Area college sports: Gophers men’s hockey earns season-opening sweep of Mercyhurst

After a three-goal third period, the Gophers men’s hockey team completed a late-game comeback to top Mercyhurst 5-3 on Saturday evening to sweep their season-opening series.

They led the Lakers 42-19 in shots on goal and scored two powerplay goals.

The juniors got it done for the Gophers on the scoresheet. Bryce Brodzinski scored two goals in the third period, while Ben Meyers (game-winning goal) and Jaxon Nelson collected their first goals this season. Colorado College transfer senior Grant Cruikshank registered his first point with the Gophers.

The Gophers will split their second non-conference two-game series next weekend against St. Cloud State. They play at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., and will travel to St. Cloud, Minn., for the second game on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 5 p.m.

Northern Michigan 8, St. Thomas 3: The Tommies had an early 3-2 lead in the second period, but that lead quickly faded as the Wildcats scored just 3:29 seconds later and
went on two add five more goals in the third period. St. Thomas (0-4) has now been swept in their first two series in their first season of Division I play.

Freshman Kyler Grundy scored his first two collegiate goals, while sophomore Lucas McGregor tallied his first goal. Sophomore Kimball Johnson also added two assists to the scoresheet.

The Tommies will travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for their next CCHA two-game series to take on Lake Superior State on Friday, Oct. 15 at 6:37 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 16 at 6:07 p.m. in search of their first ever victory in Division I program history.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

Minnesota Duluth 5, Gophers 4: After trailing 4-1, the Gophers’ comeback fell short in an overtime loss to Minnesota Duluth at Amsoil Arena. Senior Abigail Boreen tallied two third-period goals, including the tying goal, and added one assist.

Despite the loss, the Gophers outshot the Bulldogs 35-22. Senior Taylor Heise scored her 40th career goal and added one assist for the Gophers, while senior Emily Oden found the back of the net for her 20th career goal. Freshman Peyton Hemp also had three assists in the game.

The Gophers (1-3) will split their third WCHA two-game series of the season when they take on Minnesota State at Ridder Arena on Friday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m., and on the road in Mankato, Minn., on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 4 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL

Gophers 3, Michigan State 1: After losing their first set on the road in East Lansing, the Gophers went on to win three-consecutive sets to defeat the Spartans, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21.

Sophomore Jenna Wenaas had a double-double performance after collecting a team-high 17 kills, while adding 11 digs, two assists and one service ace. Redshirt senior Stephanie Samedy tallied her 53rd career double-double after she posted 11 kills, 12 digs, three service aces and two assists. Redshirt senior Airi Miyabe also posted a career-high 16 kills.

The Gophers will return home to Maturi Pavilion next week as they take on Northwestern on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. and Indiana on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.

South Dakota State 3, St. Thomas 0: With the Jackrabbits sweep of the Tommies, St. Thomas is now 2-15 in Division I play this season and has lost four-consecutive matches.

The freshmen performed well for St. Thomas. Lauren Galvin had 10 kills, two digs and one assist. Eva Fitzgerald had 11 assists, two digs and one service ace.

The Tommies will look to get back on track when they head back home next week when they host Oral Roberts on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. and Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m.

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