College men's hockey: Gophers blitz Bulldogs
MINNEAPOLIS -- Scoring goals hasn't been a problem for the Minnesota men's hockey team this season. The top-ranked Gophers entered tonight's nonconference game against Minnesota Duluth second in the nation in scoring and had netted at least five ...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Scoring goals hasn't been a problem for the Minnesota men's hockey team this season.
The top-ranked Gophers entered tonight's nonconference game against Minnesota Duluth second in the nation in scoring and had netted at least five goals five times in the season's first 10 games.
So there was no panic on the Minnesota bench when UMD took an early lead at Mariucci Arena. Instead, the Gophers did what they are known to do -- score in bunches -- in a 6-1 victory over the Bulldogs before an announced crowd of 9,918.
A.J. Michaelson, Tom Serratore and Justin Kloos scored 2:54 apart late in the first period as the Gophers (9-1-1) overcame that 1-0 deficit and put UMD in the uncomfortable role of playing catch-up.
Kyle Rau and Travis Boyd added second-period goals against starting goaltender Aaron Crandall, and Michael Brodzinski tacked one on after backup Matt McNeely entered the game for a 6-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs (5-5-1) controlled the early going as Charlie Sampair scored his first goal of the season on a rebound at 4:19 of the first period. UMD had an 11-7 edge in shots on goal before Michaelson converted Taylor Cammarata's pass as he skated toward the goal with a UMD defenseman draped on him at the 14:14 mark.
Serratore shot between Crandall's legs at 16:32 and Kloos, a former Minnesota Mr. Hockey, beat Crandall with a wrist shot 36 seconds later.
The second period didn't go any better for UMD. Rau, another former Mr. Hockey who scored the game-winning goal in triple-overtime against Duluth East in a Class AA state championship game, knocked in a loose puck in the crease at 5:26 after Crandall made the initial save on Sam Warning's stuff attempt from behind the net.
Boyd deked out sliding UMD defenseman Tim Smith and beat Crandall glove side at 12:36, forcing the senior to the bench in favor of sophomore Matt McNeely. But McNeely saw a shot go off the post and then was beaten by a soft wrister from defenseman Brodzinski above the left faceoff circle at 17:07.
Despite the blitz, UMD finished with a 37-34 edge in shots on goal. Minnesota sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox, a cousin of former UMD netminder Alex Stalock, made a career-high 36 saves.
After a one-day respite, the teams meet again at 4:10 p.m. Sunday.