Minnesota earns split with bitter rival UND

Nick Bjugstad and Nate Condon both scored two goals apiece.

Travis Boyd

Marisa Wojcik

Travis Boyd

Dane Mizutani

No. 5 Minnesota (16-8-1, 12-4-0 WCHA) looked more like the team that was at one time the top-ranked team in the nation Saturday âÄî as opposed to the team that lost three straight for the first time this season the night before âÄî with a 6-2 victory over North Dakota.

The Gophers set the tone early Saturday with a quick strike less than five minutes into the game.

Kyle Rau fended off two UND defenders and dribbled a pass to a streaking Nick Bjugstad in the UND zone.

Bjugstad found himself alone in the zone following the pass from Rau and would not be denied a one-on-one opportunity with the goaltender Aaron Dell.

Bjugstad deked Dell to the right and brought the puck back to the left before finishing with his backhand to make it 1-0.   

Minnesota had a superb chance to pad its lead in the first, but continued to struggle on the power play as it has all season against No. 17 UND (12-9-2, 8-8-0 WCHA).

Both Mario Lamoureux and Carter Rowney were called for penalties 22 seconds apart to give the Gophers a 5-on-3 opportunity. Minnesota could not capitalize.

Despite the inefficiency with the man advantage, the Gophers stung UND with a goal late in the frame to make it 2-0.

Minnesota was victim to a momentum-altering goal late in the second period Friday, but Saturday it found itself on the other side of the spectrum when Bjugstad cleaned up a rebound for his second goal of the game.

The Gophers carried that momentum right into the second period, scoring two goals in the first three minutes of the frame.

Seth Ambroz backhanded a rebound to stretch the lead to three, and 46 seconds later Nate Schmidt made it 4-0 when he scorched Dell with a laser from just inside the blue line.

Michael Parks got UND on the board with a goal off a deflection at 9:47 into the period.

Immediately following Parks’ goal, fans actually littered the ice with dead gophers and the game was forced to be delayed as the blood was scraped from the ice.

This act paired with the actual goal seemed to ignite the crowd and the home team.

Danny Kristo made it 4-2 less than four minutes later after he weaved his way through the Gophers’ defense and fired a shot that beat Kent Patterson.

Just as it looked like UND might make it interesting headed into the third, Nate Condon took a pass from Seth Ambroz and fluttered a wrist shot past Dell with 39 seconds remaining in the period.

Condon added a shorthanded goal early in the third to make it 6-2, but the game was already well in hand for the Gophers.

Following the Condon goal, tempers flared, but the referees regained control and the game ended at 6-2.

Ben Blood and Seth Ambroz got into a minor scuffle while shaking hands after the game.