Created: January 09, 2021 08:45 PM
The top-ranked Gopher men’s hockey program fell for the first time this season and had its 12-game winning streak come to an end via a 3-1 loss at No. 12/14 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon.
Minnesota (10-1-0 overall, 8-1-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) nearly rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period after trailing for the first time this year in Big Ten play.
After a scoreless first period, Wisconsin (6-5-0, 6-3-0-0-1-0) found a goal from Linus Weissbach at 5:13 of the second period before adding to the lead at 1:59 of the third off a tally from Tarek Baker.
The Gophers, who outshot Wisconsin 36-22 overall and 17-4 in the third period, turned up the pressure at that point with Sampo Ranta scoring his eighth goal of the season with a power-play tally at 7:50 off assists from Ben Meyers and Mike Koster.
Another late power play gave the visitors hope for the equalizer, but Wisconsin found a shorthanded, empty-net tally from Owen Lindmark at 19:06 to seal the series-opening win.
In goal, Jack LaFontaine (9-1-0) suffered his first loss of the season and saw his own 11-game winning streak come to an end. With 19 saves on 21 shots, the senior has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last 15 starts. Robbie Beydoun (5-4-0) made 35 saves on 36 shots to pick up the win.
Minnesota and Wisconsin continue this weekend’s series in Madison on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 4:00 p.m. CT.
Wisconsin is playing its home games in LaBahn Arena this season, and it appears to have given the Badgers an advantage in the series opener. Saturday marked just the third loss for Minnesota in the last 13 games in Madison (9-3-1)…the Gophers have now played on every day of the week this season after playing on Saturday for the first time today.
Courtesy: University of Minnesota Sports Information
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