What a mismatch, say the shot totals.
The Gophers outshot St. Cloud State 14-5 in the first period, 14-4 in the second and 18-3 in the third on Saturday and barely won. A hot goalie can completely change a game.
And Ryan Faragher almost stole a win or a tie for St. Cloud State. He stopped 43 shots. But the Gophers survived, winning 3-2. Sam Warning, the kid from Mizzou who has been stuck on three goals for three months, picked the best possible time to score his fourth goal.
His goal with under 2 minutes was the game-winner in the Gophers' 3-2 win at the National Hockey Center.
Warning, a freshman left wing, was named the No. 1 star of the game, Faragher the No. 2 star and Erik Haula of the Gophers the No. 3.
Other information bites:
* The Gophers are tied for No. 8 in the all-important PairWise ratings. UMD and Boston University are 1-2, despite tought weekends, while Denver is tied for No. 14 and North Dakota is No. 16.
* UMD tied Michigan Tech 4-4 in overtime -- blowing a 4-0 lead in that game -- and lost 5-0 to the Huskies. And this wasn't on the road, this was at Amsoil Arena. That might not cost the Bulldogs the No. 1 spot in the national ratings, but it will erorde some of their support.
Boston University, No. 2 in both major polls, lost two games to Maine. The Black Bears beat the Terriers 4-2 and 3-1.
All that could mean the Gophers might move up to No. 2 with a sweep of the Huskies; Minnesota won 2-1 on Friday at Mariucci.
* In the WCHA, the Gophers now have a five-point lead over UMD, 30-25, and a seven-point lead over third-place Denver, the team they play next in two weeks after a week off.
This coming week, Denver has a home-and-home series with Colorado College while UMD makes the trip to Alaska Anchorage. Both DU and UMD could make up some ground on the Gophers but could not catch them.