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Gophers blanked by Denver, St. Cloud State stomps Michigan Tech to widen WCHA gap

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For the first time this season the Gophers were shutout in a 2-0 loss to the University of Denver at Mariucci Arena on Friday night.

Minnesota's Adam Wilcox was very good in goal, stopping 34-of-35 shots. Denver's Juho Olkinuora was better. The Finnish goalie stopped all 33 shots he faced.

The game was scoreless until Shawn Ostrow's 11th goal of the season just 18 seconds into the third period. The Pioneers would add an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.

The Gophers struggled with the man advantage, going 0-5 on the power play.

Losing at this point of the season damages Minnesota's hopes of winning the WCHA conference championship. St. Cloud State led the Gophers by two points coming into the night and increased it to a four point lead with a 5-3 win over Michigan Tech. North Dakota's win over Bemidji State vaults them into second place, one point ahead of the Gophers.

If St. Cloud State beats Michigan Tech again on Saturday they'll maintain at least a four point lead over the Gophers. A win coupled with another Minnesota loss would give the Huskies a six point lead, thus eliminating the Gophers from the WCHA title race.

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