Several Gophers embracing 'next man up' mentality in 4-2 win over Ohio State, read Friday night's game story.
Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik didn't see a nine-loss opponent on the ice Friday night at Mariucci Arena. He's convinced that he saw one of the most skilled teams in the country beat up his Buckeyes, 4-2.
"One of the best skilled teams in the country," Rohlik said after his team's fifth consecutive loss. "People maybe forget sometimes. They just look at they've got nine losses, but when you see some of the things that they can do with the puck it's pretty impressive."
Many Gophers hockey fans are fixated on the nine losses and debating if a different coach could get more from the highly skilled roster, but Rohlik is said it's all there. The Gophers showed that they can be productive, even with their top goal-scorer Connor Reilly out indefinitely, and are riding a three-game unbeaten streak.
They haven't been this successful since a stretch of three straight wins in early November.
"I thought we dug in a little bit more," Lucia said about the Gophers' defense. "I thought we did a good job with rush sorting, coming back on the ice, and communicating on the ice."
The Gophers' power play was also big part of the successful night. They were 2-for-4 on power-play chances, scoring a third goal just after a power play expired.
"You can't put this team on the power play. They're No. 1 in the Big Ten for a reason," Rohlik said. "You put all that skill out there and take a guy away ... they basically had three power-play goals."
Friday’s box score.
(To view on mobile devices, click on player's/coach's name)
Gophers sophomore forward Justin Kloos
Gophers freshman forward Leon Bristedt
Gophers coach Don Lucia