Gophers top Mavericks in OT, 3-2

OMAHA – After trailing 2-1 to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, the Gophers battled back to force overtime on Friday evening. Just 1:46 into the extra session, Jake Parenteau netted his first career goal, giving the Gophers a conference win on the road by a score of 3-2.

Minnesota got on the board first with a Sam Warning snipe off of a nice outlet pass by Nate Schmidt at 5:53 of the first. The Mavericks had to wait until the second to tie the score as Brock Montpetit slammed a one-timer home past Kent Patterson. Less than four minutes later, Jayson Megna fired a wrister past Patterson on the break, giving Nebraska-Omaha the 2-1 lead heading into the final period.

The Gophers top line of Nick Bjugstad, Kyle Rau, and Zach Budish had a great night, having multiple chances to put the puck away. The effort paid off in the third as Bjugstad walked out of the corner, skating past three defenders to score his 23rd goal of the season with the assists going to Rau and Budish. The teams headed to overtime where Parenteau ended the game with a blast from the point, giving Minnesota two points in the WCHA road victory.

Player of the game: Sophomore Jake Parenteau has been getting better each weekend this season. He showcased his complete game last night as he scored the game-winner in overtime. Aside from scoring the goal, Parenteau played well with defensive alternate Blake Thompson who was playing in just his fourth game of the year in place of the injured Ben Marshall.

Stat of the game: The Mavericks had 0 goals in 5-on-5 play, scoring both of their goals in special teams opportunities. Their first goal was late in the powerplay and their second tally came when the Gophers had the extra man on a shorthanded break.

What did we learn: Minnesota-Duluth won last night which meant the Gophers also needed a victory to stay on top of the WCHA standings. Like the Gophers, the Bulldogs were pushed to overtime but were able to come away with a win over Colorado College. As expected, the race for the WCHA will come down to the last weekend of the regular season.

Quotable: "It was a hard-fought game tonight but obviously a big win when you're behind going into the third period to come back and win it." – Head coach Don Lucia after the victory

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