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Bob Motzko's Gophers beat No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth to take weekend series

The Bob Motzko era is off to a good start at the U of M.

After skating to a 1-1 tie in Saturday's season opener at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, the Gophers men's hockey team toppled the defending champion UMD Bulldogs 7-4 on Sunday at 3M Arena at Mariucci. 

Perhaps toppled is the wrong word since the Bulldogs dominated the pace of play most of the game, but Minnesota scored seven goals on 22 shots while the defending national champs found it just four times on 46 shots, two of their goals coming on power plays. 

“We don’t win that game without [goalie Mat Robson] standing on his head,” Gophers forward Jack Ramsey said, via USCHO.com.

The victory is the first for new head coach Bob Motzko, who has the No. 13 Gophers off to a fast start with a 1-0-1 weekend against No. 1 UMD. And Minnesota got the job done Sunday with a balanced effort in which 11 players tallied points. 

Robson made 42 saves for the win while Brandon McManus led the Gophers with two goals and an assist. Clayton Phillips had three assists while Tyler Sheehy, Sammy Walker, Rem Pitlick, Garrett Wait and Sampo Ranta each scored a goal. 

The Gophers were completely dominated in the second period, but they cashed in on what Motzko said were their only two scoring chances. 

“We had two scoring chances in the second period and they both went in,” Motzko said.

The Gophers have an exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 13 against the U.S. Under-18 Team in Plymouth, Michigan. 

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