Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Gophers knock off Badgers to take 3 of 4 points in "Border Battle"

Posted by: Michael Russo under Gophers postgame Updated: November 18, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Entertaining hockey game tonight at Mariucci, and the Gophers pulled off a 3-1 win to take three of four points from the Badgers.

 
You can read the gamer for most the details on www.startribune.com/gophers, but …
 
Tom Serratore’s second goal of the season and seventh of his career 5:59 into the third amounted to the winner. He came off the bench, did a little fake and used the defenseman as a screen to score. It came after Erik Haula’s nifty move at the blue line to keep from getting run over by John Ramage.
 
The Gophers then couldn’t pad their lead on three consecutive power plays, but they pulled out the W after Kyle Rau sealed the deal with an empty netter.
 
Nick Bjugstad scored his sixth goal on a pure snipe and assisted on Rau’s empty-netter. Adam Wilcox made 16 saves, including clutch ones seconds before Bjugstad’s goal to keep the Gophers’ deficit to 1-0 and then one a few minutes after Serratore gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
 
The Gophers even scored a couple even-strength goals. They now have six in the past six games, in large part because Sam Warning’s upper body injury has disrupted the top-9 forward spots. He is expected to miss next weekend’s first-ever trip to Vermont.
 
Wilcox only gave up three goals this weekend and coach Don Lucia has all the confidence in the world in the confident rookie. The Gophers (7-2-2, 4-2-2) have only given up 21 goals in 11 games, best in the WCHA. Their penalty kill went 4 for 4 tonight, and has now killed 30 of 34 this season.
 
Bjugstad and Erik Haula each lead the team with six goals, and Haula had an assist and now has a team-leading 14 points. He is 13 points from 100 in his career.
 
Zach Budish, playing his 100th game tonight, had an assist. Kyle Rau scored an empty netter.
 
In other news, last week, five players signed letters of intent to play for the Gophers: Taylor Cammarata (Waterloo, USHL), Hudson Fasching (USA Under-18), Gabe Guertler (Fargo, USHL), Vinni Lettieri (Lincoln, USHL) and Lou Nanne (Penticton, BCHL).
 
That's it for me. Hope to see you all at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday at 5 for the Houston Aeros-Rockford Ice Hogs game. Tickets are $20.
 
Charlie Coyle. Jason Zucker. Johan Larsson. Marco Scandella. No NHL for now, so may as well watch the Wild's future, eh?

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