Gophers sweep UW, claim first place

Badgers cannot overcome early deficit

Minnesota scored three goals in less than 14 minutes and five different players tallied two points as the Gophers bested Wisconsin 4-2 Saturday night at Mariucci Arena.

The win, combined with Minnesota-Duluth's loss to Alaska-Anchorage, places No. 4 Minnesota (7-2-0 overall, 5-1-0 WCHA) in first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Gophers have won a school record 15 consecutive games at home.

No. 5 Wisconsin lost its third straight game, falling to 5-3-0 overall, 3-3-0 in the WCHA.

Minnesota scored three times in 13:35 in front of a record crowd 10,587 fans to open the contest in startling fashion.

After tallying the game-winner Friday night on a penalty shot, Danny Irmen was at it again Saturday, giving the Gophers a 1-0 lead at 3:25. Buried a rebound for a power-play goal. Tyler Hirsch and Chris Harrington were credited with assists on the goal.

Four minutes later, Derek Peltier extended the lead to two goals when he finished off a passing sequence from Gino Guyer and Barry Tallackson. Peltier fired a shot from the right side through traffic to beat Bruckler.

Guyer added a goal of his own at the 13:35 mark while the Gophers were on a 5-on-3 power play, with assists from Tallackson and Harrington.

Minnesota dominated the first 20 minutes of play, out shooting Wisconsin 14-4.

Wisconsin slowed the rout 16:30 in the first, when Ross Carlson beat Minnesota goalie Kellen Briggs from the top of the circle for UW's only power-play goal of the night. Andrew Joudrey and Jake Dowell added assists on what was Carlson's fifth goal of the season.

Irmen netted his second goal of the evening at 9:27 in the second period, giving the Gophers a commanding 4-1 lead. Hirsch and Ryan Potulny were credited with assists on the goal.

Hirsch, Tallackson and Guyer each had two assists for Minnesota.

UW closed the gap to two goals at 18:11 of the second period when freshman Joe Pavelski found John Funk in the slot for a one-timer. The assist gives Pavelski 12 points on the season (five goals, seven assists), tying him with Robbie Earl for the team lead (three goals, nine assists). Andy Brandt also added an assist on the play.

Wisconsin out shot the Gophers 12-2 in the third period but could not crack the scoreboard again.

Briggs finished with 23 saves for Minnesota. Bruckler tallied 25 for the Badgers.

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