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Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei pressured Penn State’s Taylor Holstrom during Monday night’s game in State College, Pa. The Gophers won 5-2 for a series sweep.

Christopher Weddle, Centre Daily Times via Associated Press

GOPHERS Men 5, Penn State 2

Up next: Hockey City Classic • 8 p.m. Friday vs. Ohio State • TCF Bank Stadium • TV: BTN (1500-AM)

Warning stars as Gophers finish sweep of Penn State

  • Article by: Greg Pickel
  • Special to the Star Tribune
  • January 14, 2014 - 6:37 AM

The winger scored twice and collected three points, helping the No. 1-ranked Gophers record their first road sweep since October and the first road sweep in the Big Ten this season with a 5-2 victory over Penn State in front of an announced crowd of 6,154.

“Ever since [winter] break, I’ve been trying to get pucks on net and have four or five shots a game,” Warning said. “Last night, I didn’t get any breaks, but tonight, I got some breaks and was fortunate to have two goals.

“I think I was wanting to make the pass more when I had a shot sometimes, and I just really need to bear down when the shot is there. There’s a time for a pass and a time for a shot.”

The Gophers (15-2-3, 4-0-1 Big Ten) scored once in each of the first two periods before blasting a pair of shots past Nittany Lions goalie Eamon McAdam (20 saves) and adding an empty-netter late in the third. Travis Boyd, Nate Condon and Justin Kloos also scored for the Gophers.

Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox made 36 saves.

After a gritty 3-2 victory in the series opener Sunday night, the Gophers gained an insurmountable lead this time around despite being outshot 38-25, all while never putting themselves into a position in which they needed to rally for a decisive goal.

The Gophers scored first 2:25 into the first period on a power-play goal from Boyd, and built the lead to 3-0 early in the third after Warning beat McAdam with a wrister for his second goal. Penn State’s Kenny Brooks banked a loose puck off the back of Wilcox to cut the deficit to 3-1 with 10 minutes to play, but Condon scored 17 seconds, winning a battle in front of McAdam before beating him to the blocker side.

The Nittany Lions (4-12-1, 0-4) canceled out Condon’s score and again got within two goals when Curtis Loik’s snipe from in tight flew over Wilcox’s right shoulder with 3:30 to play, but the hosts never drew closer. Kloos’ empty-netter finished the scoring.

“It’s something we talked about,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said of the road sweep. “We had the first home sweep when we played Wisconsin over Thanksgiving [break], and that’s something we talked about coming in here, especially after winning Sunday.

“We got off to a good start on both nights. Tonight, we got the power play going and the guys moved it around pretty well and scored, but I thought Penn State played very well. It became our speed versus their size a little bit tonight.”

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said he would have felt his side played “pretty well” had he been told before the set that they’d lose by a goal to the top team in college hockey Sunday before outshooting it Monday.

“I thought we did play better tonight,” Gadowsky said. “I thought we generated a lot more chances. We felt really good about the chances we had, and what doesn’t show up [in the boxscore] is that we hit a crossbar, hit a post, and I think we missed an open net on a 2-on-1.

“I thought we generated some open chances. [The atmosphere] was fantastic.”

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