No. 1 Minnesota (10-3-0, 7-2-0 WCHA) recorded its third loss of the season Friday in the opening game of its series with St. Cloud State.
Both teams came out with the intensity expected from an in-state rivalry game, but the Huskies jumped out to an early lead.
Ben Hanowski netted a goal for SCSU to make it 1-0 just 3:52 into the game following a costly turnover by Minnesota.
Nick Bjugstad responded six minutes later with his 10th goal of the season to even the score at one goal apiece.
SCSU, however, regained control with less than three minutes to play in the first period.
Cam Reid took a cross-ice feed from Hanowski on the power play and snapped a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle to make it 2-1.
The Gophers statistically dominated the first period, outshooting the Huskies 17-7, but were unable to capitalize.
Minnesota came out with what seemed to be more intensity in the second period, but 4:35 into the period, SCSU (6-5-2, 4-2-1 WCHA) struck again.
Kent Patterson was unable to corral a Taylor Johnson shot from the slot and Nic Dowd was there to clean up the mess.
It was DowdâÄôs fifth goal of the season and it stretched the lead to 3-1.
Seth Helgeson took an untimely penalty barely a minute later to put the Gophers back on the penalty kill.
Jared Festler then netted a backdoor goal âÄî similar to ReidâÄôs goal in the first period âÄî to make it 4-1.
In the third period, the lead seemed nearly insurmountable, but Minnesota was able to battle back.
Tom Serratore scored with 5:01 remaining in the game to keep MinnesotaâÄôs hope alive.
Then, with 3:08 to play Kyle Rau found his spot near the crease and pounded in a goal that cut SCSUâÄôs lead to one.
Minnesota pulled Patterson with a little more than a minute to play, but could not manage to net the equalizer and the Huskies won 4-3.
The Gophers had difficultly solving freshman goaltender Ryan Faragher on the night.
Faragher gloved nearly everything in sight en route to a 40-save performance.
Minnesota will look to avoid its first sweep of the season at Mariucci Arena on Saturday night in the home-and-home series.