A different night, but it was the same story for the downtrodden Gophers: too many mistakes, too many penalties and simply too much offense from No. 7 St. Cloud State.
The Huskies (scored three of their four power-play goals in the second period and capped a two-game series sweep of the Gophers with a 7-4 victory Sunday night at Mariucci Arena.
Judd Peterson scored twice, both on the power play, and was one of five Huskies players with at least two points. St. Cloud State (11-3) was 4-for-7 with the man advantage Sunday and 6-for-10 in the series.
“We can’t be undisciplined ... to give that power play that many opportunities,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. “We can’t make those type of undisciplined errors like that. We’re not good enough to put ourselves behind the 8-ball, so to speak, by being undisciplined.”
There were some positives for the Gophers, though: They generated 33 shots on goal (to 26 for the Huskies) and scored four times against one of the top defensive teams in the country.
Their own power play went 2-for-2 and sophomore Leon Bristedt had a goal and two assists, giving him a five-point weekend.
But it was a defensive play by Bristedt, with the Gophers (4-7) trailing 2-1 at the beginning of the second period, that might best sum up the Vikings’ night. Shorthanded and chasing the puck down toward the left of the crease, Bristedt laid out to try to deflect a shot by Peterson. He did — and knocked an apparent off-target shot into the wide-open net for a Huskies goal.
“Just an unfortunate bounce,” Bristedt said.
Four minutes later, the Gophers’ Nick Seeler was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head of St. Cloud State defenseman Niklas Nevalainen.
Nevalainen never returned, and after the Huskies scored twice on the ensuing power play — another from Peterson and one from sophomore Patrick Russell — to take a 5-2 lead midway through the game, the Gophers never fully recovered.
“Their power play is really good,” Bristedt said. “We have to give them credit. We didn’t have any weapons against that tonight.”
Jake Bischoff, Tyler Sheehy and Ryan Norman had the other Gophers goals.
Having lost three in a row, the Gophers will begin their Big Ten schedule with a two-game series at home against Ohio State on Friday.
Lucia said discipline aside, his team has shown signs of possibly turning a corner.
“To me, we’re not that far away. It’s a fine line,” he said.
“We have to have our discipline. ... Scoring wasn’t the problem tonight. We had four; that was enough to win a game.”