Observations from Minnesota's 4-2 win over Minnesota State

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Reversing the Curse
Minnesota's senior class had never beaten Minnesota State at home prior to Friday's 4-2 win. In the previous three seasons, the Gophers were 2-5-1 against the Mavericks had only beaten them once in their last six meetings--once in Mankato, Minn. and once at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. At Mariucci Arena with the current seniors, Minnesota lost a pair of 3-1 decisions and picked up a 3-3 tie for an 0-2-1 record.

In games that are a part of two-game regular-season home series against Minnesota State, UM has a 10-1-4 record all-time. The last time the Gophers played two home consecutive home games against the Mavericks prior to this weekend, though, was on Oct. 21 and 22, 2005.

Starting Strong and Finishing Strong
The Gophers were almost unbeatable in the third period entering the night and the team continued that trend Friday against Minnesota State. After scoring twice and holding MSU off the board in the third, UM has now outscored its opponents 29-7 in the final frame and is 11-1-0 when tied or leading entering the third in 2011-12. Minnesota is now also 11-1-0 when scoring first. The Gophers won on Friday after Taylor Matson put away the game's first goal.

Senior Leadership
Most of the season, the Gophers have been led by their high-scoring sophomore and freshmen classes, but on Friday seniors scored three of the team's four goals. Captain Taylor Matson opened the scoring in the first and Nick Larson put the Gophers ahead 2-1 in the second. Jake Hansen iced the game with his sixth goal of the season with under a minute to go in the third period. The sophomore class did get on the board with Erik Haula's game-winning power-play marker.

TGIF and Home Sweet Home
After beating North Dakota 2-0 on Friday, Nov. 4, the Gophers dropped three straight Friday games. Minnesota lost to Wisconsin, St. Cloud, and Michigan State. Those contests were all on the road. In their first series-opening game at home since beating UND last month, the Gophers got back to their winning ways against Minnesota State.

UM is now 6-3-0 on Fridays, 6-0-1 on Saturdays, and 0-1-0 on Sundays (only game was a 5-4 loss to Vermont on Oct. 23). Minnesota is also 6-1-0 at home and is a perfect 3-0-0 in WCHA games at Mariucci Arena.

Speaking of home games, Friday's game was marked the beginning of a seven-game homestand for the Gophers after the team played seven of its last 10 games away from home. UM was 3-3-1 in those road games.

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