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Early Lead Spoiled at #1 Minnesota

Jan 3, 2021
Photo by Brad Rempel/University of Minnesota Athletics

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Sun Devil Hockey gave No. 1 Minnesota its first deficit of the season with a 1-0 lead through the first period but couldn't hold on ending with a 4-1 loss at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Sunday afternoon. 

Freshman forward Matthew Kopperud opened scoring for the Sun Devils (4-7-2) with the first powerplay goal allowed by Minnesota's top-ranked penalty kill team this season. On the other side, ASU's penalty kill went 4-for-4 including killing off a 5-minute major.

"Special teams did their job, we got a big goal to start the game and get us up going into the second period," said head coach Greg Powers. "The kill was tremendous against a unbelievably good talented powerplay." 

The Sun Devils and Golden Gophers meet again tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. CT / 6:05 p.m. MT on FOX Sports Arizona. 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Just under five minutes into the game, freshman forward Matthew Kopperud picked up eighth goal of the season -- tied for the most in the NCAA -- on a tip in front while on the powerplay. The goal was the first allowed by the Minnesota penalty kill all season, and also became the first time the Golden Gophers had trailed all season. 
  • Despite holding the lead going into the first intermission, the top-ranked team in the nation came out flying in the second, scoring three-unanswered goals in a matter of five minutes. Koster, Sorenson and Ranta each found the back of the net for the Gophers.
  • Late in the 3rd, the Gophers killed a late penalty before scoring a minute after as Ranta netted his second of the game on a rebound in front. 

GAME NOTES:

  • Minnesota had never trailed this season before going down 1-0 to the Sun Devils five minutes into the game.
  • The Golden Gopher penalty kill had also never allowed a goal through eight games before Matthew Kopperud tallied his eight of the season while on their first powerplay of the game.
  • Kopperud's 8th goal of the season now puts him tied atop the NCAA in goals scored.
  • ASU's penalty killing unit negated all four penalties, including a 5-minute major against the nation's 2nd-ranked powerplay unit. 
  • The last time ASU played a No. 1 ranked team was on October 13, 2018 against Ohio State (L, 0-3).