MINNEAPOLIS - The top-ranked Minnesota men's hockey team overcame a slow start Friday night against No. 19 Minnesota Duluth to win 6-1 at Mariucci Arena in the first game of a two-game series. Six different Gophers netted goals and netminder Adam Wilcox stopped a career-high 36 shots in a winning effort.
Now with victories in its last four contests, Minnesota is 9-1-1 on the year.
The game got off to an ominous start for the Gophers, who conceded a Dominic Toninatio breakaway and a UMD power play in the game's first 2:02 before allowing a Charlie Sampair goal at the 4:19 mark that gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota came alive toward the end of the opening stanza, however. A.J. Michaelson, Tom Serratore, and Justin Kloos scored in rapid succession to stake the home team to a 3-1 lead before the end of the period.
Freshman Taylor Cammarata spotted Michaelson on the backdoor at the 14:14 mark to knot the score at one, sparking a run of three goals in a 2:54 span for the Gophers that saw Serratore and Kloos pick top-shelf shots from the left circle that beat UMD goaltender Aaron Crandall.
The barrage of goals continued for Minnesota in the middle frame.
Just over five minutes into the period, Sam Warning nearly converted on a wraparound attempt and linemate Kyle Rau buried the rebound for his first tally since scoring the Gophers' first goal of the season Oct. 11 against Mercyhurst.
Warning has now notched a point in all 11 of the team's games. He leads the Big Ten conference in scoring with 18 points.
Travis Boyd ended Crandall's evening 12:36 into the second by flinging a shot from the left hash mark upstairs over the goaltender's shoulder. Crandall's replacement, Matt McNeely, was unable to keep Minnesota off the board in the second, as well, allowing a power-play score by Michael Brodzinski with 2:53 to go.
The Bulldogs mounted 15 shots in the third period, but could not solve Wilcox and cut into the Gophers' lead.
Eleven different Minnesota skaters had at least one point in the game and Serratore, Boyd, Rau, Brodzinski, Cammarata, and Ambroz each had two points on the night. It was Brodzinski's first-career multi-point contest.
The Gophers and in-state rival Minnesota Duluth will conclude their weekend series Sunday at 4 p.m. Minnesota will then wrap up a six-game homestand next weekend when it hosts No. 12 Wisconsin in its inaugural Big Ten conference series.
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