The first team in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to earn 10 wins this season, Minnesota (10-3-2 overall, 5-3-2 WCHA) got off to a hot start on Friday night as Haula lit the lamp for the seventh time this season just 2:09 into the night. With a slick back hand from one knee, Haula extended his point streak to 10 games with the power-play goal after being set up by Kyle Rau and Mike Reilly. Rau's assist pushed Minnesota's record to a perfect 10-0-0 this season when the sophomore forward notches a point.
Haula, who leads the Gophers in points (19) and assists (12), briefly moved into a tie for the team's goal lead on Friday night before Nick Bjugstad rifled home his Minnesota-best eighth of the year just 58 seconds into the second period – Minnesota's second power-play goal on as many chances in the series finale. Nate Schmidt and Haula would earn assists on the goal while Minnesota would end the night 2-for-7 on the advantage.
Tom Serratore added the eventual game winner less than a minute-and-a-half later at 2:22 of the second for the forward's fourth goal of the season and second game winner. Nate Condon and Christian Isackson earned assists on the goal.
Omaha (9-4-1, 5-2-1) didn't make it easy on the Gophers, scoring a pair of goals in the second half of action to make it a 3-2 game – the fourth-straight game between Minnesota and Omaha that has been decided by a 3-2 score. Andrej Sustr scored at 17:48 of the second period and Johnnie Searfoss made it a one-goal game with an extra-attacker goal at 17:58 of the third.
But the Gophers would hang on, thanks largely to a penalty killing unit that went 4-for-4 on the night and several big saves by Wilcox. The freshman netminder made 18 saves to improve to 9-2-2 in his rookie campaign. Senior defenseman Nate Helgeson also made a game-high four blocks in front of Wilcox.
Minnesota closes of the first half of the season next weekend with a WCHA series at Colorado College.
Game recap provided by U of M Athletic Comm.