Gophers Blank Mercyhurst 6-0 in Opener
Oct. 11, 2013
With the victory, the Gophers moved on to the Ice Breaker Tournament championship game against 13th-ranked New Hampshire, which defeated Clarkson 4-1 earlier in the night. That game will begin at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.
Despite outshooting the Lakers 14-8 in the first stanza, Minnesota only led 1-0 on Rau's tally, which came off a Ben Marshall rebound at the side of the cage on the man advantage.
The Gophers padded their lead in the second period when junior Seth Ambroz banked a behind-the-back shot from behind the net of a Mercyhurst defenseman's skate and in at the 3:37 mark.
Sam Warning made it a 3-0 game 8:15 later when he quickly toe-dragged around MU netminder Jordan Tibbett and backhanded a shot that narrowly crossed the goal line before a Laker defenseman was able to swat it away.
Freshman Justin Kloos capped the scoring in the second period, beating a sprawling Tibbett upstairs on the power play off a cross-ice feed from captain Nate Condon. The goal was the first of the Lakeville, Minn. native's career.
The win was the fourth consecutive opening night victory for Minnesota, which outshot the Lakers 48-25. It was the second time in three years the team opened with a shutout as it downed Sacred Heart 9-0 to kick off 2011-12.
Wilcox's 24 saves were a career-high in a shutout. Offensively, the Gophers were paced by Warning and Rau, who had a goal and two assists apiece.
Minnesota improved to 2-0-0 against Mercyhurst all-time as it topped the Lakers 9-2 in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA West Regional in the teams' only previous meeting. The Gophers are 13-2-2 against Saturday opponent UNH.