Gophers Use Defense to Earn Split with St. Cloud State
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota senior forward Jacob Cepis came to the rescue of the Golden Gophers men’s hockey team Sunday.
Cepis scored one goal and assisted on another, helping the Gophers snap a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over St. Cloud State in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The scoring all came in the first period, starting with Brett Barta’s goal for St. Cloud State (2-3-1, 1-1-0) at 6:12.
Cepis scored the game-tying goal for Minnesota 33 seconds later and assisted on Jay Barriball’s power-play goal that proved to be the game-winner at 18:30 of the period. Cepis has scored 25 points in 27 games since joining the Gophers midway through last season after transferring from Bowling Green.
“I like the way we gave up a goal and got it back the next shift down,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “We talk about taking a punch and giving a punch.”
That hadn’t been the case during Minnesota’s three-game WCHA losing streak. The Gophers trailed Nebraska-Omaha 4-0 and 3-0 in losses to the Mavericks, then dropped behind 5-0 in a 5-2 loss Friday to St. Cloud State.
Barriball completed the comeback Sunday by camping beside the net to the right of St. Cloud State goalie Dan Dunn and batting in the puck as it crossed the goal mouth. Defense and goalies dominated the last 41 minutes.
Kent Patterson made 25 saves for the Gophers, including 13 stops in the third period.
“We did a lot of things well, starting with our goaltender,” Lucia said. “He did a great job of not giving up rebounds and holding them to one shot at a time.”
Dunn made 22 saves with just five coming in the third period.
This was the first time in five games that the Gophers held their opponent to fewer than 35 shots.