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WCHA Playoffs: Haula, Gophers defeat Alaska-Anchorage, 2-1 in game one

Erik Haula scored twice and the Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey team beat Alaska Anchorage, 2-1 in game of the best-of-three playoff series. Nate Schmidt assisted on both goals. The gophers out-shot the Seawolves, 34-17. They’ll play game two Saturday night at Mariucci Arena.
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Erik Haula scored twice and the Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey team beat Alaska Anchorage, 2-1 in game of the best-of-three playoff series. Nate Schmidt assisted on both goals. The gophers out-shot the Seawolves, 34-17. They’ll play game two Saturday night at Mariucci Arena.

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WCHA playoff preview: Gophers vs. Alaska-Anchorage

The best-of-three series between the Golden Gophers and Alaska-Anchorage begins tonight at Mariucci Arena. Minnesota, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, swept the Seawolves in a pair games back in October. Minnesota outscored Anchorage 8-1 in the two games.

Gophers looking for revenge against Alaska-Anchorage in WCHA playoffs

It's been one year since Alaska-Anchorage upset the Gophers in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. This year the Gophers are the top seed and a heavy favorite against Seawolves. The best-of-three series between the two begins Friday at Mariucci Arena. If Minnesota wins they will advance to the WCHA Final Five.

Gophers shutout Alaska Anchorage

Kyle Rau scored twice and Nick Bjugstad and Ben Marshall added goals as the Gophers skated to a win at Alaska Anchorage. The defense was smothering, which allowed goalie Adam Wilcox to stop all 14 shots he faced for the 4-0 shutout.

Haula returning to Gophers next year

Erik Haula will return to the Gophers for his junior season, according to head coach Don Lucia. Haula led Minnesota in scoring last season. Kyle Rau and Nate Schmidt will also return next season. Lucia says "if everybody comes back, we should be be a very good team next year."

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Erik Haula's two goals and one assist boosted his nation-leading scoring total to 17 points in 7 games. Kent Patterson's 22 saves gave him his fourth shutout. And the high-flying Gophers sailed to a 5-0 win over their nemesis in Anchorage.

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Last spring Alaska-Anchorage shocked Minnesota by skating into Mariucci Arena and knocking their hosts out of the WCHA tournament in the first round. This year's high-scoring version of the Gophers has their first crack at the Seawolves in this weekend's two-game set in Anchorage.

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The 5-1 University of Minnesota Gophers play at Alaska-Anchorage this Friday and Saturday night. The Seawolves won three of four meetings at Mariucci Arena last year, and Don Lucia says this year won't get any easier on the road.