FARGO, N.D. — The U of M men's hockey Gophers are moving on in their quest for a NCAA National Championship after setting down Canisius 9-2 to in the regional opener Thursday.
In truth the contest was much tighter than the lopsided final score looks. The Gophers scored six goals in the third after trading blows with the Golden Griffins in the first two periods.
The catalyst for the offensive explosion was a five-minute major and game misconduct taken by Canisius just 27 seconds into the third period. Freshmen Jimmy Snuggerud and Cody Lamb scored powerplay goals and the Gophers never looked back. In the final 10 minutes of the game, the line of Mason Nevers, Jaxon Nelson and Bryce Brodzinski scored four times, with Brodzinki picking up a hat trick.
Goaltender Justin Close ended up giving up two goals on just 20 Canisius shots. The Gophers tied a program record scoring nine goals in an NCAA Tournament game, matching the mark set in their 2003 West Regional win over Mercyhurst.
Next up for the Maroon and Gold is St. Cloud State, who won their regional opener over Minnesota State-Mankato 4-0. The in-state rivals play Saturday night at 5:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa.
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