No. 1 Minnesota handles UND

Published 1:57 pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ben Marshall scored the game-winning goal on the power play as top-ranked Minnesota beat rival North Dakota 5-1 on Friday night in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game.

The Golden Gophers (17-3-3, 9-3-3) scored the last five goals of the game after sixth-ranked North Dakota (13-7-3, 8-4-3) had taken a 1-0 lead early in the second period. They put the game away with three goals in the third period.

The win moved Minnesota past Denver — a 5-2 loser at St. Cloud State — into first place in the WCHA.

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It’s the final WCHA series between the long-time rivals. Minnesota will go to the Big Ten next season and North Dakota will join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Marshall scored on a rebound with six seconds left in the second period to break a 1-1 tie. Zach Budish had tied the game 1-1 at 6:06 of the second period.

“Once we got that first goal it got a little more open,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “Hopefully we’ll be a little more relaxed (Saturday).”

Nate Schmidt, Nate Condon and Erik Haula scored in the third period for the Gophers, who stretched their win streak to six games behind Adam Wilcox’s 24 saves. Condon’s goal was short-handed and Haula’s was empty-net.

“It was a good close hockey game,” North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. “We made too many mistakes in the last 21 minutes of the game and that’s what it boils down to.”

Haula had an earlier assist to reach the 100-point plateau.

Michael Parks scored the only goal for North Dakota.

North Dakota’s Corban Knight had an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to 18 games, the longest by a UND player since Dixon Ward in 1990-91. But Knight and Danny Kristo were held to just one assist. They came into the game with a combined 61 points.

“Knight and Kristo are fast,” said Schmidt, the top-scoring defenseman in the nation. “You’ve got to take away their time and space as much as possible.”

Clarke Saunders had 33 saves for North Dakota.