Warning, Wilcox Guide Gophers Past PSU
Jan. 13, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The top-ranked Minnesota men's hockey team padded its lead atop the Big Ten standings by downing Penn State, 5-2, at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pa. Monday night. Sam Warning snapped a 14-game goalless drought with a pair of goals to guide the Gophers to a series sweep in the first-ever conference series at the new PSU hockey facility.
With the victory, Minnesota moved to 5-0-1-0 in league play and now sits four points ahead of second-place Wisconsin. The 15-3-2 overall record the program's third-best through 20 games.
Junior Travis Boyd got the visitors on the board first just 2:25 into the game on the power play, zipping a shot over the left shoulder of Nittany Lion goaltender Eamon McAdam.
PSU emerged from the first period with a 12-9 lead in shots, but Gopher netminder Adam Wilcox backstopped his team to a one-goal lead through 20 minutes.
In the second period, Warning potted his first goal of the night to give Minnesota some insurance. On the tail end of an odd-man rush with Justin Kloos and Ben Marshall, the Chesterfield, Mo. native blasted a one-timer from the right faceoff dot upstairs past McAdam.
Warning struck again the third stanza, backhanding home a Michael Brodzinski rebound to make it a 3-0 game with 13:54 to play.
Penn State answered and ended Wilcox's shutout bid just past the midway point in the third when Kenny Brooks jammed home a puck from the side of the goalmouth, but senior Nate Condon responded for the Gophers just 17 seconds later with his first goal since Oct. 27.
Curtis Loik trimmed the Minnesota lead to 4-2 with under five minutes left, but the Nittany Lions could not solve Wilcox again. Kloos capped the scoring by capitalizing on an empty PSU net in the game's waning moments.
Wilcox matched a career high by recording 36 saves. Warning and Kloos finished the game with three points apiece, while Marshall, Boyd, and Condon notched two points each.
The Gophers resume conference action Friday night at 8 p.m. when they host another conference foe, Ohio State, in the Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium. The series with the Buckeyes wraps up Saturday evening at 5 at Mariucci Arena.
-Pride on Ice-