Just when Minnesota goalie Adam Hauser might have been thinking about posting his school-record-tying seventh career shutout, the roof at Mariucci Arena almost caved in on him.
But Hauser and the Gophers held on to squeeze past St. Cloud State 4-3 Saturday night to complete a weekend sweep.
Hauser stopped the first 26 shots he faced as Minnesota took a 3-0 lead. Just over 10 minutes stood between Hauser and his second consecutive shutout after Friday's 25-save, 2-0 victory in St. Cloud, Minn.
Then the Huskies erupted with three goals in eight minutes.
"We made it an adventure," a relieved Minnesota coach Don Lucia said after watching his team almost blow its 3-0 and 4-1 leads in the third period. "We were fortunate. We can't finish games the way we finished tonight. ... Fortunately, Adam was the one guy who was sharp. He was our best player this weekend."
Hauser finished with 32 saves, a couple coming in the final 30 seconds when the Huskies had a two-man advantage after pulling goalie Jake Moreland during a power play.
"The difference in the game was Adam Hauser," said coach Craig Dahl of St. Cloud (6-3-1, 3-3-0). "We had a lot of opportunities but couldn't get the puck by him. He smothered every chance we had."
The victory kept Minnesota (9-1-2, 7-1-2) in first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Gophers are unbeaten (6-0-1) at home and are off to their best start since beginning the 1988-89 season 9-1-0.
Two of Minnesota's best high school goalies of the 1990s went head-to-head for the first time Saturday night as Minnesota-Duluth faced off against North Dakota.
North Dakota's Karl Goehring and Minnesota-Duluth's Adam Coole had both backstopped Class AA championship teams -- Goehring at Apple Valley in 1996 and Coole in 1998 at Duluth East.
However, the goalie matchup wasn't played out as North Dakota (8-2-4, 7-2-1), the defending national champion, scored three power-play goals for a 5-2 victory over the Bulldogs (1-9-0, 1-7-0).
Coole suffered a dislocated right thumb in the second period and left the game. He was hurt stopping a short-handed break by North Dakota's Kevin Spiewak.
Goehring is the top goalie in North Dakota history ranked by career statistics. He's first in wins (67), goals-against average (2.29), saves percentage (.915) and shutouts (12).
North Dakota outshot Duluth 44-17 in Friday's 5-3 victory and by 38-31 on Saturday. With the sweep, the Sioux pushed their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1).
Bryan Lundbohm led North Dakota with two goals Saturday and now has 16 this season -- tops in the WCHA and the nation -- including 12 in the past seven games. He doesn't remember having such a hot streak since high school at Roseau.
"I've been getting to touch the puck last most of the times," Lundbohm said. "It's been working really well for me, and hopefully it'll keep going."
North Dakota assistant coach Dave Hakstol said hard work is Lundbohm's key to success.
"When you combine that with his skill level, he's going to get a lot of opportunities every game," Hakstol said. "And he's capitalizing on those chances. You can call it a hot streak or just plain and simple, he's playing very well."
In other WCHA action this weekend, Wisconsin beat Colorado College 2-1 on Friday but the Tigers bounced back for a 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday. With the split, Colorado College (7-3-0, 7-3-0) slipped to third place in the WCHA, one point behind North Dakota and two behind Minnesota. Fourth-place Minnesota State, Mankato, swept Alaska-Anchorage, winning 3-1 Friday and 3-0 Saturday.
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