OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Kyle Rau scored two goals and Minnesota held onto its lead in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with a 3-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday.
The Golden Gophers completed a two-game sweep of the Mavericks to maintain their lead over Minnesota Duluth in the race for the McNaughton Cup, which goes to the WCHA regular season champion. One week remains in the regular season.
The Gophers will take a two-point lead over Minnesota Duluth into next weekend’s regular season finale against Wisconsin.
“You can’t ask for much more than a two-point lead,” Rau said. “We just have to come out and play two games and see what happens.”
Mark Alt had the other goal for Minnesota, which presented coach Don Lucia a win in his 1000th game.
Brent Gwidt staked Nebraska-Omaha (14-14-6, 11-10-6) to a 1-0 lead at 6:05 of the first period.
But the lead lasted just 41 seconds before Alt tied it for the Gophers (23-11-1, 19-7-0). Rau broke the tie at 9:20 of the first period and added another goal at 9:24 of the second.
Minnesota was 2-for-5 on the power play.
“Yesterday coach got mad at us because we lost that battle,” Rau said.
Matt White scored short-handed to pull the Mavericks within one at 10:39 of the third period.
Erik Haula and Nate Schmidt had two assists apiece for the Gophers.
Kent Patterson made 27 saves for the Gophers and John Faulkner and Ryan Massa combined for 16 saves for UNO.
Minnesota beat the Mavericks 3-2 in overtime on Friday.
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