MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 1 Minnesota men's hockey program's 10-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end on Friday night after No. 14 Minnesota State tallied the 2-1 game winner with 44 seconds left in regulation.
In Minnesota's first loss since November 30, the Gophers (17-4-4 overall, 9-3-4 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) struck first with Nate Schmidt's fifth goal of the season at 7:48 of the second period (assists from Nate Condon and Tom Serratore) but were unable to hold onto the lead.
Minnesota State (16-9-3, 10-8-1) scored a power-play goal off the stick of Johnny McInnis at 16:42 (assists from Matt Leitner and Chase Grant) before Brett Knowles notched the game winner late in the third period (assists from Zach Palmquist and Eli Zuck).
For the first time in Minnesota's last 10 games, the Gophers failed to reach the four-goal plateau although Adam Wilcox did his best to try and pick up the win regardless of the offensive production. The rookie netminder (16-3-4) made 31 saves - one off his career high - for his first loss of 2013. Wilcox's counterpart - Stephon Williams - matched the freshman with 37 saves to move to 13-6-2 this season.
Despite Minnesota State's third period goal, the Gophers held a 38-33 shot advantage and rallied from what would have been only the third time this season an opponent outshot the squad with 20 shots in the third period (the Mavericks had nine in the final stanza).
Minnesota returns to action on Saturday in Mankato for the series finale against Minnesota State. Game time is set for 7 p.m. with FOX Sports North PLUS and 1500 ESPN broadcasting the action.