The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Men's Hockey team opened up the regular season friday with a blowout 6-0 win over Mercyhurst. The Gophers were firing on all cylinders in the 6-0 win despite lots of new faces on the ice. The Gophers went 2 for 6 on the power play while blanking Mercyhurst in this category (0/5). While penalties were fairly even, shots on goal were not as the Gophers outshot Mercyhurst 48 to 25.
Saturday night the Gophers faced a much tougher test in the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The Gophers came out victorious to claim the Icebreaker Tournament championship. All of the scoring came in the second period as the Wildcats opened the floodgates just 25 seconds into the second period on a power play goal. The Gophers struck back on a Hudson Fasching goal a few minutes later, but the Wildcats notched another power play goal about halfway through the second period. The Gophers then got their second goal of the weekend from tournament MVP Sam Warning. Late in the second the Gopher's got the game winner from freshman Vinni Letteri, his first goal as a Golden Gopher. The Gopher's claimed 4 of the 7 all-tournament team honors as well as tournament MVP and of course, the Icebreaker Tournament championship trophy.
Looking ahead: The Gophers, despite their youth, played very well this weekend. There will likely be growing pains along the way, but this young team is very talented and has a lot of potential. If the current pairing stay, the Gopher's second line will be one of, if not the, fastest line in all of college hockey. The Gophers need to do a better job staying out of the penalty box and capitalizing on power play opportunities against quality opponents, but the season is young and that's something that will take time with the young roster. Overall, the Gophers are 2-0 and no one should complain about that.
Brice Marich also contributed to the report