The Minnesota Gopher men’s hockey team won its fourth regular season championship in eight years Saturday by beating Bemidji State 5-1 in the regular-season finale.
The victory in the final game of the regular season means the Gophers will share the coveted MacNaughton Cup, awarded to the WCHA regular season champion, with St. Cloud State, who finished in a tie with Minnesota at the top of the conference standings.
With the Gophers leaving the WCHA next year to join the new Big Ten hockey conference, Minnesota left the WCHA holding its top prize with the WCHA Tournament coming up next weekend.
Junior Erik Haula paved the way for Minnesota in the victory, scoring the team’s first goal four minutes into the game to break the ice for either team. Haula would assist on two more goals in the second and third periods to finish the contest with three points.
Nick Bjugstad and Jake Parenteau also recorded two points each as both players finished with a goal and an assist.
Freshman Adam Wilcox notched another win onto his impressive first-year resume as his 23-save performance against the Beavers puts him at 23 wins on the season, setting him within two wins of the school record for victories by a freshman goaltender.
Minnesota was kept without a power play in the game but the offense still managed to put up 40 shots on goal against the Beaver’s Mathieu Dugas.
The Gophers, who played in Bemidji this weekend, will host the Beavers next weekend at Mariucci Arena in the first round of the WCHA Tournament on Friday. The series is a best-of-three format.
Minnesota finishes the season with a 24-7-5 overall record and 16-7-5 conference record. The Beavers finish the season 6-20-8 and 5-16-7 in the conference.