Solei leads Gophers to 5-1 win over Wayne State

first_imgSolei leads Gophers to 5-1 win over Wayne State Brian DeutschJanuary 4, 2008Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThree-and-a-half years worth of rust shook off pretty quick as senior net-minder Brent Solei led the Minnesota men’s hockey team to a 5-1 win over Wayne State in his first regular season start.“It feels great just to get the win,” Solei said after the game. “It was pretty emotionalÖI had a lot of fun out there.”The senior from Coon Rapids made 28 saves and earned the game’s First Star as well the Heart of the Game award.When the latter was announced, the crowd of 9,915 gave the walk-on a standing ovation. But as much as Solei impressed fans, he left the biggest impression on his coach.“Based on how he played tonight, he earned the right to maybe get another opportunity,” coach Don Lucia said. “I’m not saying that that’s going to happen, but he certainly has put himself into the mix.”Lucia cited Solei’s team leading save percentage albeit it is averaged from just two games.The ninth year coach wouldn’t say who would be in net tomorrow night, although Solei said he expected to be on the bench.At the start of tonight’s contest, it didn’t look as though Solei would be tested much, the Warriors didn’t put a shot on goal until the 7:23 mark of the first period.But Wayne State would eventually find its stride and even tied the game at 1-1 in the second period.After the Gophers unsuccessfully tried to clear the puck out of their own zone, sophomore defenseman Ryan Bernardi found sophomore winger Jared Katz wide open behind the Minnesota defenseman.Katz had plenty of time to deke Solei and put his fourth goal of the year through the Gophers’ goalie’s five-hole. “I saw it coming in and I tried to sit there as long as I could and be patient,” Solei said.Nevertheless, the goal brought the senior’s save percentage down to .966, substantially ahead of freshman Alex Kangas’ .912 and senior Jeff Frazee’s .891.But that was all Solei would allow all night, and a relatively close game was blown wide open by three Minnesota goals in the third period.Offensively, the Gophers had four skaters with two points a piece and junior forward Blake Wheeler and senior forward Ben Gordon, one and two on the team in points respectively, each had a goal in the game. Gordon’s was the eventual game winner.“It was definitely an emotional win tonight,” senior forward Evan Kaufmann said.Kaufmann, who started the third period scoring blitz with his third goal of the year, said he too was impressed by his classmate’s play.“I think everyone was ecstatic that Brent got the win tonight. Not only did he win, he played pretty phenomenal,” Kaufmann said. “I don’t think it would have been a 5-1 game if we didn’t have Brent in the net.”Game Notes-Minnesota put a season high 51 shots on goal tonight.-Warriors’ freshman net-minder Mike Devoney also made his regular season debut tonight in relief. He made ten saves in the third period and allowed one goal.1 2 3 Final Minnesota 0 2 3 5 Wayne State 0 1 0 1 Scoring: First ñ 1. No Scoring Second ñ 1. MN, Wheeler (Pohl), 2:51 (SH). 2. WS, Katz (Bernadi), 10:41(ev). 3. MN, Gordon (Peltier) 13:27 (ev). Third ñ 4. MN, Kaufmann (Bostrom, Hoeffel), 5:19 (ev). 5. MN, Anderson (Kaufmann, White) 9:57 (pp). 6. MN, White (Howe, Hoeffel) 16:09 (ev). Saves: Minnesota ñ Solei 9-8-11-28 Wayne State ñ Funkenhauser 16-16-4-36 Devoney NA-NA-10-10last_img

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