Gophers Win 4-2 in Columbus

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Eckes
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Gophers Win 4-2 in Columbus

Post by Eckes » Sat Mar 07 12:00 am

Don Lucia Passes Doug Woog for First on All-Time Gopher Coaching Wins List

Columbus, OH - A relatively routine Gopher victory at Ohio State was anything but for Head Coach Don Lucia tonight.

Minnesota's 4-2 win was the team's 391st victory under Lucia, passing Doug Woog's record of 390 head coaching wins for first all time as Gopher bench boss.

The Gophers (19-11-3 Overall, 10-4-3 B1G) never trailed in the game, although Ohio State (11-18-2, 6-11-0) did show some fire by scoring almost immediately after each Minnesota goal in the first period to keep the game tied.

Justin Kloos notched the first goal for the Maroon and Gold, banging home a cross-ice pass from Taylor Cammarata at 13:04 of the first. Twelve seconds later, though, Craig Dalrymple tallied his first goal of the season on a seeing-eye wrister from the point. Minnesota took another one-goal lead at 17:04 on a Sam Warning one-timer from the bottom of the right wing circle, but again Ohio State fought back to tie the game just 19 seconds later on a Tyler Lundey goal.

The Gophers would not be denied in the second period, though. Kyle Rau put the team ahead for good at 6:10 of the middle frame, tipping a pass from Leon Bristedt over OSU goalie Christian Frey's shoulder. Seth Ambroz added the important separation goal to make it 4-2 at 15:36 of the second, again tipping a pass from the point (this time from freshman Ryan Collins).

Minnesota tightened down on defense, and Adam Wilcox settled in after the two goal first period. Minnesota allowed 18 shots from the second period onward, but Wilcox stopped them all, preserving the win.

At this point in the season there is more on the line than just a game with Ohio State. Michigan, the team leading in the B1G standings, lost 6-4 at Penn State - that loss coupled with the Gopher win means that the Gophers now move into a tie with Michigan for first place in the conference at 33 points. Michigan State took care of business against Wisconsin to remain just two points back of the Wolverines and the Gophers at 31 points. If Minnesota and Michigan were to tie in points, the Wolverines hold the tiebreaker for playoff seeding, having won one more game than Minnesota in the conference.

The win also meant the Gophers held pace in the PairWise Rankings in 11th place. The team needs to keep winning to maintain their place in the PWR, and they'll get another shot at a victory tomorrow afternoon when Minnesota and Ohio State square off again. The teams play at 5PM central time Saturday, with the game televised on ESPN News, streamed on WatchESPN.com and on the radio at AM1500.
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