Observations from Minnesota's 2-1 Win Over Alaska Anchorage

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Hot Haula
After becoming the first Gopher to notch 17 points in a month since 2002 after a red-hot start in October, it seems sophomore center Erik Haula has found his scoring touch again after putting up 11 points in his next 19 games played. Minnesota is 8-3-0 in its last ten games and Haula has been a big part of the team's success, racking up 12 points (including seven goals) in that span. Haula now leads the team with 40 points.

Avoid Becoming an Outlier
If Minnesota can beat Alaska Anchorage on either Saturday or Sunday (if necessary), the Gophers will become the 18th-straight No. 1-seeded team in the WCHA playoffs to move on to the second round after Michigan Tech upset No. 1 Colorado College in three games in 1994. The last time the top seed lost a game was on Mar. 10, 2007 when the tenth-seeded Seawolves beat Minnesota 2-1 in overtime.

Continued Success at Home
With the win on Friday, Minnesota improved to 27-3 at the current Mariucci Arena in WCHA Playoffs. The Gophers' only three loses came to Alaska Anchorage, who swept Minnesota last year and also picked up a win in 2007. 

One-Game Advantage
Since playing its first two-game WCHA Playoff series in 1974, Minnesota has won the first game of the opening round of the playoffs 30 times and have advanced to the next round each time. Nine of those series wins have come under current head coach Don Lucia and all but one were sweeps.

Playoff Debuts
Entering Friday, senior captain Taylor Matson had not played in a postseason hockey game after ending the first three seasons of his collegiate career early due to injury. Matson started Friday's game against Alaska Anchorage. Matson was one of eight Gophers to make his college postseason debut. The only other non-rookie was sophomore Nate Schmidt, who recorded two assists in the game.

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