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Gophers Hockey: Undisciplined play costs Minnesota

St. Cloud State became the first team since Nebraska-Omaha on October 16-17, 2011 to sweep Minnesota in a two-game regular season series at Mariucci Arena.

Kalle Kossila scored the opening goal for St. Cloud State on Sunday.
Kalle Kossila scored the opening goal for St. Cloud State on Sunday.
Matt Christians/SBN College Hockey
MINNEAPOLIS- A day off between games to re-focus on special teams and discipline did little to help Minnesota as the team enters Big Ten conference play with its second 3 game losing streak of the season.

After giving up two power play goals on three chances in Friday's 3-2 loss, the Gophers handedly topped that Sunday.

St. Cloud State scored four power play goals Sunday, including two on a five minute major in the second period, to defeat Minnesota 7-4.

"I think that was a 1970s game. You don't see that. There were seven power play goals scored tonight, and obviously we had five of them. It was a crazy game, a really weird game," said SCSU head coach Bob Motzko. "They didn't go away. We had to find ways to score to keep a big lead. Otherwise we would have to hold on there."

The only thing slowed down by the Huskies PP was the clock, which stopped working on the arena's scoreboard for a portion of the first period. (It still ran on the ice and was announced by the Mariucci Arena PA announcer.)

The Huskies (11-3-0, 5-1-0-0 NCHC) became the first team in over five years to leave Mariucci Arena with a two-game regular season road series sweep. Judd Peterson and Blake Winiecki each scored twice for St. Cloud State, which chased Gopher goaltender Eric Schierhorn from net after the second period.

Leon Bristedt continued his run of good play for Minnesota (4-7-0, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) with his seventh goal of the season coming on a gorgeous cross-ice pass by Taylor Cammarata during the power play. Earlier Jake Bischoff scored his second power play goal of the weekend.

"We were able to put four in so that was a positive. We're going to take some positives away from today, getting a couple power play goals," Bischoff said. "We did some good things, but it wasn't enough."

However, it all came from trailing. Every time Minnesota came close to getting back into the game it took a penalty or the Huskies dominated possession.

Kalle Kossila scored 8:26 into the game at even strength to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Redshirt senior David Morley made it 2-1 Huskies later in the period with a backhand undefended in front on Schierhorn, who made 15 saves on 20 shots.

Gopher defenseman Nick Seeler was given a game misconduct for a hit to the head on Niklas Nevalainen exactly a minute after teammate Tyler Sheehy scored. Peterson and Patrick Russell each scored during the ensuing major to turn a 3-2 lead into a 5-2 one.

"I'm not saying the game is over, but it's hard to score six in a game," Lucia said. "We can't make those kinds of undisciplined errors like that. We're not good enough to put ourselves behind the eight-ball so to speak by being undisciplined."

Nevalainen's status was not known after the game, Motzko said.

Winiecki scored twice in the third period sandwiched around freshman Ryan Norman's first collegiate goal. His second came with 2: 37 remaining in regulation against an empty net rather than Nick Lehr, who replaced Schierhorn. Lucia took a gamble with an offensive zone draw with four minutes remaining trailing by two.

Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves in the win for the Huskies.

The Gophers, meanwhile, open Big Ten conference play against Ohio State next weekend. Both teams come in swept by NCHC opponents. Despite the loss, Minnesota's coaches and players see its downfall this season, and much of the season, as things that are workable as the college hockey calendar turns into its third month.

"If you told me both nights we would hold St. Cloud State to the (number of shots in the) 20s, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. We scored four. The power play was good this weekend. Those are some things we can work on," said Lucia.

"We can't make mistakes. A turnover on the first goal, we have the puck at the offensive blue line and fumble it, they get a goal. Those are mistakes we can control. We have to do everything we can to limit mistakes we can control."

Scoring:

SCSU 2 - 3 - 2 -- 7

MINN 1 - 2 - 1 -- 4

First Period:

SCSU - Kalle Kossila (3) (Patrick Rusell, Jimmy Murray 8:26 EV)

MIN - Jake Bischoff (2) (Vinni Lettieri, Leon Bristedt 11:18 PP)

SCSU - David Morley (7) (Patrick Newel, Joey Benik 13:47 EV)

Second Period:

SCSU - Judd Peterson (8) (Joey Benik, Ethan Prow 1:11 PP)

MIN - Tyer Sheehy (3) (Leon Bristedt, Tommy Novak 4:27 EV)

SCSU - Judd Peterson (9) (Ethan Prow, Kale Kossila 5:48 PP)

SCSU - Patrick Russell (7) (Ethan Prow, Judd Peterson 9:30 PP)

MIN - Leon Bristedt (7) (Taylor Cammarata, Tyler Sheehy 17:29 PP)

Third Period:

SCSU - Blake Winiecki (3) (David Morley, Will Borgen 9:38 PP)

MIN - Ryan Norman (1) (Darian Romanko, Steve Johnson 15:21 EV)

SCSU - Blake Winiecki (4) (Kalle Kossila  17:23 ENG)

Shots:

SCSU: 8 - 12 - 6 -- 26

MINN: 6 - 10 - 17 -- 33

Attempts:

SCSU: 16 - 21 - 12 -- 49

MINN: 11 - 19 - 24 -- 54

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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter --