Late goal by Ambroz salvages the Gophers a tie with Wisconsin, read Saturday night's game story.
MADISON, Wis. -- The early diagnosis of Connor Reilly's lower-body injury didn't sound positive.
"Not good," angry coach Don Lucia said about Reilly's status after the Gophers' 4-4 tie and 3-2 shootout loss against Wisconsin. "The biggest emotion [of the night] is losing Connor."
Lucia said he expects his leading goal-scorer and redshirt sophomore forward to be out for a while, adding that "Those are career injuries. You stick out a knee and go knee-on-knee with guys. You talk about wanting to clean up our game and that's just a bad, bad play."
The officials reviewed the play and tagged Badgers forward Corbin McGuire with a five-minute kneeing penalty after his collision with Reilly early in the second period. Lucia wanted much more for what he felt was a cheap shot. Reilly struggled to get up after the contact and gingerly skated to the bench. He eventually left for the locker room and didn't return to the game.
The Gophers immediately reached out to the Big Ten to express their concern and are expecting supplemental discipline.
"I'm sure there will be supplemental discipline on that play, and if not I'll be very shocked," Lucia said.
The Gophers started the game skating 11 forwards and seven defensemen and showed resilience playing nearly 40 minutes with only 10 forwards after Reilly went down, but an extended absence of their leading goal-scorer could take a significant toll on the offense.
Reilly leads the team with 11 goals just a year after overcoming a pair of knee injuries that kept him sidelined for 19 months in 2012-2013.
McGuire, who scored the shootout-winning goal, said after the game that he had no ill intent on the play.
"Obviously that’s a tough play. I’m not the kind of player that would be looking to do stuff like that," McGuire said. "I want to start off by saying that my prayers are with Reilly there — I hope he’s OK and gets back to playing soon if he is injured. He came across the blue line in the neutral zone and made little juke to the outside. I was just coming across. I didn’t move in time and our shins kind of hit, and he got the worst of it. Like I said, I hope he’s okay, and I’ll be thinking about him.”
More reaction from Wisconsin
Mike Eaves on goaltender Joel Rumpel: "I think he showed his competitive level tonight. ... Without Rumpel playing the way he did, we don’t have the tie and we don’t win in a shootout. He was a big [part] of it tonight and I think he is fine. We have to be intelligent about the workload we give here during the week. You take a look at the games that we have played in this month, he has been busy."
Joel Rumpel on his respect for Seth Ambroz: “I told him in the second period to stop scoring on me, but it turns out that didn’t work out very well. He’s a great player, he battles hard, he has a big body, he gets in front of me. All I see is his number most of the time. He’s a good player. ... Anytime he skates by me he gives me a little something. I usually just laugh, so I hope it’s for fun. I give it back once in a while, but I try to keep my mouth shut.”
Saturday’s box score.
(To view on mobile devices, click on player's/coach's name)
Gophers sophomore forward Taylor Cammarata
Gophers sophomore defenseman Ryan Collins
Friday replay: Gophers score in bunches to get important win over Wisconsin, read Friday night's game story and postgame blog. Watch postgame video of Gophers senior forward Seth Ambroz, Gophers sophomore defenseman Jake Bischoff, Gophers coach Don Lucia.