Gophers bounce back with 4-1 victory in border battle

MADISON, Wisconsin – Jack LaFontaine made 34 saves, a season-high, and four different skaters from Minnesota hit the net as Gopher’s No. 5 men’s hockey program took a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday night at the Kohl Center .

Minnesota (6-4-0 overall, 3-1-0-0-1-0 Big Ten) took a three-goal lead in the first period with goals of Matthew Knies, Aaron Huglen and Jason nelson. Nelson’s power-play goal near the end of the first stanza came on Minnesota’s only advantage of the night.

Wisconsin (4-6-0, 2-2-0-1-0-0) found the net for the first and only time on Saturday night with a power play goal from Roman Ahcan 51 seconds after the start of the second period, but Sammy Walker responded for the Maroon & Gold 16 seconds later for the game’s last goal.

LaFontaine (6-4-0) stopped 34 of 35 on the night with the only flaw occurring in the Wisconsin advantage – Minnesota’s penalty fell to 1 to 2 on the night. The goalie briefly left the game at the end of the first period after a collision but returned for the second period. LaFontaine being briefly out of service, Justen Close made his first appearance of the season with three saves on three shots. Cameron Rowe (2-4-0) allowed four goals on 12 shots to concede the Badgers loss before being relieved.

Wisconsin had a 38-18 advantage on shots in the series final.

Coach’s comments
“Good answer from us tonight, we looked good,” Minnesota head coach Bob motzko noted. “A good start, I stayed strong and a lot of good performances from a lot of players tonight… it was a big win for us.”

Minnesota holds an 11-4-1 record in the last 16 Border Battle games at Madison… nine Gophers have scored and Knies has a high two points (one goal, one assist).

Next: Four game home support
Minnesota continues the 2021-22 season with four consecutive Big Ten games at 3M Arena in Mariucci starting next weekend against Ohio State. The series will begin on Friday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m. CT (TV: Bally Sports North; Stream: B1G + / Bally Sports App; Radio: 1130 KTLK / 103.5 FM) with the weekend finale set for Saturday, November 13. at 5:00 p.m. CT (TV: Bally Sports North; Streaming: B1G + / Bally Sports App; Radio: 1130 KTLK / 103.5 FM).

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