Mankato, Minn. --- Minnesota State could not overcome a 2-0 first period deficit to #1 Minnesota, eventually falling by a 4-1 margin Friday in Minneapolis.
The Gophers struck first when sophomore forward Justin Kloos received a pass in the slot from senior Nate Condon and beat freshman netminder Cole Huggins on the glove side at 9:29 mark of the first period. Then, at 18:33, sophomore defensemen Mike Reilly wristed the puck past Huggins on the stickside to make it 2-0 in favor of Minnesota.
It became a 3-0 Minnesota lead at 8:40 of the second period when junior forward Sam Warning sent a pass across the offensive zone to sophomore forward Connor Reilly who one-timed the puck past a sliding Huggins.
Minnesota State outshot Minnesota 16-6 in the third period and gained some life when junior defenseman Zach Palmquist tallied on a one-timer after taking a nice pass from junior forward J.P. Lafontaine. With 26 seconds remaining in the contest, junior forward Seth Ambroz scored an empty net goal for Minnesota to lock down the win.
Minnesota State, now 4-5-0 overall, went 0-2 on the power play on the night and owned a 35-30 advantage in shots on goal. Minnesota (7-1-1 overall) was 1-5 on the power play. The game was played in front of 9,697 fans as Mariucci Arena.
The two teams conclude the two-game series Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. face-off scheduled in Minneapolis.