshot 36-33, and their power play -- ranked No. 1 in the nation -- was blanked on five chances as it mustered only two shots on goal.

Denver (17-10-5, 12-8-5) disrupted the Gophers' power play so thoroughly that its penalty killers quadrupled the Gophers' output, putting eight shots on net.

Shawn Ostrow broke a 0-0 tie at 18 seconds of the third period as Ty Loney's pass struck his skate and caromed past goalie Adam Wilcox, and Loney added an empty-net goal.

The loss dropped the Gophers to third place in the WCHA with 31 points as North Dakota (32 points) and first-place St. Cloud State (35) both won on Friday. A crowd announced at 10,094 grew increasingly cranky, booing the Gophers in the opener of the final regular-season series at Mariucci. Their ill temper was no match for Lucia's, as he ranted at his team before it convened a long and unhappy postgame meeting.

"I've said all year that we hadn't had a game where we just weren't very good, but [Friday] we did,'' said Lucia, whose Gophers had not been shut out since March 12, 2011. "They got an earful. They may not feel better, but I do.

"I'm agitated. I'm disappointed. I don't get on them very often, but playing hard is a given. That has to be our foundation every night.''

The Gophers had hoped to break a pattern in which they played well on Fridays then failed to match that effort on Saturdays. Entering the game, the Pioneers had allowed more shots and committed more penalties than any team in the WCHA. The Gophers, sluggish and disjointed from the start, were unable to use that to their advantage. In the first period, they were outshot 10-4 while squandering a pair of power plays.

The power play -- which had been connecting at a 25 percent clip -- did not record a shot on net on its first three chances as Denver repeatedly knocked the puck away and raced down the ice for shorthanded shots. "Our first unit couldn't even get set up,'' captain Zach Budish said. "We're embarrassed. We deserved to get booed.''

Pioneers goalie Juho Olkinuora stopped all 33 shots he faced, while Wilcox was beaten once. He stopped Zac Larraza's shot from the left boards, but Loney snared the rebound and threw it back toward Ostrow in front of the net. Though Ostrow whiffed on a shot, the puck deflected in off his skate.

Denver is 9-2 in its past 11 games against the Gophers, including a 4-1 mark in its past five at Mariucci Arena. Lucia and Budish both said they were surprised at the Gophers' poor effort after a strong week of practice. The coach said it is up to everyone to correct that in Saturday's rematch.

"Your identity is forged in what you do in March,'' Lucia said. "This is the critical month.''

  • DENVER 2, GOPHERS 0 • Up next: 7 tonight vs. Denver • Mariucci Arena • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 44 2nd Qtr 2:56
Orlando 35
Charlotte 60 2nd Qtr 4:51
Philadelphia 45
Brooklyn 18 1st Qtr 5:58
Cleveland 12
Washington 13 1st Qtr 5:34
Miami 15
Minnesota 13 1st Qtr 5:03
Boston 14
Toronto 14 1st Qtr 4:40
Detroit 21
Chicago 7:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 7:00 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Denver
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Prd
New Jersey 2
Anaheim 0 1st Prd 9:40
Ottawa 2
NY Islanders 0 1st Prd 9:41
Detroit 1
Boston 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Dallas 8:00 PM
Calgary
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 56 2nd Half 3:48
Radford 66
Stillman 19 1st Half 2:29
Alabama 31
Case Western Reserve 36 2nd Half
Bucknell 38
Niagara 26 1st Half 1:18
Buffalo 34
SD Christian 18 2nd Half
UC Santa Barbara 34
Concordia (MI) 28 2nd Half
Central Mich 51
Northern Ill 19 2nd Half
Dartmouth 33
North Florida 38 2nd Half
Florida A&M 21
Hiwassee 34 2nd Half
Gardner-Webb 52
Tennessee St 24 2nd Half
Hampton 29
NC A&T 25 2nd Half
Kent State 32
Central Penn College 35 2nd Half
Liberty 51
Eastern Ky 27 2nd Half
Miami-Florida 25
Northern Ky 49 2nd Half
Morehead State 27
Northern Ariz 20 2nd Half 19:44
Norfolk State 38
MD-Eastern Shore 26 2nd Half
Old Dominion 31
St Marys-CA 26 1st Half 1:41
St Johns 13
Clemson 30 2nd Half
South Carolina 28
Tenn Tech 32 2nd Half
Tennessee 26
Washington-MD 16 2nd Half
William & Mary 46
Bethune-Cookman 5 1st Half 11:21
Mercer 19
Furman 12 1st Half 11:49
Fla Gulf Coast 13
South Dakota St 18 1st Half 7:32
CS-Bakersfield 13
Milligan 7:00 PM
Lamar
LSU-Alexandria 7:00 PM
ULM
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Chattanooga 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Seattle 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Lipscomb 7:00 PM
Princeton
Winthrop 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Dickinson State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
New Orleans 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
Creighton
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Denver
Alabama A&M 8:00 PM
Marquette
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Texas Tech
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
California
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 41 2nd Half 11:09
Texas Tech 54
Toledo 40 2nd Half 10:30
Nevada 39
UMass Lowell 34 2nd Half 8:45
(13) Duke 78
St Marys-CA 26 2nd Half
Virginia 26
McNeese State 21 2nd Half
Rice 19
McMurry 23 2nd Half
Houston Baptist 36
NJIT 24 2nd Half
Seton Hall 40
(6) North Carolina 24 1st Half 1:15
Maine 13
Lafayette 32 2nd Half
Stony Brook 32
Siena 22 2nd Half
Binghamton 21
Longwood 27 2nd Half
Clemson 34
Savannah State 29 1st Half 0:04
Florida State 45
(19) Syracuse 29 2nd Half
(9) Baylor 26
Buffalo 27 2nd Half
Manhattan 17
Canisius 17 2nd Half
Michigan 41
Davidson 37 2nd Half
NC State 39
Northern Ky 33 2nd Half
Delaware 26
Saint Louis 6 1st Half 16:17
Austin Peay 6
(25) DePaul 24 1st Half 11:50
(2) Connecticut 26
Ohio U 13 1st Half 8:00
La Salle 19
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Tulane
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
Memphis
Ark-Pine Bluff 7:00 PM
UAB
Bowling Green 7:05 PM
Illinois State
Arkansas State 7:05 PM
Missouri State
ULM 7:05 PM
Wichita State
(16) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Southern Ill
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Montana
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Bethesda (CA) 9:00 PM
Fresno State
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close