Gophers dominate NCAA West Regional Men’s Hockey tournament capped with shutout win over St. Cloud State

The Minnesota Gophers defeat the St. Cloud State Huskies 4-0 in front of almost 9,000 fans to win the 2014 NCAA West Regional Men’s Hockey Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 30, 2014.

The Huskies came out early trying to play physical but the speed of the Gophers negated the Huskies’ size.  Neither team had an easy time putting the puck on the net in the first period, although the Gophers created a few chances and capitalized on an opportunity when Gopher freshman Justin Kloos scored eleven minutes into the game.  The period ended with Minnesota ahead 1-0 and the Gophers outshot the Huskies 9-4.

The second period saw the Huskies come out with some life.  The Huskies, at one point, tied up the shots on goal at 16 a piece but were no match for Minnesota’s speed and fore-check.  The Gophers scored twice in the first half of the period and took a 3-0 lead into the third period.  Seth Ambrosz and Justin Kloos scored in the second for the Gophers.  The Huskies appeared to lose a step toward the end of the period.

The third period belonged to the Gophers as they outshot the Huskies 16-9 and added a goal by Kyle Rau.  Adam Wilcox, the Gophers’ sophomore goalie, saved all 24 shots he faced and continued to be the anchor for the team.

The Gophers will prepare to meet their rivals, the University of North Dakota, in the Frozen Four in Philadelphia, PA on April 10.  The winner of that game will face the winner of the Boston College and Union semifinal to determine the 2014 NCAA Men’s Hockey Champion.

Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for updates on the Gophers and other Minnesota events.

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