BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Erik Haula scored a goal and added a pair of assists to lead University of Minnesota to a 5-1 victory over Bemidji State University and a share of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) 2012-13 regular season title in front of a record crowd at Sanford Center Saturday.
Minnesota opened the scoring just 4:04 into the first period on a goal from Haula.
Before the period would come to an end, the Gophers stretched their lead to 2-0 when Nick Bjugstad netted his third goal of the weekend at the 14:26 mark.
Matt Prapavessis (So., D, Oakville, Ontario) found the the back of the net, supplying BSU with its only offensive output of the night, on his second goal of the season, cutting the BSU deficit to 2-1 just 1:55 into the second session. Jordan George (Sr., F, Madison, Wis.) and Ben Kinne (Sr., F, St. Paul, Minn.) would add assists on the play but BUS, which was out shot 23-10 in the period, entered the second intermission trailing Minnesota 3-1 due to Zach Budish's 13th tally of the season with just over six minutes to play.
Minnesota finished the night with a 40-24 edge in shots on goal and would get goals from Jake Patenteau at the 14:03 mark and Christian Isackson as time expired in the third period to bring the score to its final resting place, 5-1.
Matthieu Dugas (Sr., G, L'Assomption, Quabec), who was making his first start in six games, turned aside 35 shots in the game, which included 22 in the second period alone. He finishes the regular season 1-8-2.
The final series of the regular season proved to be a preview for the first our of the WCHA playoffs as the Beavers (6-20-8; 5-16-7 WCHA), the league's No. 11 seed will travel to second-seeded Minnesota (24-7-5; 16-7-5) next weekend for a best-of-three series at Mariucci Arena for a right to a berth into the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn. March 21-24.