MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Erik Haula had a goal and an assist as Minnesota beat Nebraska-Omaha 3-2 Saturday to earn a split of their Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.
Haula scored the game’s first goal just two minutes into the first period as the third-ranked Golden Gophers (10-3-2, 5-3-2) snapped Nebraska-Omaha’s seven-game winning streak.
“We played more physical and played the puck better,” Haula said. “We had good energy and did a good job.”
Haula assisted on Nick Bjugstad’s power-play goal 58 seconds into the second period, giving Minnesota a 2-0 lead. That eventually reached 3-0 on Tom Serratore’s goal.
“We came out tonight and set the tone right away,” Bjusgtad said. “We work on the power play a lot. It’s rewarding when we get the goal on that.”
Andrej Sustr had the first goal for UNO (9-4-1, 5-2-1) and Johnnie Searfoss scored with an extra attacker at 17:58 of the third.
Adam Wilcox made 18 saves for the Gophers, who outshot the Mavericks 33-20.
UNO goalie John Faulkner saved 30 shots but suffered his first loss of the season (9-1-1).
The Mavericks had swept three straight WCHA series. They beat Minnesota 3-2 on Friday.
Minnesota coach Don Lucia credited the effort more than lineup changes or strategies for the win.
“It was the energy and the way the kids played,” he said. “They have to play hard and play smart. I liked way we came out after last night.”
The Gophers led 3-1 heading into the third period. Minnesota is 7-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period, while the Mavericks dropped to 0-4-0 when trailing after two.
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