Colorado College coach Scott Owens said his team gave a strong effort in the final period of the Gophers' 7-4 victory on Saturday.  "We played with a lot of pride in the third period," he said. "We tried to make a game of it. It was too little, too late.

"It is disappointing for us to come in here and not get any points at all. We knew we would be in for a little bit of a tough weekend after the deal out in Denver. [The Gophers were swept 3-1, 5-1 the weekend before at DU.] We tried to make a game of it in the third. I was proud of our guys for that. It was 5-4 with 10 minutes to go. But we just couldn't get over the hump."

Trailing 5-2, CC scored twice in the tirst four minutes of the third period to close within 5-4 and then had a power play at 12:55 when Aaron Ness was called for tripping.

"[After] that penalty, the power play was disappointing in the third just because that was at a juncture when we could have made some things happen," Owens said. "And we had been moving the puck a little bit better on the power play [Saturday]."

CC didn't get a shot on net, while the Gophers had one short-handed.

"Our objective was to get a goal in the first five minutes of the third period and we did that," Owens said. "We got two goals."

Asked if he considered switching goalies after two periods, Owens said, "If they had scored early we might have done something different, Joe Howe competed and battled all weekend. And, yes, a lot of goals went in [Saturday]. Not a lot of them were his fault. A lot of them were our defensive lapses.  Minnesota -- give them some credit. Some of their skilled guys made plays this weekend.

"Instead of being up close and taking care of gaps, we started backing up a little bit. A couple of them were young guys. But basically, it was just having to respect their speed. They were flying {Saturday] and it opened up a lot of space for them.

"They were getting uncontested shots. You've seen this. We have struggled defensively. We have given up -- it's not unusal for us to give up four goals. five goals. But we have been scoring four, five and six goals. One went off Joe's mask and one did this and that. But I really don't think Joe played that poorly. It just looks like it was six goals."

Howe, a freshman from Plymouth, finished with 35 saves, 16 in the first period.

One of the Gophers' biggest goals was Ness'. It gave the Gophers a 3-1 lead, 42 seconds after the first CC goal had made it  2-1. Ness shot from the left point. 

"It was just a high shot that went off [Howe's] mask, then bounced down and ended up going into the net with a lot of traffic and confusion," Owens said. "It is a little bit unfortunate."

A slow-motion replay showed Howe kicked the puck in with the back of his skate while Jacob Cepis was fighting for the puck.  

"One of the things that was disappointing for us [Saturday] was that when we made it 2-1, or we made it to get within one [actually two at 4-2], they scored two shifts later twice."

Nick Leddy got the second quick goal. CC got within 4-2 at 16:05 of the middle period. But Leddy scores from the left point 1:43 later.

"That was a big diffference," Owens said. "We need to learn to take care of that. [And] to have three or four good shifts after we score a goal because is just takes all the wind out of your sails when that [a quick responding goal] happens."