The Gophers crush Colonials to open NCAA West Men’s Hockey Tournament

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The Minnesota Gophers faced the Robert Morris Colonials in the first of two semi-final games in the 2014 WCHA West Regional Men’s Hockey Tournament.  The number one seed Gophers were looking for redemption after being ousted in the first round of the 2014 Big Ten Tournament by the Ohio State Buckeyes one week ago.

For the 60% capacity crowd at the Xcel Energy Center who were mostly Minnesota fans, the Gophers did not disappoint. Minnesota scored the first four goals of the game, three in the first and the first goal of the second period.  Robert Morris made a game of it, scoring two goals in the last six minutes of the second period. At the end of two, the Gophers led 4-2.

Minnesota opened the scoring in the third period with less than six minutes left in the game.  Robert Morris answered 25 seconds later to bring the score to 5-3 Minnesota. Two minutes later, in the nineteenth minute of the third period, the wheels fell off when Robert Morris allowed two short-handed goals to bring the final score to 7-3.

With the win, the Gophers will face the winner of St. Cloud State Huskies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish later today.  If the Irish move on it will pit Minnesota’s head coach Don Lucia against his son, Mario Lucia with the winner traveling to the NCAA Frozen Four in April.

Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for more coverage from the NCAA West Regional Tournament. Another source for Minnesota Gophers hockey news is one of our colleagues at Examiner.com, Geoff Discher.  You can follow his work on his Examiner.com site.