Observations from Minnesota's 4-1 Win Over Bemidji State

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A Night to Remember
In the second-highest attended game of the season at Mariucci Arena, the Gophers were able to complete a night full of celebrations with their 21st victory of the season. Prior to the game, the team honored 29-year administrative assistant Patti Bjorklund at the first intermission, the 10,202 fans in attendance celebrated the 10th anniversary of the program's fourth national championship.

The win moved the Gophers three points ahead of second-place Minnesota-Duluth and four points ahead of third-place Denver. UMD tied Minnesota State 4-4 and the Pioneers lost 5-2 to Wisconsin. Minnesota is seeking its first MacNaughton Cup since 2006-07.
 
Home Ice
With Saturday's win, Minnesota clinched a top-six spot in the WCHA standings and home ice for the first round of the playoffs from March 9-11. It is the second year in a row the Gophers will start the postseason at Mariucci Arena after traveling to North Dakota for the first round two years ago. Alaska-Anchorage became the first team to knock UM out on its own ice last year with a two-game sweep. Minnesota placed fourth in 2010-11 and has a 14-5-0 home ledger this year.

State of Gophers
Minnesota has fared well against teams within the State of Hockey this season. The Gophers finished 9-1-0 against other teams from Minnesota, including a 6-0-0 mark at home. UM now has a 10-1-1 all-time record against Bemidji State and is 7-1-0 at home against the Beavers. All but two of those wins have come by more than one goal.

Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Gophers' win on Saturday sealed their seventh sweep of the season and fifth at home. Six of their seven sweeps have come in WCHA play. Minnesota has won six Friday games in conference action and has completed the sweep each time. The Gophers are 12-3-1 on Saturdays and are 11-1-0 in the second game of the series against WCHA opponents.

Quarter-Century Mark
With an assist on the Gophers last goal of the game, Nate Condon became the seventh Gopher to reach 25 points on the season. Last night Kyle Rau (31 points) notched two assists to make him the third player on the team with 30 points and tonight, Jake Hansen and Nate Schmidt inched within a point of that landmark with two points and one point, respectively. Nick Bjugstad (36 points), Erik Haula (35 points), and Zach Budish (27 points) all surpassed 25 prior to Saturday. Of those three, Haula was to only one to get on the scoresheet in the series finale against BSU. He picked up two goals and an assist.

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