Led by fourth-liners Nick Larson and Tom Serratore, the Gophers treated their fans to the spoils of a five-goal outburst.
Nick Larson probably was joking, but after the Gophers' 5-1 romp over Alaska Anchorage on Friday night, the junior center said he was going to look for his mother.
He wanted her ticket stub -- for a free scoop of Culver's frozen custard.
It's a special promotion at Mariucci Arena. Whenever the Gophers score five goals, Culver's restaurants dish out frozen custard to those in attendance.
The announced crowd Friday was 9,639, although the arena was perhaps two-thirds full.
What those there saw was a treat. The Gophers fired 48 shots at beleaguered Seawolves goalie Rob Gunderson -- who usually sees half that many.
Two fourth-line players, Tom Serratore and Larson, each scored a goal. So did junior defenseman Aaron Ness. His first goal in almost a year came midway through the third period and was the Gophers' fifth of the game -- securing the custard -- and fifth of his career.
"It is always nice to chip in offensively," Larson said. "I know that is not my role on the team. I just have to work as hard as I can, kill penalties. Work hard and if they come, they come."
Friday night, the goals came for several players quiet of late on offense.
Freshman forward Nate Condon -- two assists the previous eight games -- gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead at 4 minutes, 30 seconds of the first period.
Sixty-two seconds later, Serratore -- one assist the previous 12 games -- made it 2-0 on a feed from Larson to the edge of the goal crease.
"Tommie was yelling and just tapped [the puck] in, back door," Larson said. "'Hey, hey, hey,' he was screaming pretty loud. I knew if I didn't pass it, I would hear about it."
Serratore's goal, the game-winner, was the second of the season for the walk-on freshman winger.
Larson made it 3-1 on a power-play goal early in the second period. It was his fourth goal this season.
"When we score first and when we get to three goals -- those are the two things," Larson said. "When we do that we are a pretty tough team to beat."
The victory enabled the Gophers (11-9-3, 8-7-2 WCHA) to climb above .500 for the first time this season in conference play after an 0-3 start.
Alaska Anchorage (7-13-13, 6-11-2) could have tied the Gophers for sixth place with a victory; instead the Seawolves stay in ninth with 14 points, four behind the U.
The last time the Gophers had scored more than three goals was Nov. 20, when they won 4-1 at Michigan Tech. Their only previous five-goal games at home were in a season-opening sweep of Massachusetts.
The Gophers had a season-low 22 shots in their last game, a 4-1 loss at North Dakota on Jan. 15. They were off last weekend.
"I was ready to play this weekend -- champing at the bit," Larson said. "We've had enough practice."
|Minnesota - LP: V. Worley||3||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: P. Maholm||8|
|Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon||7||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: B. Parnell||4|
|Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu||9||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta||2|
|Oakland - LP: J. Parker||1||FINAL|
|Texas - WP: R. Wolf||3|
|Arizona||1||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Washington||0||Top 4th Inning|
|Tampa Bay||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Chicago Cubs - J. Samardzija||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - F. Liriano|
|Detroit - J. Verlander||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - U. Jimenez|
|NY Yankees - H. Kuroda||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - J. Hammel|
|Seattle - B. Maurer||6:05 PM|
|LA Angels - J. Williams|
|Philadelphia - C. Lee||6:10 PM|
|Miami - K. Slowey|
|Boston - C. Buchholz||7:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - H. Santiago|
|Kansas City - J. Shields||7:10 PM|
|Houston - J. Lyles|
|St. Louis - T. Lyons||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - B. Smith|