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Minnesota uses controlled attack versus St. Cloud State to head into title tilt

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Minnesota took on St. Cloud State in game two of the North Star College Cup on Friday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Adam Wilcox would face off with his counterpart in net Ryan Faragher in the nets.

Minnesota had the first shot of the game at about two minutes in, but the game had a slower and more cagey opening than did the game preceding it with the Mavericks and Bulldogs.

The first four minutes themselves were without a penalty, but Minnesota was playing sloppy with the puck in its own end. St. Cloud simply couldn’t convert in their offensive zone to save themselves, even though two of the Huskies’ starters had eleven goals each coming in.

Seth Ambroz had the Gophers’ best chance of the first few minutes on a breakaway attempt pushing the shot wide. After a Kalle Kossila penalty for tripping at 8:51, Minnesota notched the first goal of the game on the power play when Travis Boyd scored off an assist from Hudson Fasching. Minnesota was 9-0-3 on the season when they scored the game’s first goal, but the question was if it would hold.

As the first period came to an end, shots on goal favored SCSU 16-9, but aside from the Boyd goal, not much happened in period one in the scoring realm. Adam Wilcox and Ryan Faragher were keeping their teams in the game through twenty minutes.

The first four minutes of play in period two only netted one shot for Minnesota, but the game still rested on Boyd’s first period goal for the Gophers. St. Cloud State couldn’t take advantage of its opportunities that they had. Ryan Faragher and Adam Wilcox were still the stars of the game.

At 6:40, Minnesota’s Seth Ambroz took a hooking penalty to give SCSU a power play. Minnesota’s Adam Wilcox made saves he had to make to evade surrendering a goal on the penalty kill, keeping SCSU at bay.

SCSU’s Jonny Brodzinski scored his twelfth of the season on even strength at 11:22 of the second period to tie the game. Kalle Kossila assisted. The goal proved, at least from this position, that some Minnesota defensemen were leaving Wilcox out to dry, which allowed the goal.

Nate Condon put Minnesota up 2-1 at 14:24 when he put a puck home. Mike Reilly and Sam Warning were credited with the assists that put the tournament host ahead.

At 16:42, SCSU’s David Morley was called for hooking, giving Minnesota an additional power play to work with. At 18:14, Minnesota’s Hudson Fasching put the Gophers ahead 3-1 with assists from Travis Boyd and Mike Reilly.

As the second period ended, shots favored SCSU 26-18.

As the third period started, SCSU had a change in net from Ryan Faragher to Charlie Lindgren. Through the first two minutes of the third, Minnesota had the first two shots of the period while SCSU was held without a shot on goal.

Shots were 29-23 in SCSU's favor at just over 48:00 played in total, and the Huskies were having to play from behind. All told, the final minutes would prove to be the most interesting. Adam Wilcox was making the saves that he simply needed to make to be effective. At 19:31, Minnesota would tally an empty netter to make it 4-1. Seth Ambroz would get assists from Ben Marshall and Adam Wilcox.

At game's end, shots on goal favored SCSU 38-28. Attached is the official score sheet from the game.

Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth will meet at 7pm Saturday night in the North Star Cup final. It'll be televised by FOX Sports North.

Geoff Discher is Examiner.com's Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner as well as the National College Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.com with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here as well as here and joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He's always chock full of fact and opinion. I’m also on Twitter @Disch_InTheVOX. Check it out!

Until next time, I'll see you at the rink!

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