MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 2 Minnesota men's hockey team doubled its season total for power-play goals with three on Friday night to push past Minnesota State with a 3-2 win at Mariucci Arena. Junior captain Zach Budish capped the night with the game winner - his first goal of the 2012-13 campaign.
For the first time this season, Minnesota (5-1-0 overall, 2-1-0 WCHA) would rally to win despite failing to score the game's first goal. The Mavericks (2-3-2, 0-3-0 WCHA) would strike first at 4:50 of the first period when Zach Palmquist found the net for his first goal of the year - a power-play goal that would signal the first of four man-advantage tallies on the night.
Sophomore Travis Boyd pulled Minnesota back to even with Minnesota State at 10:31 of the first period when he notched his third goal of the season. Body, who tallied just once as a freshman, now has three goals in six games for the Gophers after being set up by freshman Mike Reilly and sophomore Seth Ambroz.
The two conference foes also exchanged goals in the second period with the visitors regaining the lead midway through the second stanza at 9:33 when Teddy Blueger found the net to put his squad up 2-1. The lead was short-lived, however, as Gophers junior Nate Schmidt lit the lamp for the second time this season at 15:07 with a power-play blast from the point that beat Phil Cook in net for the Mavericks. Sophomore Kyle Rau and junior Erik Haula picked up assists on the goal.
After coming from behind twice already on Friday night, the Gophers took the lead for the first time 5:40 into the third period when Budish knocked in a rebound for the game-deciding tally - Minnesota's third power-play goal of the night. Schmidt started the scoring opportunity with another attempt from the point before Rau put an attempt on net to set up Budish, who moved up to Minnesota's top line to reunite with last year's linemates of Rau and junior forward Nick Bjugstad. Minnesota would finish the night 3-for-6 on the power-play while Minnesota State went 1-for-3.
The Mavericks pressured over the game's final minutes, but freshman goaltender Adam Wilcox was there to secure the win. The rookie netminder improved to 4-0-0 in his first campaign with the Gophers, making 23 saves in Minnesota's most intense battle yet of the young season.
The Gophers, who also have now outshot opponents in all six games this season (32-25), return to action on Saturday with the series finale in Mankato, Minn. Game time is set for 7 p.m.