Observations from Minnesota's 6-3 Loss To North Dakota

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WCHA Postseason and Final Five
Minnesota got back to the Final Five for the first time in three years, but was unable to win a game for the first time since Mar. 21, 2008 when it beat Colorado College. The Gophers are now 2-2-0 at the Xcel Energy Center against UND and 3-4 against North Dakota at the Final Five. The teams have split 24 all-time WCHA postseason meetings.

Two Different Games
Friday night's contest was a tale of two halves. Through the first 30:01 of the game, Minnesota had a 3-0 lead, but UND went on to score six unanswered goals to earn a 6-3 win. The Gophers had a 12-2 edge in shots after one period and North Dakota outshot Minnesota 19-2 after getting on the board late in the second period. Minnesota lost after scoring first for the seventh time (21-7-0) and is now 11-9-0 on Fridays.

Underclassman Impact

Of the six points recorded by Minnesota players on Friday, five were recorded by players with freshman or sophomore eligibility. Freshman Kyle Rau had a goal and as assist, sophomore Nate Schmidt had two assists, and redshirt sophomore Zach Budish had a goal. The freshman class now has 31 goals and 49 assists for 80 point and the sophomores have 80 goals and 141 assists for 221 points. Senior Jake Hansen, who scored the game's second goal, was the only junior or senior to get a point.

Hot Haula
At the most crucial time of the season, sophomore center Erik Haula is heating up. The Pori, Finland-native, who became the first Minnesota player to score 17 points in a month in October, now has 18 points (nine goals and nine assists) in his last 13 games, dating back to a 2-1 win on Jan. 27 against St. Cloud.

Schmidt Assists
With two assists in Friday's loss, sophomore Nate Schmidt moved into the top 10 in school history for assists by a defenseman in a single season. His 35 helpers tie him with Dan Trebil in 1995-96. Mike Crowley had the most all-time in 1996-97 when he put up 47 assists.

Third Period
For the second time all season, Minnesota lost a game when leading after two periods. Prior to Friday night, the Gophers had an 18-1-0 record when up after 40 minutes. Minnesota let up more than three goals in a period for the first time since allowing four in the second period in a 5-4 loss to Vermont on Oct. 23. It was the first time all year the Gophers allowed five goals in a period and first time they conceded more than five goals in a game. Minnesota also lost by three or more for the second time all year.

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