Sophomore forward Nathan Burke’s power-play goal early in the third period was the winner in the Gophers’ 4-2 victory over Niagara on Saturday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

Minnesota (3-1) swept the nonconference series, winning the opener 3-2 in overtime.

“There’s nothing like winning two games in a row,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. “It took us the whole season last year, our last series, and we got it done on our first series at home.”

Brannon McManus and Sammy Walker — the Gophers’ other two goal scorers in this game — had assists on McManus’ first goal of the season. It came at 5 minutes, 9 seconds of the final period, a half minute into a five-minute major penalty on Niagara’s Ryan Cook for checking from behind. Cook also got a game misconduct.

“Sammy made a great pass to McManus,” Burke said. “And McManus has such good vision down low it happened to wind up on my stick.”

The Purple Eagles took a 1-0 lead 35 seconds into the game. But the Gophers rallied to go ahead 2-1 in the middle of the second period on goals 1:09 apart by Walker, on a power play at 10:20, and McManus. Walker, a team co-captain, had the overtime goal Friday.

Niagara tied the score at 2 on Saturday on Reed Robinson’s goal at 1:04 of the third.

Burke, of Scottsdale, Ariz., put Minnesota ahead to stay four minutes later. Teammate Scott Reedy added an empty-netter with 24 seconds left.

Jared Moe had 20 saves for the Gophers, Chad Veltri 26 for the Purple Eagles (0-2).

Staff Reports