Gophers allow two early goals, suffer sweep to Duluth, read Saturday's game story.
DULUTH – Changes up and down the Gophers’ lineup didn’t create the offensive spark Don Lucia hoped they would.
Leon Bristedt was bumped to the third line, Connor Reilly moved up to the first line, Vinni Lettieri reassumed his role on the third line, and Christian Isackson returned to the fourth line. The changes were good for only 14 shots on goal from the Gophers’ forwards in a 2-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth on Saturday night at Amsoil Arena.
The Gophers had just 25 shots on goal, 11 from the defensemen, a night after producing just 17 shots on goal in a 3-0 loss.
“It’s not the result we were looking for this weekend. We need to find a way to score, we just didn’t get it done,” Gophers senior forward Kyle Rau said. “It’s tough to win when you only score one goal in six periods. It puts too much pressure on your goal and [Adam Wilcox] can’t bail us out every time.”
Leon Bristedt’s goal midway through the third period was the first from a Gophers forward in the last seven periods going back to the series finale against Notre Dame.
Duluth coach Scott Sandelin said freshman goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo was looking forward to this weekend after losing to the Gophers in the season-opener at the Ice Breaker Tournament in South Bend, Ind. Kaskisuo didn’t have any problems making up for the early loss.
“He played very well, no question,” Lucia said. “I said going in that they’re a good team and they showed that this weekend. We just need for some guys to start to score some goals for us right now.”
Sandelin was impressed with his team’s ability to limit the Gophers’ scoring chances, especially during the four power plays.
“When you give this team 17 and 25 shots” that’s good, Sandelin said. “I’m used to playing Minnesota and giving up 35-40. And they have that kind of fire power. I said to our staff we’re going to see 35-40 shots [on Saturday] and Kaz is going to be a lot busier. But I thought we did a good job defensively. Their power play had three shots tonight, so our killers did a good job. … [Kaskisuo] is getting better every game and he’s getting more confident, which is good. I know he wanted to play after the first game he got beat [by the Gophers], ‘cause we kind of hung him out the first two [goals], so I think he was excited to have a chance to play them again.”
Saturday’s box score.
(To view on mobile devices, click on player's/coach's name)
Gophers junior goaltender Adam Wilcox
Gophers coach Don Lucia
Minnesota Duluth junior forward Charlie Sampair (White Bear Lake native)
Friday replay: Top-ranked Gophers shut out 3-0. In-state rival Minnesota Duluth breaks Gophers' 17-game home-unbeaten streak, read Friday night's game story and postgame blog and box score. Watch postgame video of Gophers sophomore forward Justin Kloos, Gophers coach Don Lucia, and Minnesota Duluth sophomore defenseman Dan Molenaar (Eden Prairie product).