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Jan. 24, 2014
ST. PAUL – Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox turned away a career-high 38 shots and four different Gophers scored as the top-ranked Minnesota men’s hockey team downed No. 5 St. Cloud State, 4-1, in both teams’ first-ever North Star College Cup game at the Xcel Energy Center Friday night. Minnesota will take on Minnesota Duluth in the tournament championship game Saturday at 7 p.m.
The win improved Minnesota’s record to 18-2-3 and clinched the team’s fourth-consecutive winning season. UMD advanced to the final game with a 5-4 overtime victory against Minnesota State in the earlier semifinal matchup.
St. Cloud State came out of the gate fast in the first period, firing off six of the first seven shots, but a Kalle Kossila tripping penalty 8:51 into the game gave the Gophers a power play and it only took six seconds for the Maroon and Gold to capitalize. Hudson Fasching got the puck to Travis Boyd, who flipped the puck over SCSU netminder Ryan Faragher to make it 1-0.
Despite carrying a 16-9 shot advantage into the middle stanza, the Huskies trailed by a goal until the 8:58 mark when Jonny Brodzinski whacked home his own rebound to knot the score. It was St. Cloud State’s 23rd shot of the game.
Minnesota captain Nate Condon wasted little time helping his team regain the lead as he zipped a snap shot past Faragher from the top of the left circle just 3:02 later. With 1:46 left in the period, Fasching cleaned up a power-play rebound in front to pot his first goal since Nov. 16 and give the Gophers a 3-1 edge.
The Gophers scored on both of their power-play opportunities on the night and killed of both of the Huskies’ man advantage chances.
Freshman goaltender Charlie Lindgren replaced Faragher to start the third and he and Wilcox turned aside every shot they faced in the final frame before Seth Ambroz sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 28.8 seconds to play. Ambroz’ tally was his team-leading 11th of the season. Wilcox picked up an assist on the play.
Fasching, Boyd, and Mike Reilly each picked up two points on the night.
Following Saturday’s championship contest, the Gophers will resume Big Ten conference play with a series against Michigan State at Mariucci Arena before traveling to Wisconsin Feb. 6-7.
Border Battle on Deck
Friday’s series opener is set for 7 p.m. CT with Saturday’s finale scheduled for 5 p.m.
Lettieri Named B1G Second Star
Lettieri has played in all 20 games this season for the Gophers while ranking tied for second on the team with 11 goals and third on the team with 20 points.
Novak to Miss Rest of Season
Novak has played in all 57 games and has 41 points (11 goals, 30 assists) since joining the Gophers last year.