Double-barreled goodness tonight at Okposo Net world headquarters! Let's start with Mr. Okposo (after all the blog does bear his name) who broke out in a big way on Saturday night. Kyle had been held without a point in UM's last 8 (eight) games, but that's finally over now (thanks, Alice in Chains).
Minnesota found themselves trailing Minnesota State 2-1 after one period, but shortly into the second frame Okposo began firing on all cylinders. Cade Fairchild was able to find Kyle after 3+ minutes of play, and Kyle sent a long blast from the point past MSU goalie Dan Tormey. Finally, the dry spell was over.
Kyle wasn't done, however, and neither were the Gophers. Now tied at 2, it took only 2:02 for Kyle to find the net again, this time taking a Jay Barriball pass and sending it in for the lead.
Minnesota followed Kyle's lead and added another 2 goals in the period (Lucia, Fairchild) to give themselves a 5-2 lead after two. When the dust settled, Minnesota outshot the visiting Mavericks 16-4 in the 2nd period.
The Gophers coasted in the 3rd period, winning by a final of 5-3. Minnesota took both weekend games from the visitors from Mankato. For his game-changing two goal effort, Kyle was voted first star of the game. His season totals now stand at 3-2-5 in 10 games.
Meanwhile, on Long Island, another hot scorer was doing his part to propel his squad to victory. 1200 miles away the Isles were facing a slumping Devils team at Nassau Coliseum. However, any time Martin Brodeur faces your squad, you hope for the best and expect the worst.
Josef Vasicek was able to beat Brodeur late in the first period for a 1-0 lead, and the game stayed that way until the 3rd. Dainius Zubrus netted the equalizer just 1:10 in, and it appeared it was going to come down to a battle of goalies.
Despite coming into the game with 402 fewer NHL victories than Brodeur, Rick DiPietro was up to the task. Great saves are becoming a nightly feature on Long Island, and DP exhibited quite a few versus the Jerseyites.
It took a 5-on-3 effort (the Isles recorded no penalties in the game) to swing the advantage to the home team, but when presented with chances this year the Isles have mostly been able to cash them in. Super-hot scorer Miroslav Satan struck again, his 3rd game winner in as many contests. Trent Hunter slid the puck across the crease at 6:25 and Miro didn't miss. Rick did his part in the final minutes, keeping his net empty and making 20 saves overall to preserve the win.
Satan was awarded first star and the Isles took a wonderful 10 (of a possible 12) points on the homestand. A critical game on Monday night in Philly begins a 4-game road trip.
On a personal note, this was my first home game *not* in the Blog Box. Hey, everyone needs some lady-time once in a while, right?