After falling behind three goals to one against the Bemidji State Beavers, the Gophers rallied for three unanswered goals in the last 21-plus minutes to advance to the WCHA Final Five next weekend at the Xcel Energy Center.
Sophomore Ben Marshall spared the Gophers from an overtime by scoring an unassisted goal with 53 seconds remaining in regulation to give Minnesota its 26th win of the season.
The win on Saturday at Mariucci was also the final WCHA match up in the arena as Minnesota will join the Big Ten hockey conference starting next season.
The Gophers started out the game slow, allowing the Beavers to go up 2-0 on Minnesota midway through the second period. But Nick Bjugstad and Nate Condon would each score in the second period to bring the Beaver lead within one goal before A.J. Michaelson scored in the third period to notch the game at three a piece.
Despite the score, the shots on goal was lopsided in favor of Minnesota, who took 41 shots compared to 22 from Bemidji.
Freshman netminder Adam Wilcox picked up another win to improve to 25-6-5, tying Minnesota’s freshman wins record set in 2003-04. Wilcox is also tied for most wins in the country this season.
Junior Erik Haula picked up three assists in the victory, assisting on the first three Gopher goals.
Next Friday’s WCHA Final Five semifinal match up has yet to be determined, but Minnesota is expected to play at 7 p.m. CT at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.