After Mike Reilly put Minnesota up by two goals the first period, Connor Reilly took his turn with his second goal of the year midway through the second period to give the Gophers a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-1 victory. Making Connor's goal even more noteworthy for the Reilly family: his brother, Mike, had the second assist, marking the first time two Reillys contributed to the same goal.
"That made it pretty special," Connor said. "It felt pretty good. Obviously it was huge to get a win. Mikey had a great shot on his and I was lucky enough to get some open space and just tried to put it in the back of the net."
Connor Reilly should have joined his brothers, Mike and Ryan, as freshmen on the team last year, but he was derailed by a knee injury that kept him out for the entire season. Ryan Reilly played in just eight games last year, so it was up to Mike to carry the Reilly family torch a year ago.
Meanwhile, Connor watched from the stands on weekends while rehabbing his knee all year. He admits he's not back to where he wants to be, but being on the ice sure beats the alternative.
"It was pretty miserable, to be honest," Connor Reilly said of being a spectator last season. "It's not easy to sit in the stands eating hot dogs and popcorn next to your parents while your teammates are competing out there and playing. Obviously, I feel like I'm going to eventually come back stronger."
Mike Reilly's goal came with 1:27 remaining in the first period to lift the Gophers to a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. He took a pass from captain Nate Condon and buried it past Mavericks goalie Cole Huggins.
At the 8:40 mark of the second, the Reilly brothers teamed up for Connor's second goal of the year, with Sam Warning also assisting on the play. Connor's goal came on the power play, Minnesota's lone tally with the man advantage in five power plays Friday night.
The goals by Mike and Connor Reilly were the first Gophers goals by brothers in the same game since Ryan and Grant Potulny did so in a game against St. Cloud State back in 2004.
"It's pretty special," said Mike Reilly, the lone defenseman of the Reilly trio. "We've been waiting for that opportunity for a while, to score in the same game like that. It was tough seeing him in the stands all last year watching me, but since he finally got it, it's an unbelievable achievement."
Mike Reilly is the youngest of the three brothers -- twins Connor and Ryan are older by two years -- but his hockey future may be the brightest of the three. He represented the United States at the World Junior Championships last year in Russia, which forced him to miss a few of the Gophers' regular-season games. Mike is also the only one of the three who was drafted; Columbus took him in the fourth round in 2011.
On this night, though, it was an opportunity for two brothers to share the spotlight together.
"Good for Connor. We put him there on the power play because he's willing to shoot," said Gophers head coach Don Lucia. "Mike made a nice play on his goal as well. We got some good production from some guys."
The Reillys grew up in Chanhassen. While Connor and Ryan attended Holy Angels, Mike headed south to Faribault, Minn., for the 2010-11 season before playing for Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League, where he was reunited with Connor and Ryan.
All three brothers are now reunited once again at Minnesota, the school they dreamed of playing at. Friday night, Connor and Mike played key roles in the Gophers' win.
"Now that (Connor's) here, it's pretty special," Mike said. "We're cherishing every minute of it. I enjoy it because growing up, I played with him all the time. To play at Minnesota like this is pretty special."
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