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Minnesota cruises to easy first round win over Robert Morris

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Minnesota and Robert Morris kicked off the West regional in style from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul as Terry Shafer got the start in net for the Colonials and Adam Wilcox got the start for the Gophers.

Minnesota was credited with the first five shots on goal in the first ninety seconds of action, and at 1:23, with Seth Ambroz getting a roughing minor. Robert Morris’ first power play opportunity would see a shot from John Rey but that was all for its first advantage. Ben Marshall took a tripping penalty at 3:02 to give the Colonials a continuation of the power play (an abbreviated one) on the night that went up in smoke as the game was scoreless through the first quarter of period one.

Shots through 7:00 had Minnesota up 6-5 and the rest of the first half of the period flowed with offensive chances at each end. Minnesota’s first power play occurred at 11:28 when Scott Jacklin was called for hooking. The Gopher power play unit racked up some chances, but came up empty as the score remained unchanged at 0-0 through 15:00.

Late in the first period, the Gophers seemed more tentative than did the Colonials. Minnesota lit the first lamp of the day at 16:13 on even strength when Nate Condon hit the net. Michael Brodzinski was credited with the lone assist on the goal. Michael Brodzinski would score at 17:50 on even strength with Ben Marshall and Kyle Rau assisting. Justin Kloos buried a puck at 19:43 on even strength to end the period with Brady Skjei and Taylor Cammarata assisting.

The first period came to an end with the Gophers owning the lead. Minnesota had a 16-9 shots advantage.

Minnesota outshot RMU 5-2 in the first two minutes of the second period as if to say that there was more in the tank. RMU’s Cody Wydo was called for tripping at 3:46 of the period, which gave Minnesota its second power play of the night. The Gophers power play would go for naught as Minnesota still held their 3-0 lead at 6:11 of the period.

At 8:12, Minnesota’s Kyle Rau added a fourth goal to the board (on Minnesota’s twenty-seventh shot of the game) on even strength. Justin Holl and Sam Warning assisted on Rau’s goal.

Shots were 28-15 in Minnesota’s favor as 7:30 remained in the second period, and Minnesota would head to the second intermission with a lead despite giving up a goal at 13:48 to RMU’s Cody Wydo. Wydo would later take a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Minnesota’s third power play of the night would go up in smoke despite generating a few chances in RMU’s end.

At 19:16, Zac Lynch made a game out of it as he put in his nineteenth of the year on even strength. Cody Wydo and Scott Jacklin assisted.

The end of forty minutes came upon the St. Paul crowd with Minnesota ahead comfortably by three goals and the Gophers outshooting RMU 38-19.

It took seven minutes plus for the shots to swing in Minnesota's direction by a full 2-1 margin (40-20 officially through 7:07), and the third period would go further than that without a penalty.

Shots were 43-21 in Minnesota's favor as 7:43 remained to be played, and it seemed as though the Gophers were well on their way to Sunday's regional final.

Robert Morris would be called for the first penalty of the period at 13:55 as Matt Cope was called for interference. Hudson Fasching would soon capitalize, as he scored at 14:22 putting Minnesota ahead 5-2. Taylor Cammarata and Mike Reilly would get helpers. Just like that, at 14:47, Robert Morris made it 5-3 when David Friedmann put the puck past Adam Wilcox. Friedmann had an assist from Colin South on the marker.

Minnesota's Travis Boyd was assessed a controversial elbowing minor at 16:26, giving Robert Morris their third power play on a call that didn't seem like it was an elbow according to the boo birds in the building.

It wouldn't matter though, as Minnesota held off the hard charging Colonials. Nate Condon sealed the deal with an empty net shorthanded goal at 18:12, and Mike Reilly put in a tip at 18:53 to make a football score out of the game. Final shots had Minnesota at 50-25 over RMU. RMU went 0-3 on power plays and Minnesota went 1-4.

Minnesota plays the winner of St. Cloud State/Notre Dame, scheduled for 8pm CT.

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