Instant Analysis: Minnesota 5, North Dakota 1

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Here are some quick thoughts on the Gophers 5-1 victory over North Dakota. 

Another Top Team Goes Down

The Gophers picked up another win over a highly-ranked opponent. Minnesota can add No. 6 North Dakota to their growing list of impressive wins. It includes Boston College and Notre Dame. In all the Gophers have not dropped a contest since November 30th versus Omaha. Since that date, the Gophers are 8-0-1. They will go for the sweep of North Dakota tomorrow.

 Haula's Back

Erik Haula returned to the Gophers' lineup for the first time since getting injured against Boston College. He was slotted on the left wing, playing alongside Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau. Haula posted a goal and an assist. In addition, he was slashed on a breakaway late in the second period leading to the power play where the Gophers scored their second goal. Erik collected his 100 career point with assist on Schmidt goal in the third period, which made the score 3-1 Haula put the game on ice with an empty-net goal to make the score 5-1.

 Second Period Turning Point

Late in the second period, the Gophers got a key goal and never relinquished the lead. Nate Condon took a shot, which deflected in to the air. The first player to find it when it came down was Seth Ambroz. He was able to put the puck on net and start whacking away at it and goalie Clarke Saunders. The puck was finally pushed over the line by Ben Marshall with only six seconds left to go in the period. The Gophers took the momentum to the third period.

Condon's Night

The star of the night was Gopher forward Nate Condon. He posted a game-high three points. Nate assisted on two critical goals for the Gophers in the second period. He picked up his first assist on the goal by Zach Budish, which tied the game at one. His second assist came on the game-winning goal. Condon fired a shot towards the net and it was deflected in the air. Ambroz and eventually Ben Marshall found it to give the Gophers the key one-goal lead heading into the final frame. Nate's goal was a spectacular individual effort. While the Gophers were on the penalty kill, he blocked a shot and raced the other way past the remaining North Dakota defenders before going top shelf to put Minnesota up 4-1.

Issuing a Warning to Opponents

Perhaps no Gopher is feeling better about his game than Sam Warning. He extended his point streak to six games in fine fashion. With the Gophers trailing 1-0, Sam made a diving play along the wing to get the puck in the middle for Zach Budish. Zach wasted no time putting the puck beyond Clarke Saunders and into the net to tie the game at one. Warning had four assists last weekend against Alaska Anchorage.

Written By Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock

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