The top-ranked Gophers defeated St. Cloud State at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud Friday night by a score of 4-2.
It was a key victory for Minnesota, who trailed the WCHA-leading Huskies by five-points entering the game. SCSU still leads with 29 points but the Gophers are close behind with 26, tied with North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha in second place.
Minnesota and SCSU traded goals and skated to a 2-2 tie after two periods. It was two quick goals in the third-period that gave Minnesota the win. Erik Haula's 13th goal of the season put the Gophers up 3-2, and 58 seconds later St. Cloud native Nate Schmidt scored to put the nail in the coffin. Schmidt played his high school hockey at St. Cloud Cathedral.
The Gophers peppered Huskies goalie Ryan Faragher with 42 shots on goal. Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox faced just 24 shots.
Zach Budish had two goals waived off in the first-period after officials reviewed his goals. The first came when his shot found the back of the net after St. Cloud's goalie had his helmet knocked off. The second was waived because of goalie interference on Kyle Rau.