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Feb. 23, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 2 Minnesota men’s hockey program climbed to within a point of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association lead on Friday night with a 5-3 win over Minnesota Duluth at Mariucci Arena.
Erik Haula and Kyle Rau both scored in the third period to snap a 3-3 tie with the Bulldogs as Haula moved into a tie for sixth in the national scoring race with 39 points while Rau snapped an eight-game goal drought with the eventual game winner.
Minnesota (21-6-4 overall, 13-6-4 WCHA) jumped out to an early lead when Nate Condon scored his 11th goal of the year just 4:04 into the contest with assists from Ben Marshall and Sam Warning. Haula added to the fire at 7:50 of the second period with his first goal of the night – a shorthanded tally set up by Zach Budish.
The Bulldogs (10-17-4, 8-13-4) rallied with a power-play goal from Justin Crandall at 8:27 of the second stanza and an even-strength goal from Austin Farley later in the period at 13:10. The five-goal second period stayed hot with Warning and Condon hooking up again at 14:52 before Farley notched his second goal of the game with 44 seconds left in the second period during a Minnesota Duluth power play. The Bulldogs went 2-for-4 on the power play while Minnesota went 0-for-5. Friday marked the first time this season that Minnesota has allowed more than one power-play goal in a game.
After being outshot 11-7 in the first and 14-11 in the second, the third period was all Minnesota. The home squad outshot Minnesota Duluth 16-4 in the final 20 minutes of play to move to 34-29 overall in the win. Rau’s game winner was set up by Nick Bjugstad and Budish while Haula picked up an empty net insurance goal with 6 seconds left in regulation. Minnesota now ranks tied for second in the nation with 39 third period goals this season.
Adam Wilcox moved to 20-5-4 in his rookie campaign with Friday’s 26-save performance while Matt McNeely made 29 saves to fall to 8-11-2 this season. Haula (two goals), Warning (one goal, one assist), Condon (one goal, one assist) and Budish (two assists) paced the Gophers offense while Mark Alt finished the night as a game-high plus-four.
The Gophers close out this weekend’s series on Saturday night at 7 p.m. with the Big Ten Network and 1500 ESPN broadcasting the action.
-Pride on Ice-
Around the Dasher: A.J. Michaelson
A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Michaelson has appeared in 83 games for the Maroon & Gold with 12 points (five goals, seven assists).
Okposo, Boyd Net Pro Hat Tricks
Kyle Okposo and Nick Leddy combined for seven points including Okposo's second career hat trick on Sunday.
`U' Falls in Series Finale
Minnesota (14-13-0 overall, 9-3-0-0 Big Ten) hits the road next weekend with a two-game series at Michigan State.