MINNEAPOLIS — The top-ranked Minnesota men’s hockey team overcame a slow start against No. 19 Minnesota Duluth to win 6-1 at Mariucci Arena in the first game of a two-game series Friday night.
Six different Gophers netted goals and goalie Adam Wilcox stopped a career-high 36 shots.
With victories in its last four contests, Minnesota is 9-1-1 overall.
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 period. A.J. Michaelson, Tom Serratore, and Justin Kloos scored to stake the Gophers to a 3-1 lead before the end of the period.
Freshman Taylor Cammarata spotted Michaelson on the back door 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 score on top-shelf shots that beat UMD goaltender Aaron Crandall.
The barrage of goals continued in the middle session.
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 notched a point in all 11 and leads the Big Ten Conference in scoring with 18 points.
Travis Boyd ended Crandall’s night 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 and Serratore, Boyd, Rau, Brodzinski, Cammarata, and Ambroz each had two on the night. It was Brodzinski’s first-career multi-point contest.
The Gophers and Minnesota Duluth will conclude their weekend series Sunday at 4 p.m.