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Late penalty chases Michigan in overtime loss at number 11 Minnesota




Dylan Duke scored his fourth goal of the season to open the scoring in the second period.
Erik Portillo made some exceptional stops and made 23 saves on 25 shots.
UM’s string of consecutive deaths, dating back to December 11, ended in OT on 27.

Website: Minneapolis, Minnesota (3M Arena in Mariucci)
Score: #11 Minnesota 2, #3 Michigan 1 (OT)
Facts: UM (18-7-1, 9-6-0 B1G), MINN (14-9-0, 9-4-0 B1G)
Next UM event: Saturday, January 22 — in Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 6:30 PM CST

MINNEAPOLIS, Min. — Sixty minutes wasn’t enough to determine a winner Friday night (Jan. 21) as the third-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team earned a point in the Big Ten standings before falling 2-1 to No. 11. Minnesota at the 3M Arena in Mariucci. A big penalty late in the rules gave the Gophers an extended power play which they flipped in the OT session to break UM’s streak without allowing a power play goal.

Erik Portillo was spectacular for the Wolverines all night, making 23 saves out of 25 shots he encountered to keep it a low-scoring affair.

Four minutes into the game, Matty Beniers made an excellent defensive play while backchecking to break up a two-for-one rush by whacking a pass in the air.

Minnesota (14-9-0, 9-4-0 Big Ten) was sent to their first power play 30 seconds later when Beniers was called to hold. 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 pushed away by a sliding Portillo, the team’s top penalty killer. .

Eight minutes later and tied for strength, the Wolverines were still looking for their first shot on target when senior Jimmy Lambert sent a rebound opportunity wide, sending the puck through the crease and over an open goal mouth.

The Golden Gophers went into their second power play of the evening with 10:14 to go in the first period, but the man advantage was rejected for the second time in as many attempts.

Michigan (18-7-1, 9-6-0 Big Ten) got its first power play of the game after Minnesota was penalized for hooking. UM listed a series of dangerous opportunities, including a Kent Johnson one-timer out of the circle, but any attempt was brushed aside and the home side returned at full strength.

Minnesota got another power play after that Nolan Moyle was ejected for interference by the goalkeeper. A huge opportunity for the Gophers midway through the power play came from a netfront scramble, but Portillo stayed strong and allowed the PK streak to continue.

With five seconds left in Minnesota’s third power play of the opening frame, Portillo was knocked over by a riding Gopher forward to put Michigan back in 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 break. After one period, the Wolverines had 48 seconds with the extra striker moving to the center frame, but the game was left scoreless. Minnesota had jumped to an early lead in shots on target, 9-4.

Back to equal strength, Ethan Edwards setting up a Class A chance after a loop behind the Minnesota net and a pass back into the slot for a pair of Wolverines to chop up. The net front chance resulted in a penalty to put Michigan back on power play for the third time.

UM searched the Minnesota net, but failed to open the scoring despite two minutes of sustained pressure with the men’s advantage. Halfway through the game, the teams were each going 0-for-3 in the power play.

Minutes later, the only Minnesotan on Michigan’s roster, Keaton Pehrson, sent a long shot towards the net from the correct point that was tipped by Johnny Beecher in the body of Mackie Samoskevich for the net. The puck fell on the ice in the slot where Dylan Duke waited to drive 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 left in the center frame and Michigan leading by one goal, Samoskevich was penalized for stumbling to give Minnesota a fourth power play.

Portillo beat a skater and made it big again by robbing Minnesota’s Matthew Knies, a recently beaten American Olympian, to keep the Gophers off the scoreboard and take Michigan’s run of consecutive penalties to 27.

After two periods, Michigan led 1-0 with a 20-14 lead in shots on goal. For 40 minutes, the teams hit a combined 0-for-7 on the power play.

Minnesota’s Knies got the home team on the board in the third period by hitting a low shot to equalize at 4:42, then set up a 15-minute sprint to the finish with a tie at 1.

Michigan searched relentlessly for a second goal to no avail. Johnson nearly hit home from a rebound opportunity, but the puck jumped over his blade and away from danger. Less than a minute after Johnson’s near miss, it was Beecher’s turn to nearly score from a gaping cage, but the junior put the puck into the goalkeeper’s crest before a whistle.

With 2:09 left in the regulations, Jacob Truscott, who had concocted a number of critical blocked shots during the match, was sent off for a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind.

Michigan’s long penalty kill streak seemed to come to an end for the first time with 12.1 seconds left when Blake McLaughlin wanted a puck over the goal line for Minnesota. After an official review, it was determined that the puck had been scored with a kicking motion and the goal was disallowed.

At the end of the rules, the game was tied at one goal each, but Minnesota carried 2:51 power play time into the extra session. By reaching the extra session, each side had achieved at least one point in the conference standings.

Michigan’s vaunted penalty kill, which had gone by 41 days without allowing a power play goal, finally burst when Minnesota captain Ben Meyers scored the game-winning one-timer from the right circle at 1:08 in the additional session. The final shot on target was 27-25 in Michigan’s favor, but the Gophers grabbed the extra point in the Big Ten standings with the win in extra time.

Saturday night (January 22), the legendary programs and conference rivals return to Mariucci to face each other again and conclude the regular-season series. Puck drop is set at 6:30 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.




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