Minnesota, with an overall record of 3-2-0 and a conference record of 0-1-0, scored the opening goal just 15 seconds into the game, but Wisconsin, with an overall record of 6-1-0 and a conference record of 1-0-0, came back to win the series opener. Jaxon Nelson scored the first goal of the night, and Charlie Strobel added his first collegiate goal to tie the game 2-2 in the second period, but the visitors scored the final three goals of the night.
The first goal of the game came from Jaxon Nelson, who tipped in a shot from Ryan Chesley just 15 seconds into the game. Mason Nevers, in his season debut, assisted Chesley’s goal. However, the visitors scored a power-play goal at the 1:38 mark to equalize and then took the lead in the first period.
In the second period, Rhett Pitlick and Charlie Strobel created chances for the Gophers, and Strobel scored his first career goal to tie the game at 2-2. Justen Close made six saves to keep the game tied, but Wisconsin scored two goals in quick succession to take a 4-2 lead at intermission.
In the final period, both teams had opportunities, but the goaltenders kept the opposing attacks at bay. Wisconsin had a five-minute man advantage due to a video review, but they scored during the 4-on-4 action to seal the victory with a final score of 5-2.
Nelson’s goal extended his point-scoring streak to five games, and it was his third goal of the season. Nevers, in his season debut, recorded an assist after missing the first two weeks due to an injury. Jimmy Clark earned his first collegiate point with the primary assist on Strobel’s goal. Last season, the Gophers lost their first Big Ten game but went on to win the league title with a record of 19-3-1. Minnesota had a perfect penalty kill record of 16-for-16 entering the game.
Coach Motzko’s Comments:
Minnesota head coach Bob Motzko said, “I hate to be critical after a loss, but that was as bad as we could play from start to finish. Wisconsin just played hard. We scored on the first shift, and we just went easy.”
Next Up: Home vs. Wisconsin (Oct. 27)
Minnesota will face Wisconsin in the final game of the conference series on October 27. The game will be broadcasted live on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m., and fans can also stream the game on the Fox Sports app or listen to the audio coverage on the Gopher Radio Network 103.5 FM/AM-1130 KTLK.