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2014 NCAA Hockey Tournament: Minnesota Bound for Frozen Four

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The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers cruised to the Frozen Four by dismantling the Saint Cloud State University Huskies in the West Regional Final.

Hannah Foslien

The Golden Gophers came out and took this game from the Huskies from the get-go.  For the second night in a row, SCSU was thoroughly outplayed by their opponent. Unlike their performance in the opening round against Notre Dame, the Huskies had no answer for Minnesota’s shutdown defense, featuring Hobey Baker Finalist Adam Wilcox between the pipes. Wilcox earned the shutout, and Minnesota cruised to a 4-0 victory.

The Gophers controlled play from the outset, out-shooting and out-chancing the Huskies in the first period by a wide margin in the first period.

Justin Kloos opened the scoring midway through the first with a heady play on a wraparound chance. Recognizing that SCSU goaltender Ryan Faragher was well out of position up-ice and collapsing back with two or three Husky defenders, the freshman forward wrapped the puck around the net and toward the goal line, using the Huskies’ momentum to push the puck into the net.

Despite shots on goal being mostly even between the two teams in the second period, Minnesota potted two goals and allowed SCSU none. Seth Ambroz and Justin Kloos scored for the Gophers in the period.

Ambroz scored with grit. Solid offensive zone puck movement led to Jake Parenteau blasting a wide-open one-timer from the top of the slot. Faragher kicked out a big rebound to Ambroz, who buried the rebound.

Kloos scored with skill. See below for what I think might be the best goal scored by the Gophers this season, via SB Nation College Hockey. Pass, pass, pass, pass, shoot, go kiss your girlfriend.

Gopherscammaratacondonkloosgoalstc_medium

via cdn1.vox-cdn.com

The Gophers continued to control the game in the third period, adding a fourth goal on the powerplay. Kyle Rau scored on a carbon copy of Ambroz’s goal: shot from the point leading to a big rebound which Rau cleaned up to bury the Huskies.

Minnesota now faces North Dakota in the Frozen Four semi-finals on April 10th. Ski-U-Mah.