Hockey East: 1-22-1
• Full Schedule/Results
1. Bryan Schmidt 13-18--31
2. Matt Johnson 10-17--27
3. Jeff Caron 5-20--25
4. Mike Alexiou 11-5--16
4. Matt Byrnes 2-14--16
4. Steve Crusco 3-13--16
1. Bryan Schmidt 13
2. Mike Alexiou 11
3. Matt Johnson 10
4. Jordan Black 9
5. Brent Gough 6
1. Jeff Caron 20
2. Bryan Schmidt 18
3. Matt Johnson 17
4. Matt Byrnes 14
5. Steve Crusco 13
Power Play Goals
1. Bryan Schmidt 8
2. Mike Alexiou 6
2. Matt Johnson 6
4. Jeff Caron 4
4. Brent Gough 4
1. Jordan Black 2
1. Matt Johnson 2
3. Brent Gough 1
Goals Against Avg.
1. Jim Healey 3.73 (7-19-2)
2. Frank McLaughlin 4.07 (1-4-0)
3. Casey Guenther 5.79 (0-3-0)
1. Jim Healey .889
2. Frank McLaughlin .883
3. Casey Guenther .855
Power Play (HE)
Minneapolis, Minn. - Twelve different players tallied a point as top-ranked Minnesota cruised to a 6-2 win over Merrimack tonight in the second semifinal of the 14th Annual Dodge Holiday Classic at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers (14-4-0, 9-3-0 WCHA) took a 5-0 lead through two periods and used multi-point nights from three players to advance to tomorrow's championship game where Minnesota will face Northern Michigan at 8:07 p.m.
The Golden Gophers jumped out of the gates to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Freshman forward Evan Kaufmann got Minnesota going at 10:22 with his first career goal. Ben Gordon made a diving pass on a loose puck in the left circle, feeding Kaufmann in the slot. Kaufmann deked and beat Merrimack goaltender Jim Healey to the glove side with a sharp wrist shot.
Minnesota made it 2-0 at 14:04 with Garrett Smaagaard's career- high fifth goal of the season. Gordon took a pass from P.J. Atherton, skated down the left side and flipped a pass to the front of the net. Smaagaard, skating hard to the net, knocked the puck out of mid-air for the two-goal lead. With the assists, Gordon recorded his first career multi-point game, while Atherton tallied his first point in his first game of the season since regaining eligibility earlier this month.
Minnesota scored twice on its first four shots and out-shot the Warriors, 6-5 in the opening period.
The second period was more of the same as the Gophers scored three times to push their advantage to 5-0. Mike Vannelli scored his second goal of the season at 7:51 when his wrist shot found a hole through traffic and beat Healey between his legs for the 3-0 lead. Derek Peltier and Tyler Hirsch earned assists on the power-play goal.
At 13:59, Danny Irmen made it 4-0 with his 11th goal of the season. Skating on a 2-on-1, Kris Chucko's shot from the left circle sneaked under Healey's arm and fell behind the netminder for Irmen to tip in.
Less than two minutes later, Barry Tallackson moved the score to 5-0 with a goal in his first game back from an eight-game absence with an ankle injury. Kaufmann, fighting for possession with a Merrimack defenseman, threw the puck in front with it bouncing off of Healey's leg pad. Tallackson stuffed the puck in fron the stick side for his first goal since Oct. 29 vs. Minnesota State. Gordon picked up the second assist on the play to record his first career three-point game (0-3--3).
The Golden Gophers dominated the second period, out-shooting the Warriors, 18-7.
Merrimack finally got on the board at 12:46 of the third period when Brent Gough corralled a rebound and beat UM goaltender Kellen Briggs on the glove side for the 5-on-3 power-play goal. Jordan Fox and Jeff Caron picked up assists on the play.
Minnesota re-gained the five-goal lead about three minutes later with Ryan Potulny's nation-leading 18th goal of the season. Taking a pass fron Hirsch, Potulny took a shot from the right circle with the puck finding a hole through traffic to beat Healey between the legs. Chris Harrington earned the second assist on the power-play goal. With his helper, Hirsch recorded his team-leading ninth multi-point game of the season and scored his nation-leading 21st assist.
The Warriors scored their second goal of the contest with only 30 seconds remaining in the game when Mike Fournier picked up a rebound and beat a sprawling Briggs for his first career goal. Derek Pallardy and Scott Drewicki earned assists on the play.
Minnesota out-shot Merrimack, 11-10, in the third period to finish the game with a 35-22 advantage on the shot board. For the game, UM went 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Warriors went 2-for-5. Briggs picked up the win with 20 saves to improve to 14-3-0, while Healey got the loss to fall to 5-8-2.
Minnesota takes on Northern Michigan (9-4-4, 7-3-2 CCHA) tomorrow at 8:07 p.m., in the championship game of the 14th Annual Dodge Holiday Classic. No. 11 Harvard and Merrimack face off at 5:07 p.m., in the third-place game.
Northern Michigan and No. 11 Harvard played to a 0-0 tie in the opening game of the Dodge Holiday Classic. After a scoreless overtime period, the two teams went to a shootout with the Wildcats and Crimson each scoring twice. From there, the game went to a sudden-death shootout. NMU's Darin Olver beat Harvard goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris to the stick side, while Wildcat goaltender Tuomas Tarkki made a pad save on Harvard's Brendan Bernakevitch. With the shootout win, Northern Michigan advanced to the Dodge Holiday Classic championship game. Officially, the game will count as a 0-0 overtime tie.
Courtesy Minnesota Sports Information
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