MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota forward Kyle Rau has a knack for being in the right place late in the game, and he was there for the Gophers again on Friday.
Rau notched his sixth game-winning goal of the season, knocking in a rebound at 13:25 of the third period as second-ranked Minnesota beat Minnesota-Duluth 5-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
“At that time of the game all goals are garbage goals,” Rau said. “You just have to go to the front of the net.”
Rau got the game-winner after Nick Bjugstad’s shot deflected off a skate through traffic to Rau wide open on the back side. Rau easily scored his 14th goal of the season.
Erik Haula scored short-handed and into an empty-net for the Gophers. Sam Warning and Nate Condon had a goal and assist apiece for the second-ranked Gophers (21-6-4, 13-6-4).
Minnesota has the nation’s best power play at 26 percent. But the Gophers were 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
“The guys found a way to get it done. We scored some even-up goals tonight,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said.
The Bulldogs (10-17-4, 8-13-4) came from behind twice to tie the game but still dropped to 0-7-1 in their last eight games.
Austin Farley scored two goals for Minnesota-Duluth, including a power-play goal that tied it 3-3 at 19:16 of the second period.
The Gophers outshot the Bulldogs 16-4 in the third period.
“We got better as the game went on and fortunately we had a good third period,” Lucia said.
Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox made 26 saves while Minnesota-Duluth’s Matt McNeely had 29 stops.
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