Wisconsin showed signs of a spark Saturday, but the glimmer faded too fast to escape Minneapolis with so much as a point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. Minnesota junior forward Jerrid Reinholz made sure of that, breaking a 2-2 tie just more than three minutes into the third period and setting up an earlier goal to lead the Gophers to a 3-2 win. The points were the first two of the season for Reinholz, who played in just his sixth game of the season.
The loss dropped the Badgers to 15-9-6 overall and 9-6-5 in Western College Hockey Association play, and locked them in a three-way tie for third place with Minnesota (16-9-3, 11-8-1) and St. Cloud State, who did not play this weekend.
Wisconsin gave it a run for the first 40 minutes, but was thoroughly out-played in the final period and was outshot 10-1. Gopher freshman netminder Kellen Briggs faced just 18 shots for the second consecutive night and again stopped 16.
Briggs also contributed offensively, picking up his third assist of the season on Waibel's second-period goal that knotted the contest at 2-2.
The Badgers much-harangued penalty killers thwarted all three Minnesota power play opportunities Saturday and actually kicked off the scoring in Wisconsin's favor. Sophomore Adam Burish intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and sent it up ice to sophomore A.J. Degenhardt, who beat Briggs to make it 1-0, midway through the first period.
Minnesota tied the game when Reinholz set up sophomore defenseman Chris Harrington late in the opening frame. The Badgers regained the lead early in the second period when senior wing Rene Bourque made a great individual effort, skating to the side of the net and shoveling a backhand attempt on goal. The shot glanced off Briggs and caromed to the front of the crease where senior center John Eichelberger pounced on it.
The Gophers, though, took over shortly thereafter, getting Waibel's equalizer just more than three minutes later holding Wisconsin at bay until Reinholz' winner in the third.
Score by period
Shots on goal by period
UW 1 - A.J. Degenhardt (6) from Adam Burish (11), SHG, at 9:37
MN 1 - Chris Harrington (4) from Jerrid Reinholz (1) and Garrett Smaagaard (13) at 16:31
UW 2 - John Eichelberger (3) from Rene Bourque (17) at 5:10
MN 2 - Jon Waibel (4) from Keith Ballard (15) and Kellen Briggs (3) at 8:13
MN 3 - Reinholz (1) from Smaagaard (14) and Waibel (6) at 3:11
UW - Bernd Bruckler (59:02), 29 saves, 3 goals allowed
MN - Kellen Briggs, 16, 2