First period proves pivotal in Union's win over Gophers

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 12, 2014 - 11:26 PM

Union changed the game with three quick goals.

hide

Union’s Matt Wilkins watched as a shot by Eli Lichtenwald went over the leg of Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox for a goal during the first period on Saturday night in Philadelphia. By the end of the period, the Dutchmen had a 4-2 lead.

Photo: Chris Szagola • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Forget that magical number of 0.6 that will be remembered forever in Gophers hockey lore.

What happened to the Gophers over a span of 1 minute, 54 seconds in the first period Saturday felt only slightly less stunning than the timing of their last-second goal against North Dakota two nights earlier.

Leading 2-1 in the period, the Gophers felt apart defensively as Union scored three unanswered goals in a rapid-fire flurry to stagger their opponent and take the lead for good in a 7-4 victory to win the national championship at Wells Fargo Center.

Union also outshot the Gophers 8-0 in that 1:54 span to keep pressure on the Gophers star goalie Adam Wilcox, who received little support from his defense.

“It just came down to grit in front of the net,” Wilcox said. “They got a couple of good bounces that went right to them, and that was it.”

The first goal in that bang-bang-bang sequence highlighted the Gophers’ inability to clear the puck out of their zone. Union smothered Wilcox with bodies and peppered him with four shots.

Gophers forward Kyle Rau ended up on his knees in front of the crease as he tried to help Wilcox. But Union’s Mike Vecchione finally was able to jam the puck in to tie the score at 2-2.

Union was just getting warmed up. Eli Lichtenwald and Daniel Ciampini completed the assault with goals 57 seconds apart to give Union a 4-2 lead.

Wilcox had not allowed four goals in a game since giving up four against Minnesota Duluth on Jan. 25. It was stunning to see him get beat four times in one period. He wasn’t solely to blame by any means, though.

Yes, Wilcox gave up a few rebounds, but his defense did a poor job of getting bodies on Union and gaining possession of the puck. The Dutchmen played more physical in front of the net.

“Their goal was to get pucks to the net and crash our net,” defenseman Brady Skjei said. “They did a good job. We didn’t pick up sticks well enough.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 42 3rd Qtr
Phoenix 55
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 3rd Prd
Vancouver 3
Chicago 3 3rd Prd
Anaheim 0
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 25 2nd Half 8:02
Arizona 43
Kent State 42 2nd Half 6:40
Buffalo 69
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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