Saturday, October 13, 2007

Time to Shine!

University of Minnesota hockey is back!

The Gophers took on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the second game of the IceBreaker Invitational last night. It was UM's first game of the season, and was played in front of a heavily partisan crowd at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The RPI Engineers went up 3-0 with under 5:00 to play in the second, and it wasn't looking good for the Gophers. The Gophers were being outhustled and outplayed, until Kyle decided he had seen enough loafing.

Minnesota netted their first goal of the night at 16:44 of the second period; Okposo assisted on linemate Ryan Stoa's power play goal, and Kyle had his first point of the season.

Blake Wheeler scored for UM 4:32 into the 3rd period to make it 3-2 in favor of RPI, but there was still plenty of time for heroics. Another power play, and another assist for Kyle, this time to Evan Kauffman, and the game was suddenly tied at 3. With over 9 minutes left to play, Minnesota still had time to set up the visitors for the kill. And who better to deliver the death blow than our man, Kyle Okposo?

With 1:11 left in the final period, KO delivered the knockout punch to the Engineers, taking a pass from Jay Barriball and knocking it past goalie Mathias Lange for the winner!

With that, all that was left to do was run the final minute or so off the clock, and the swift and sudden comeback was complete. It was engineered, if you will, by the 3-point effort of Okposo, who of course won first star of the game.

Humble as always, he gave full credit to his teammates. Not a bad opening night, if you ask me. Tomorrow UM plays 9th-ranked Michigan, a decidedly harder mark. Spare us the excitement and go up early on the Wolverines, no?

1 comment:

Nick in New York said...

hey guys - cool blog! I'm a Minnesotan and a big Gophers fan. I live in NY now (upstate) but I get to watch most of the Gophers games on the Fox College Sports channels.

Kyle is a huge key to the Gophers' success this season. He and Wheeler need to carry the team both in terms of scoring and leadership.

I thought he played fine during the Ice Breaker, but when he's on he's driving to the net and Wheeler stole the show on that last weekend.

Keep up the good work!

Nick in New York