Minnesota Record Crowd Sees Gophers Shut Out OSU, Outdoors
CHN Staff Report
A crowd of 45,021, the largest to ever see a hockey game in the state of Minnesota, came to the school's football stadium for an outdoor game as part of the Hockey City Classic. They saw the Gophers play a strong defensive game and defeat Ohio State, 1-0.
Taylor Cammarata had the game's only goal, coming in the second period off a scramble.
Though outdoor games have become more prevalent, it was a first-time experience for most participants.
“First and foremost, what a venue," OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. "It was pretty surreal walking out there tonight with the full moon above the stadium. It was pretty special to be a part of it. On behalf of The Ohio State University we are very thankful to be a part of this. For tonight’s game, there weren’t a lot of chances on both ends, we just came up a little short.”
The conditions were not terrible, but game time temperature was near zero, and the ice needed to be heated as close to 23 degrees as possible to keep it playable. The ice was choppy, and so was the game, but overall, conditions were ok.
"It seemed like everybody had a good time," Minnesota coach Don Lucia told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It was the type of game we expected. You'd have to chip and chase, not a lot of pretty plays, but we did enough to get the one goal. Obviously, (goalie) Adam (Wilcox) did the rest."
The teams kept the game simple, which limited scoring chances.
“We certainly wanted to play a good game through the neutral zone," Rohlik said. "Minnesota has a team from top to bottom that can get up and down the rink. We know they will be a different team (Saturday) night on a big sheet. I think you do see a different type of game across the street at Mariucci (Arena) versus an NHL size rink.”
Ohio State senior defenseman Curtis Gedig said it was harder to be creative on the outdoor surface.
“It was pretty difficult for both teams," Gedig said. "I mean the little things you can do on the normal ice were harder for me so I just tried to keep it simple. I think the 1-0 score reflected how tough it was.”
Wilcox got the shutout for Minnesota. Though he wasn't tested often, he did stop OSU's Ryan Dzingel on a breakaway in the first period.
“I tried to go upstairs with it and just didn’t get a hold of it as much as I would like," Dzingel said. "He obviously made a great save. I probably won’t be sleeping well tonight.”
Said Wilcox, "He had his stick in the position where I knew he was going to shoot it. If he pulled it across, I was maybe going to throw a stick out. I saw him go low and I just threw my leg and blocker out there and tried to cover that whole corner."