Gophers Beat RIT in OT
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Kyle Rau continued to state his case as one of the most prolific goal scorers in Gopher Hockey history with the overtime winner in Saturday’s 3-2 win over RIT to close out the 24th annual Mariucci Classic.
The senior captain scored his seventh goal of the season at 2:34 of the added session of Friday’s consolation game to move his squad to 10-5-1 on the season (1-0-1-0 Big Ten). The NCAA’s active scoring leader with 143 career points in 137 games, 20 of Rau’s 54 career goals have been game winners including an overtime winner last year over Michigan to clinch the inaugural Big Ten regular-season title.
The game-winning goal, which came as the 49th and final shot of the night for the Gophers (a new season record) was set up by Hudson Fasching in his return to the lineup from the World Junior Championship and Connor Reilly, who extended his career-best point streak to six games with the assist.
Prior to Rau’s winner, the two non-conference foes split four goals over the first 60 minutes of play with RIT twice answering the Gophers.
Minnesota continued to mix up the scoring to start the first period as Vinni Lettieri tipped in a Christian Isackson shot for his third goal of the season at 3:45 of the opening stanza. Taylor Cammarata also picked up an assist on the play. The one-goal lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Dan Schuler scored his first of the year for the Tigers at 9:14 on an unassisted goal.
After heading into the first intermission at a 1-1 tie, Minnesota’s top-ranked power play finally broke through in the second period when Mike Reilly blasted a shot from the point for his fifth goal of the season. Kyle Rau and Travis Boyd set up the goal. But Brandon Thompson would again find the equalizer for RIT with his second of the year at 12:52 of the third period, and the two teams faced off in overtime.
Minnesota outshot the Tigers 49-21 on the night, and went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in addition to the one power-play goal on six chances. Adam Wilcox made 19 saves to move to 10-5-1 in the winning effort while Mike Rotolo saved 46 shots to move to 1-5-0.
While the Gophers bested RIT in the consolation game, UMass-Lowell topped Merrimack 3-1 for the team’s first-ever Mariucci Classic title earlier in the evening.
Mariucci Classic All-Tournament Team – Evan Campbell (UML), Adam Chapie (UML), Brett Seney (MC), Zack Kamrass (UML), Mike Reilly (MN), Rasmus Tirronen (MC).
Mariucci Classic Tournament MVP: Dylan Zink (UML).
Minnesota returns to Big Ten Conference action next weekend with a pair of league games at Michigan.