Roundup: Gophers Claim First North Star Cup
CHN Staff Report
Minnesota scored three power-play goals and scored twice in a game-deciding shootout to defeat Minnesota-Duluth in the first North Star College Cup championship game.
UMD's Joe Basaraba scored late in the third period to tie the game, 4-4, and force overtime at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota wasted two one-goal leads in the third period despite a strong effort from goaltender Adam Wilcox.
The sophomore earned the tournament's most valuable player award for stopping 76 of 81 shots he saw over the weekend. Moreover, he stopped both Alex Iafallo and Caleb Hebert in Saturday's shootout to seal the win after both Kyle Rau and Seth Ambroz coverted their chances on UMD's Aaron Crandall.
"I thought for the first tournament, it was a great start,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “I think you saw that the instate pride was there, which was good.
"All in all, it was good entertaining weekend of college hockey like we hoped it would be for this event"
At 5 on 5, the Bulldogs carried a majority of the play, outscoring the Gophers, 3-1. However, the talented Minnesota team capitalized on the Bulldogs' undisciplined play.
Aside from Rau's goal in the shootout, the junior scored a goal and assisted on another in the win.
Earlier in the day, St. Cloud State snuck past Minnesota State, 6-4, in the tournament's consolation game.
Rensselaer defeated Union, 2-1, in the second annual Mayor's Cup game at the Times Union Center in Albany. The result was the first win over the Dutchmen in 11 tries for RPI.
The game was second to an ugly brawl that broke out after the game. Union's Mat Bodie started the fracas with a crosscheck on RPI's Brock Higgs as time expired. As RPI players headed onto the ice, ostensibly to celebrate a win, a massive fight broke out between the two teams. Eventually, Union coach Rick Bennet went after RPI coach Seth Appert. The coaches were separated by officials.
Following the game, Union suspended Bennett for two games for his actions. Meanwhile, Bodie and Eli Lichtenwald were suspended on Union's side, and RPI's Mike Zalewski and Luke Curadi also received supplemental discipline. All four suspensions are for one game.
"On behalf of Union College and the men’s hockey team, I apologize for my actions and behavior after (Saturday) night’s game against RPI,” Bennett said in the statement. “The administration, supporters and loyal fans of both programs deserve and demand better from me. I’m truly sorry for the events that took place after the game."
Massachusetts-Lowell recovered from a disappointing loss on Friday night to defeat Providence, 6-1. Despite dressing only 16 players due to injuries sustained on Friday, the River Hawks earned the weekend split.
"We have good team depth, and we just wanted to stress playing UMass-Lowell style hockey no matter who is in the lineup," UML senior Joe Pendenza said. "It’s not going to change our mentality. It’s not going to change our game plan. We wanted to go there and attack and I thought we did that pretty well."
Pendenza scored two goals and assisted on another, surpassing the 100-point milestone for his career in the process. Sophomore defenseman Christian Folin also scored two and added an assist for the River Hawks.
Providence goaltender Jon Gillies was pulled after Folin made it 5-1 in the third. The all-American goaltender has struggled of late after a strong start to the season. In his last seven games, dating back to Dec. 6, Gillies' save percentage is .885.
Denver goaltender Sam Brittan made 43 saves, and the Pioneers defeated North Dakota, 3-0, at Magness Arena. The loss ended a 10-game unbeaten run for UND.
Denver's Zac Larraza scored two goals in the win, which lifted the Pioneers back into first place in the NCHC.
Despite the loss, UND continued its strong play of late, dominating possession for most of the game. Brittain's stellar play kept North Dakota at bay.
“They scored a couple critical goals, and we couldn’t get one to go," UND coach Dave Hakstol said after the game. "Their goaltender played great tonight. We have to find a way to do a little bit better job around the crease.”
Ohio State picked up its second Big Ten win of the season, defeating Wisconsin, 3-1, at the Kohl Center.
Christian Frey made 36 saves for the Buckeyes.
"(Frey) was the best player on the ice tonight," OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. "He gave us a chance."
Mark Zengerle gave Wisconsin a 1-0 lid midway through the second period before OSU scored three consecutive goals to put the game away.
The loss halted a four-game UW winning streak ahead of a critical trip to Ann Arbor next weekend.