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Dec. 30, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS - Behind a career-high four-point night from Nick Bjugstad and a career-high 32 saves from Mariucci Classic MVP Adam Wilcox, the No. 4 Minnesota men's hockey team dominated No. 1 Boston College, 8-1, to claim its first Mariucci Classic title since 2008-09.
In a rematch of last year's NCAA Frozen Four semifinal, Bjugstad notched his first multiple-goal game of the season with two goals and two assists as the Gophers won their 13th Mariucci Classic title in the tournament's 22-year existence.
The Gophers (13-3-3 overall, 6-3-3 WCHA) took advantage of power plays on Sunday to build an early lead and finished 4-for-8 while on the advantage. Bjugstad started the scoring with a power-play goal at the 2:52 mark of the first period with assists from Erik Haula and Kyle Rau. Rau scored just seconds into another Gophers' power play at 12:33 of the first period after being set up by Haula and Zach Budish.
Bjugstad made it 3-0 Gophers with his second goal of the night and team-leading 10th of the season with a backhand at 13:55. Budish picked up his second of three assists on the goal while Jake Parenteau also tallied his second assist of the weekend.
After three goals in the first, Nate Condon scored the only goal of the second period to make it 4-0 in Minnesota's favor at 10:34 of the second stanza. After the quiet second period, Minnesota poured it on in the third with goals from Nate Schmidt, Seth Ambroz, Rau and Sam Warning. Warning's third of the year proved to be the final score of the night and Minnesota's first short-handed goal of the season. Boston College (12-3-1, 9-2-1 Hockey East) earned its only goal of the night with a power-play score from Steven Whiteny at 13:40 of the third.
Budish, Haula, Rau, and defenseman Ben Marshall joined Bjugstad with multiple-point games while the Gophers outshot the Eagles 36-33.
Wilcox earned tournament MVP honors after saving 32 shots in the win and allowing only one goal all weekend. One goal allowed by the Gophers this weekend tied a Mariucci Classic record set by Princeton in 1998. Wilcox, who also assisted on Warning's late goal, improved to 12-2-3 on the season, while Boston College's Parker Milner dropped to 12-3-1 after allowing six goals in 44:13. Brian Billett replaced Milner in the final 15:40 of action, making three saves on five shots.
The Gophers swept the Mariucci Classic All-Tournament Team with Bjugstad, Rau, Haula, Parenteau, Schmidt and Wilcox earning accolades.
Minnesota returns to the ice on Tuesday, Jan. 8, when it hosts Notre Dame at 7 p.m.
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