MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) – St. Cloud State sophomore goalie Mike Lee was on his game and the Minnesota Golden Gophers followed a familiar script Friday, as the Huskies beat Minnesota 5-2 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play.
Lee made 40 saves and five different St. Cloud State players scored goals.
“We needed this effort tonight,” Lee said. “Our defense makes my job easy.”
Lee had 27 saves in the first two periods as the Huskies (2-2-1, 1-0-0) built a 5-0 lead. Jared Festler and Tony Mosey had power-play goals and Garrett Roe scored short-handed. Brian Volpei and Nic Dowd also scored their first goals.
“We knew we had some offense,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “They just needed to score their first goals.”
The Huskies had scored nine goals in their first four games.
“It’s a little bit bewildering right now, giving up a goal to start the game,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “The big thing is we have to stay together. We all share the blame for this.”
The Gophers were coming off a sweep at the hands of Nebraska-Omaha, a newcomer to the WCHA. In each of those games, the Gophers fell way behind early on.
Against the Huskies, they trailed by five before getting on the board on Mike Hoeffel’s goal at 9:46 of the third. Taylor Matson scored the Golden Gophers’ (2-3-0, 0-3-0) other goal.
Minnesota’s Alex Kangas had 18 saves before he was replaced in the net by Kent Patterson, who made 12 saves.
The Gophers had 42 shots on goal for the second time in three games. But they fell behind early and tried to rally, as they had in their two previous WCHA losses.