The Gopher men's hockey team had some trouble shaking off the rest from their long layoff as three unanswered goals from Merrimack was too much for the Gophers to come back from, Friday night.
Merrimack beat the Gophers 3-2 in the opening round of the 24th annual Mariucci Classic.
Warriors goaltender Rasmus Tirronen was outstanding, he made 40 saves and quieted the Gophers attack.
After Minnesota took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Michael Brodzinski, Merrimack pulled even at the 14:59 mark of the first period on a goal from Hampus Gustafsson.
Merrimack then took the lead with second period goals from Jace Hennig and Brett Seney to put the Gophers in a 3-1 hole.
Minnesota tried to battle back in the third as Connor Reilly added a goal for the Gophers to cut the Warriors' lead to one.
It was Reilly's seventh goal of the season, equalling the team-high this season, it also continued a streak of terrific play from the Gophers sophomore.
The Gophers will play R-I-T, who lost to Massachusetts-Lowell, in the consolation game Saturday night at 7 p.m. While Merrimack meets up with UML in the championship at 4.