Gophers hockey wins Big Ten opener 4-1 over Wisconsin

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 30, 2013 - 3:00 AM

Seth Ambroz’s two goals and Adam Wilcox’s 24 saves enabled the Gophers to get a historic victory.

 

The first Big Ten hockey victory belongs to the Gophers.

College hockey’s new era in the major conference began with the No. 1-ranked Gophers’ 4-1 win over rival Wisconsin on Friday evening at Mariucci Arena.

Outside of the extra “B1G” insignias on the ice, the difference was almost unnoticeable. Time constraints nixed a ceremonial drop of the first puck. There were no public announcements of the game’s significance. The rivalry remained the focus of the series.

The Big Ten debut was significant to the Gophers, though.

“We were pumped up about [Big Ten hockey], and to play probably our biggest rival of the year in Wisconsin is even better,” Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly said. “We’re the first game to play in the Big Ten and we got the first ‘W,’ too. It will be something special to remember.”

Brothers Mike Reilly and Connor Reilly scored goals for the Gophers (10-2-1). Seth Ambroz scored twice, getting the go-ahead goal at 13:14 in the first period and adding an empty-net goal in the final minutes.

No. 12 Wisconsin (4-4-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on Joseph LaBate’s goal. The Gophers responded three minutes later on Mike Reilly’s power-play goal.

The Gophers defense took over from there. It allowed just four shots on goal in the second period and 25 total. Goaltender Adam Wilcox regrouped from last Sunday’s lopsided 6-2 loss to Minnesota Duluth with 24 saves and maintained a one-goal lead for 36 minutes.

Gophers coach Don Lucia was pleased to see his young team respond so well to that defeat.

“It’s something we talked about, getting the first win ever,” Lucia said. “It’s something we stressed during the course of the week, so I’m really happy for us to come out and get the first win in the first game.”

Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said it felt like a “typical” rivalry game, nothing more. He was more concerned with how his team would play after two bye weeks in November.

Wisconsin’s effort in the first 20 minutes would tell a lot about how it would respond to the breaks, Eaves said, and the Badgers were able to produce. They scored early but wouldn’t score again.

Wilcox stopped several good chances on Badgers’ power plays in the third period.

Wisconsin started goaltender Landon Peterson, despite Joel Rumpel considered to be back to 100 percent health. Peterson made 41 saves, with the Gophers dominating shots on goal 45-25.

Ambroz was responsible for seven of those shots as the third line of Ambroz, Tom Serratore and Travis Boyd continues to produce since being grouped together. Ambroz felt like his “cheesy” first-period goal helped get the Gophers going.

His go-ahead goal was on a shot from behind the goal which redirected off Peterson’s pads.

Connor Reilly’s goal gave the Gophers a 3-1 cushion midway through the third period. Filling in on the second line for banged-up Taylor Cammarata, Reilly recorded his third goal of the season as the result of an impressive pass fake and angle adjustment on the shot attempt.

“I just want to take full advantage of [the opportunity]. I wasn’t trying to do anything too special,” he said. “I just wanted to do my job and chip in offensively and be strong on the walls in the defensive zone.”

The redshirt freshman might get another chance on Saturday. Cammarata is listed day-to-day.





 

  • related content

  • Video: Gophers win first-ever Big Ten hockey game

    Friday November 29, 2013

    Coach Don Lucia expressed importance of the game all week and Gophers respond with 4-1 victory over Wisconsin.

  • Photo gallery: Gophers hockey 4, Wisconsin 1

    Friday November 29, 2013

    Gophers men's hockey wins Big Ten opener 4-1 over WisconsinThe Badgers scored first but Minnesota rebounded with a strong...

  • Video: Reilly takes advantage of opportunity on second line

    Friday November 29, 2013

    Connor Reilly filled in for injured Taylor Cammarata with a goal in the Gophers' 4-1 win over Wisconsin.

  • Postgame: Big Ten hockey makes quiet debut at Mariucci

    Friday November 29, 2013

    First-ever conference game feels like any other hockey game.

  • Seth Ambroz celebrates his goal during the first period of a two-game...

  • Gopher Kyle Rau unsuccessfully tried to shoot the puck by Wisconsin defenseman Frankie Simonelli and goalie Landon Peterson.

  • Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox blocked a shot by Badgers defenseman Jake McCabe. Wilcox had 24 saves after being pulled in his previous start, a 6-2 loss to Minnesota Duluth last Sunday.

  • gophers 4, wisconsin 1

    Up next: 5 p.m. today vs. Wisconsin • Mariucci Arena • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 21 4th Qtr 3:25
Seattle 24
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close