MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota scored three times on the power play Friday to beat Minnesota State, Mankato 3-2 in a Western College Hockey Association game.

The difference in the game was special teams play, as Minnesota was 3-for-6 with a man advantage and held the Mavericks to one goal on three power-play chances.

“Three power-play goals was the difference in the game,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “We had a good start to the third period and developed some momentum.”

Zach Budish’s goal with a man advantage at 5:40 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and helped the second-ranked Golden Gophers (5-1-0, 2-1-0) improve to 32-8-6 all-time against the Mavericks (2-3-0, 0-3-0).

“I thought we played an all-around team game,” Budish said, adding that he was relieved to finally score after a six-game drought. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ll take it any time.”

MSUM led 1-0 and 2-1 on goals by Zach Palmquist and Teddy Blueger. But the Gophers used goals by Travis Boyd and Nate Schmidt to send the game into the third period tied 2-2.

Schmidt drew the penalty on the Mavericks before getting the tying goal on the power play at 15:07 of the second period.

Palmquist’s goal just 4:50 into the game came on the power play.

Adam Wilcox made 23 saves for the Gophers, while Phil Cook had 29 saves for MSUM.

The second game of the series will be played Saturday night in Mankato.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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