Observations from Minnesota's 3-2 Loss to Northeastern

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Wrapping Up the Mariucci Classic
With the loss on Saturday, Minnesota was denied its 13th Mariucci Classic championship title. The last time the Gophers won it was in 2008-09 when they topped Northeastern 3-2 in overtime. The Huskies won it for the second time. NU beat Minnesota 4-2 for a title win in 1997-98.

Minnesota made its 17th championship appearance in 21 years of the tournament.

See Ya, 2011!
The Gophers completed the 2011 calendar year with a 22-12-5 record and a 15-6-1 start to its current season. Minnesota finished the 2010-11 season with a 7-6-4 record. The last time UM had more than 20 wins in a year was in 2007 when it had 23. The 2006-07 Gophers had a 14-9-0 finish and the 2007-08 team was 9-9-2 midway through the season. Minnesota will begin 2012 with the Hall of Fame Game against Notre Dame next Saturday and a road WCHA series against North Dakota the following week.

Shuffling the Lines
Prior to Friday night, forward Zach Budish had played on a line with World Junior players Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau in all 20 of the team's games. On Friday, Budish stayed in his customary right wing position, but he was on a line with senior Nick Larson and freshman Christian Isackson. On Saturday, the lines were scrambled a bit yet again with Isackson moving the fourth line in place of Tom Serratore to play with Nico Sacchetti and Joe Miller. Travis Boyd took Isackson's spot on Budish-Larson line.

Costly Penalties
Penalties may have cost the Gophers their 13th Mariucci Classic title. Minnesota was shorthanded a season-high 12 times, including three five-on-threes (two of which resulted in goals against). All but one goal in the game was scored with UM playing shorthanded. The Gophers came up empty on all five of their man advantages. Minnesota had 26 penalty minutes to Northeastern's 10 and eight Gophers combined for 13 minor penalties in the contest.

Transfer Notes
After a solid defensive performance against Niagara on Friday, the Gophers kept the same six defensemen in the lineup on Saturday. This meant that Northeastern transfer Chris Student did not make his Minnesota debut against his former team. Vinny Saponari, who transferred from Boston University to Northeastern, scored NU's first goal.

Against the Huskies/Hockey East
With the loss on Saturday, Minnesota dropped to 12-5-0 against Northeastern all-time. Against Hockey East opponents, the Gophers have a 81-49-7 total record and are 1-2-0 this year after splitting with Vermont in late October. The Huskies won at Minnesota for the second time ever. The only other time the home team didn't win was the NU beat the Gophers for the 1997-98 Mariucci Classic.

Streaks Snapped
For the first time in 2011-12, Minnesota lost on a Saturday. UM is now 8-1-1 on Saturday and 8-2-1 in the second game of the weekend. The only other second-game loss came against another Hockey East opponent, Vermont, on Oct. 23. The Gophers also lost for the first time while wearing alternate uniforms this season. They were previously 2-0-0 in their gold uniforms and 2-0-0 in their alternate white uniforms. Minnesota fell to 13-3-0 when scoring first, as well.

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