Fourth line shines in Gophers hockey sweep over Michigan

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 16, 2014 - 12:57 AM

The Gophers trio of Connor Reilly, Vinni Lettieri and Gabe Guertler stood out in the sweep.

The Gophers men’s hockey team’s fourth lines were called to the coach’s office this week.

“He really challenged us. We only had maybe a goal and four assists in 12 games,” redshirt freshman Connor Reilly said. “I took that a little personal and said I gotta step and do something.”

The whole group did plenty in a weekend sweep of Michigan, capped by a 4-1 victory on Saturday night in front of an announced crowd of 10,495 at Mariucci Arena. The freshmen-laden lines scored the go-ahead goal and contributed four points.

Vinni Lettieri led the effort with two assists to complete a three-point weekend. It was the first multipoint game of his career. Reilly scored the eventual game-winning goal early in the second period, and Gabe Guertler picked up an assist a night after scoring his first goal. The trio combined for seven points in the sweep.

The Gophers got contributions from others on Saturday, too. Freshman Hudson Fasching had a goal and assist, Kyle Rau had two assists and goalie Adam Wilcox made 28 saves.

The trend of fourth-line success picked up steam two weeks ago with Ryan Reilly, Christian Isackson and Lettieri. The group played a big role in a 1-0 victory over Michigan State, and coach Don Lucia took notice. “Good energy” is how Lucia described it, and he wanted more it from the variation of six players who staff the line.

Connor Reilly, Guertler and Lettieri promptly answered the call Friday night. The trio produced a goal that deflated Michigan’s momentum late in the third period.

The line even shared some of its success with senior Nate Condon on Saturday. Lettieri’s second assist set up Condon’s goal for 3-1 lead at 15 minutes, 20 seconds of the second period.

“We always expect a goal or two out of two top lines, and any time our fourth line can pitch in and get a couple goals here and there, it’s just going to help our team even more,” Condon said. “I think the coaches talked to the fourth line and talked to them about picking up their scoring, and they answered pretty well here.”

Michigan avoided another slow start and took the early lead on Andrew Sinelli’s goal 91 seconds into the game. The goal came on one of only two shots on goal the Wolverines would get off in the first 13 minutes, though.

The Gophers outshot their opponent 10-4 in the first period, and Sam Warning ended a seven-game goal drought to tie the score 2:14 before the first intermission.

Once again, though, Michigan chipped away at the shots deficit and eventually led the category 29-24.

The Gophers were victims of a hit to the head on consecutive nights from the same offender. Early in the third period, Michigan’s Michael Downing leveled Warning, who was slow to get up. Downing was disqualified, again, with a game misconduct.

The Gophers capitalized on the extended power play. Three minutes into the power play, Fasching cleaned up Rau’s and Travis Boyd’s attempts for a 4-1 lead.

“The goals are precious this weekend, and we couldn’t get another one,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “I thought we came out good in the first period, the second period and the third period, but you got to capitalize on those chances.”



 

  • Gophers Men 4, Michigan 1

    Up next: 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and 6 p.m. March 1 vs. Penn State • Mariucci Arena • TV: BTN Feb. 28, NBCSN March 1

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 5
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Vikings win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close