A feel-good weekend as Gophers come back to sweep Sioux

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 6, 2011 - 11:01 PM

Kyle Rau scored the winner with 46 seconds to go, giving the Gophers their first regular-season home sweep of UND since 1996.


Gophers players celebrated their come-from-behind 3-2 victory over North Dakota at Mariucci Arena on Saturday night.

Photo: Janet Hostetter, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Kyle Rau has this spot on the ice. A few feet from the crease. Near the right post.

Any time he gets the puck there, it's usually a goal.

On Saturday, the freshman from Eden Prairie got the puck in his sweet spot with 46 seconds to play and buried it to give the Gophers hockey team a 3-2 comeback victory over North Dakota at Mariucci Arena.

It was Rau's eighth goal of the season and his fourth game-winner. His goal came about five minutes after teammate Nick Larson tied the score at 2-2.

"It was an unbelievable feeling when Lars scored that [tying goal]," Rau said. "The bench -- we got so much instant energy after [his] goal and it carried over."

Nick Bjugstad started the late scoring play with a pass to Zach Budish in the slot. Budish's shot was stopped, but the rebound slithered over to Rau.

"It was a fun weekend," Rau said. "It was a good way to go out like that."

No kidding. The Gophers, who beat North Dakota 2-0 on Friday, swept the Fighting Sioux in Minneapolis in a regular-season series for the first time since Nov. 8-9, 1996.

The sweep kept the No. 5-rated Gophers (9-1-0, 6-0-0) unbeaten in WCHA play, and a whopping 10 points ahead of defending MacNaughton Cup champion North Dakota (3-6-1, 1-5-0).

"North Dakota is a good team, they are going to be just fine," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "We are just feeling fortunate we got a couple of wins and [can] move on."

Rau credits his early success to his teammates and coaches. "My linemates, Budish and Bjugstad, are unbelievable," said Rau, who was named college hockey's Rookie of the Month for October. "And the coaches have put me in spots to be successful with the power play and playing with those two guys.

"Budish made a nice play to knock [the puck] down, shoot it and it came off [the goalie's] pad right on my stick and I just threw it in."

Sounds simple, but scoring on UND was a challenge for the Gophers.

"We know [Dell] is a good goalie," Larson said. "Sooner or later if you keep working hard and getting pucks to the net there -- he can't make every save. We knew we would get a scrappy goal, a dirty goal like that. I got mine and then Rau was in a perfect place, a perfect time again and made a big play for us."

Until the Gophers' two late goals, it looked as if Rocco Grimaldi of North Dakota would be the hero.

Grimaldi was picked to be the WCHA freshmen of the year by league coaches and the media. But until Saturday, the North Dakota forward had played only three games because of a lower-body injury.

His first college goal midway through the second gave North Dakota a 2-1 lead. Bjugstad and Brock Nelson of UND had first-period goals.

Lucia said he was impressed with his fourth line Saturday, which consisted of Larson, Travis Boyd and Tom Serratore.

As for the winning goal, Lucia said that is typical Rau. Last March he scored the game-winning goal in the Class 2A title game as Eden Prairie beat Duluth East in triple overtime.

"That is his history," Lucia said. "Great players make great plays at critical moments of games. And he has done that all his life."

  • related content

  • WCHA roundup: MSU hands Michigan Tech first home loss

    Sunday November 6, 2011

    • MINNESOTA STATE MANKATO 6, MICHIGAN TECH 3: Jean-Paul LaFontaine had two goals and an assist and Matt Leitner also...

  • Minnesota's Sam Warning, left, goes over North Dakota's Danny Kristo i...


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question