Gophers Dispatch RPI, 6-2
Jan. 4, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The top-ranked Minnesota men's hockey team defeated Rensselaer, 6-2, to claim third place at the Mariucci Classic at Mariucci Arena Saturday night. The Gophers put forth a 44-shot effort and used a three-goal second period to propel them to their first victory of the 2014 calendar year. Junior Travis Boyd led the way for Minnesota with three points and fellow third-year forward Kyle Rau potted two goals, including the game-winner.
Boyd, who had two goals and two assists on the weekend, and teammate Marshall were named to the Mariucci Classic all-tournament team.
Despite a 15-6 edge in shots in the first period, the Gophers went into the first intermission tied at one. RPI senior Brock Higgs opened the game's scoring at the 15:57 with a shorthanded tally, but Minnesota responded with under a minute to go when Connor Reilly redirected a Justin Holl point shot past Engineer netminder Scott Diebold.
The second period got off to an auspicious start for the home team when Boyd sniped home his second goal in as many games just 21 seconds into the frame. Rau padded the lead 58 seconds later, banging home his own rebound after whacking away at a Marshall point shot.
After another shot from Marshall yielded a Diebold rebound, Justin Kloos slammed home his seventh goal of the season to make it 4-1 at the 6:49 mark.
In the third period, Matt Neal trimmed the Gophers' lead to 4-2 with 13:03 to play. Ryan Haggerty looked to have scored a goal to bring RPI within one with a goal with 9:10 to play, but Jake Wood negated the play with an inference penalty. Rau put the game out of reach on the ensuing man advantage with his second goal of the night.
With 2:31 left, Seth Ambroz capped the scoring with his team-high ninth goal of the season on an empty-net goal.
The Gophers will resume action next weekend when they continue conference play with a road series against Penn State. It will be Minnesota's first-ever series against the Nittany Lions.
-Pride on Ice-