Goalie Kellen Briggs has shutout in 3-0 Gopher win

Minnesota freshman goaltender Kellen Briggs, a native of Colorado Springs, continued to make the hometown fans proud as he tied a Golden Gopher freshman record with his third shutout of the season, blanking #5 Colorado College 3-0 to lead Minnesota to the series sweep. Briggs made 24 saves to push the Golden Gophers' unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2). Minnesota, ranked No. 13, is now 9-1-2 in its last 12 games and has posted four consecutive wins over Colorado College (11-6-3, 4-6-2 WCHA).

Andy Sertich, Thomas Vanek and Grant Potulny scored Minnesota's goals.

The series sweep was Minnesota's first in the regular season on the road over the Tigers since Jan. 24-25, 1992. It also marked UM's first road sweep in the WCHA since dropping Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2003.

The first period was scoreless as the Gophers were outshot 10-3 and did not register a shot in the final 8:27 of the period. The three shots on goal matched a season-low, set in the first period of UM's 6-4 loss at Alaska Anchorage.

The Golden Gophers took the first lead of the game at 1:12 of the second period on a wacky goal by Andy Sertich. The Tigers turned it over in their zone with Sertich pouncing on the puck, walking in from the corner and taking a shot on CC goaltender Matt Zaba. Zaba made the save, but the rebound ricocheted off a CC defenseman and into the net between Zaba's legs. The unassisted tally was Sertich's second point of the weekend after assisting on Keith Ballard's game-winner on Friday night.

Minnesota gained the first two-goal lead of the weekend at 15:10 of the second period on a breakaway goal by Thomas Vanek. After a Briggs save, Jake Fleming got possession and flipped the puck off the glass to clear the zone. Vanek was flying down the middle of the rink and picked up the puck behind the CC defense. The sophomore forward went to the upper corner on Zaba's glove side for his team-leading 13th goal of the season. Fleming and Briggs earned assists on the play. It was Briggs' second assist of the season.

Briggs came up big late in the second period to preserve the shutout, stopping Tyler Liebel's slapshot on a breakaway with less than 10 seconds remaning in the period. CC continued to out-shoot the Golden Gophers, posting an 8-5 advantage in the second period for a two-period edge of 18-8.

The Golden Gophers came out firing in the third period on the power play and capitalized on senior captain Grant Potulny's goal at 1:36. CC gained possession in their zone off a face-off, but Potulny stole the puck and shot. The puck hit Zaba's shoulder and rolled over his back and into the net before the goal came off its moorings. Gino Guyer gained the lone assist on the play. The lamplighter was Potulny's eighth of the season and his team-leading sixth on the power play.

The third period was all Minnesota as they out-shot CC 16-6. The two teams finished tied in shots at 24 apiece. The Golden Gophers went 1-for-8 on the power play and blanked the Tigers with the man advantage (0-for-5). Minnesota has now had a power-play goal in nine consecutive games.

Briggs, a Colorado Springs native, was the hometown hero for the Golden Gophers, stopping 47 of 48 shots on the weekend to move to 9-5-3 on the season. He is 3-0-1 in his last three decisions. Briggs' three shutouts ties the Minnesota rookie record set by Adam Hauser in 1998-99.

The Golden Gophers continue their road trip through the WCHA next weekend with a two-game series at intrastate rival Minnesota State, Mankato on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 16-17.

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