Late penalty haunts Michigan in overtime loss at 11th Minnesota
» Dylan Duke scored his fourth goal of the season to open the scoring in the second period.
» Erik Portillo made a number of outstanding saves, making 23 saves on 25 shots faced.
UM’s back-to-back penalty kill streak, dating back to Dec. 11, ended in OT at 27.
Site: Minneapolis, Minnesota (3M Arena in Mariucci)
Goal: #11 Minnesota 2, #3 Michigan 1 (OT)
Recordings: UM (18-7-1, 9-6-0 B1G), MINN (14-9-0, 9-4-0 B1G)
Next UM event: Saturday, January 22 — at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 6:30 p.m. CST
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Sixty minutes weren’t enough to determine a winner on Friday night (January 21), as the third-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team gained a point in the Big Ten standings before s down 2-1 in overtime to No. 11 Minnesota. at 3M Arena in Mariucci. A major penalty late in regulation gave the Gophers an extended power play which they converted in the OT session to break UM’s streak without allowing a power play goal.
Erik Portillo was spectacular for the Wolverines throughout the night, making 23 saves on the 25 shots he faced to make it a low-scoring affair.
After four minutes of play, Matty Beniers played outstanding defensive play while running back to break up a two-man run by fending off a pass in the air.
Minnesota (14-9-0, 9-4-0 Big Ten) was sent to its first power play 30 seconds later when Beniers was called for holding. The Gophers nearly scored to end UM’s long streak without allowing a power-play goal, but a dangerous attempt near the blue paint was repelled by a sliding Portillo, the team‘s top penalty killer.
Eight minutes and a comeback at even strength, Wolverines were still looking for their first shot on goal as seniors jimmy lambert sent a rebounding opportunity wide, placing the puck in the crease and through an open goalmouth.
The Golden Gophers went on their second power play of the night with 10:14 left in the first period, but the power play was dismissed for the second time in as many tries.
Michigan (18-7-1, 9-6-0 Big Ten) received its first power play of the game after Minnesota was penalized for hanging. UM has set up a series of dangerous odds, including a Kent Johnson one-timer from the circle, but every attempt was called off and the home team returned to full strength.
Minnesota received another power play after Nolan Moyle was sent off for interfering with a goalkeeper. A huge opportunity for the Gophers midway through the power play came on a net rush, but Portillo continued to be solid and ensured the PK streak continued.
With just five seconds left on Minnesota’s third power play of the first quarter, Portillo was knocked down by a Gopher forward to put Michigan back on the power play.
The Wolverines failed to convert in the first 1:12 of the ensuing power play before the horn sounded for the first intermission. After one period, Wolverines had 48 seconds left with the extra striker carried over to the middle frame, but the game remained scoreless. Minnesota had taken an early lead on penalties, 9-4.
Back to equal strength, Ethan Edwards set up a Grade A chance after looping behind the Minnesota net and returning a pass into the slot for a pair of Wolverines to cut. The chance in net drew a penalty to put Michigan back on the power play for the third time.
UM dotted the net for Minnesota but failed to open the scoring despite two minutes of sustained pressure with the man advantage. Halfway through the game, the teams were each 0-3 on the power play.
Minutes later, the only Minnesotan on Michigan’s roster, Keaton Pehrson, sent a long shot towards the net from the right point which was deflected by Johnny Beecher in the body of Mackie Samoskevich in front of the net. The puck fell to the ice in the notch where Dylan Duke was waiting to slam it into the back of the net and give UM a 1-0 lead with 7:36 left in the second period.
With 2:28 remaining in the second quarter and Michigan holding a one-goal lead, Samoskevich was penalized for tripping to give Minnesota a fourth power play.
Down a skater, Portillo once again robbed Matthew Knies of Minnesota, a newly minted U.S. Olympian, to keep the Gophers off the scoreboard and run Michigan’s penalty kill streak to 27.
After two periods, Michigan was leading 1-0 with a 20-14 shots advantage. For 40 minutes, the teams were combined 0 for 7 on the power play.
Minnesota Knies got the home side on the board in the third period by hitting a low shot to tie the game at 4:42, setting up a 15-minute sprint to the finish line with the game tied at 1.
Michigan relentlessly searched for a second goal to no avail. Johnson came close to hitting a goal on a rebound chance, but the puck jumped over his blade and swung away from danger. Less than a minute after Johnson’s near miss, it was Beecher’s turn to score almost on a gaping cage, but the junior put the puck in the goalie’s crest for a whistle.
With 2:09 remaining in regulation time, Jacob Truscott, who had a number of critical blocked shots throughout the game, was ejected for a five-minute major penalty and game foul for checking from behind.
Michigan’s long penalty kill streak first seemed to end with 12.1 seconds left when Blake McLaughlin sent a puck across the goal line for Minnesota. After an official review, it was determined that the puck had been marked with a kicking motion and the goal was disallowed.
At the end of regulation, the game was tied at one goal apiece, but Minnesota carried over 2:51 of power play time into the extra session. By reaching the extra session, each team had earned at least one point in the conference standings.
Michigan’s vaunted penalty, which had gone 41 days without a power-play goal, finally cracked when Minnesota captain Ben Meyers scored the game-winning one-timer from the right circle 1:08 into the extra session. The final shot count was 27-25 in favor of Michigan, but the Gophers grabbed the extra point in the Big Ten standings with the overtime victory.
On Saturday night (January 22), the legendary programs and conference rivals will return to Mariucci to face off once again and close the regular season series. The puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network.