Gophers Earn Border Battle Sweep Against Badgers
MADISON, Wis. (GopherSports.com) – Michael Brodzinski’s third and final goal of the night gave the Gopher Hockey program a 9-2 win as the Gophers swept Wisconsin in Madison for the first time since 2006.
Saturday’s nine goals for Minnesota are tied for the third most the Gophers have scored in a game against the Badgers (9-4 on Dec. 8, 1990; 9-8 in overtime on Oct. 30, 1982; 9-0 win on Feb. 8, 1935). The Maroon & Gold previously beat the Badgers 10-1 in Madison on Jan. 19, 1931 and 12-2 in Minneapolis on Feb. 3, 1923 – the latter coming in the first season of Gopher Hockey.
Minnesota (13-10-0 overall, 8-2-0-0 Big Ten) featured 16 players with points in the game including Brodzinski’s hat trick – the first by a Gopher defensemen since Mike Vannelli in a 5-4 win against Denver on Jan. 20, 2007 – while Minnesota’s nine goals were the program’s highest offensive since a 9-0 win over Sacred Heart on Oct. 7, 2011.
Hudson Fasching scored 12 seconds into the series finale for Minnesota’s fastest goal to open a game this season, and the Maroon & Gold never looked back. The Gophers tacked on a total of four goals in the first period, one in the second and another four in the third to move to conference-best 24 points in the Big Ten standings. All three of Brodzinski’s tallies came in the third period including the game’s final goal with 55 seconds left in regulation.
Justin Kloos, Ryan Norman, Taylor Cammarata, Taylor Cammarata. Connor Reilly also scored in the contest for the Gophers with nine Minnesota skaters tallying multiple points in the game.
Eric Schierhorn picked up the win in net for the Maroon & Gold, making 25 saves to move to 13-10-0 on the season. The freshman netminder also picked up his first career point in the win with an assist in the first period.
Special teams continued to play into the Gophers’ favor on Saturday. Minnesota went 3-for-6 one the power play, taking advantage of a pair of five-minute advantages in the game, while the penalty kill went 2-for-2 and has now successfully killed 21-straight penalties.
The Gophers return to action next weekend with the North Star College Cup presented by TRIA. Xcel Energy Center hosts the third annual event, featuring Minnesota, Bemidji State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State, Jan. 30-31.