MINNESOTA EDGES PAST COLORADO COLLEGE, 2-1
Senior forward Nico Sacchetti nets game-winning goal for Golden Gophers
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The fourth-ranked Minnesota men's hockey team fell behind early, but rallied for a crucial 2-1 come-from-behind win against No. 11 Colorado College on Saturday night at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers rebounded from a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to CC on Friday and improved to 10-0-0 in Saturday games in the WCHA.
Although Minnesota carried the play for the first period, it was the Tigers who would strike first.
Working behind the Gopher cage with just under five minutes left in the opening period, CC's Jeff Collett fed sophomore linemate Jaden Schwartz in front. Schwartz lifted a quick shot over the left shoulder of Minnesota goaltender Kent Patterson to make it 1-0.
The shift in momentum continued to favor Colorado College as Gopher defenseman Jake Parenteau gave the Tigers their first power play of the night just over two minutes later.
The Gophers, however, would take that momentum right back.
Twenty-three seconds into CC's man advantage, sophomore Nate Condon took a pass from Minnesota captain Taylor Matson and snapped a shot over screened Tiger netminder Josh Thorimbert to tie the score.
It was Condon's ninth goal of the season and fourth shorthanded tally. The sophomore forward is now second in the nation in shorthanded goals and is one shy of the school record of five set by Peter Hankinson in 1989-90 and Steve Griffith in 1982-83.
Just past the five-minute mark of the second period, the Gophers took their first lead of the weekend-a lead they would not relinquish.
Two seconds after a Colorado College penalty expired, senior Nico Sacchetti banged home his own rebound after receiving a centering pass from Zach Budish to make it 2-1.
Minnesota looked to have had cushioned its lead 4:43 later when Condon knocked a loose puck into the net, but the goal was waived off because of a hand pass and the Gophers entered the third period up 2-1.
In the final frame, UM did not look content with a one-goal lead. The Gophers outshot CC 17-6 in the final 20 minutes.
Erik Haula had the best of Minnesota's chances, but could not find the back of the net. Thorimbert denied Haula off a Mark Alt rebound with 13:55 to play and the sophomore center misfired on a feed from Jake Hansen with 3:19 left.
The Tigers final chance of the game was arguably their best one.
With seven seconds remaining, Patterson needed to shut the door on a Collett one-timer in front that came on the tail end of a two-on-one with William Rapuzzi. He did just that, sealing the 2-1 victory.
The Gophers improved to 13-5-0 in WCHA play, moving them into sole possession of first place in the conference past Minnesota-Duluth, who played non-conference foe Alabama-Huntsville this weekend. Minnesota is also now 13-0-0 when leading after two periods.
UM returns to the ice on next weekend for a home-and-home series against St. Cloud State. The Gophers will host the Huskies on Friday at 7 p.m. and will travel to SCSU the following night.