Icers Upset Falls Short

Freshman center Matt Rust scored his first two goals as a Wolverine on Saturday night against the No. 6-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday night, but it wasn't enough to propel the No. 9 Wolverines past Minnesota in a tight 4-3 loss to the host Gophers.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- One night removed from a 4-3 overtime win against No. 2 Boston College in the opener of the 2007 Ice Breaker Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., the ninth-ranked Wolverines dropped a decision to the same tune despite outshooting the No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers 47-22 in front of 14,868 on Saturday night in the season-opening tournaments title game.

Freshman center Matt Rust tallied his first two collegiate goals for the Wolverines, who never saw the lead after falling behind 2-0 in the opening period of play.

"We didn't get off to the start that we needed to tonight. Minnesota came out much better than they did last night and we were on our heels," Michigan coach Red Berenson said following the game. "I thought after that we carried a lot of the play and we had our chances. We gave up inopportune goals at inopportune times. You have to give the other team credit, but we know we can do a better job defensively. I like the way our young team battled back, got back in the game and had our chances. We just didn't quite connect."

Minnesota did connect 11:46 into the contest. Gopher defenseman R.J. Anderson fired a puck towards the Michigan net from the top of the circles, and, with a slew of players in front of the net screening goalie Billy Sauer, the puck flew past him to open the games scoring.

Just 1:20 later, the Gophers added to their lead. Dumping the puck out of his own zone, Mike Hoeffel threw the puck ahead to forward Blake Wheeler, who outskated freshman defenseman Kevin Quick to the puck, and Wheeler deposited it behind Sauer to make it 2-0.

Senior Chad Kolarik provided the Wolverines with their best scoring chance of the period, but his shot rang off the post just minutes into the game and the Wolverines were held off the board in the first 20 minutes of play.

Rust trimmed the lead to 2-1 with just over 11 minutes left on the clock in the second period. After Ben Winnett threw a shot at Jeff Frazee and the Gophers net, alternate captain Tim Miller tapped the puck out from the crowd to Rust who fired it home for the Wolverines first goal of the contest.

"The first goal was pretty much we got a good forecheck in and some solid offensive-zone play. We worked it down low and eventually got the puck in front. I got a couple whacks at it and it went in."

Michigan outshot Minnesota 29-16 through two periods, but still went into the final intermission trailing 2-1.

Minnesota forward Ryan Flynn opened the third period scoring just 1:07 in. After circling the puck around the left circle, Flynn threw a shot at the near post that beat Sauer and extended the Minnesota lead.

2:08 later, however, Michigan defenseman Steve Kampfer made it 3-2 with his first goal of the season. After Kolarik found captain Kevin Porter in the slot, Porters shot bounced off the pads of Frazee right to Kampfer to jam it home just off the left post.

Patrick White answered with the Gophers final goal of the contest at the 5:27 mark. White picked up a loose puck as the trailer in a 3-on-2 rush and fired it past Sauer to score the eventual game winner.

Rust added Michigan's final goal with 9:28 left on the clock after taking a feed from Tim Miller and slashing through the Gophers zone alone right up the middle.

No. 9 Michigan opens Central Collegiate Hockey Association play this Friday with the first of two games against the Northern Michigan Wildcats.

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