The Gophers got some brotherly love in the Twin Cities Friday night.
Minnesota (7-1-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) defeated Minnesota State 4-1 in the first of a two-game series at Mariucci Arena behind goals by Justin Kloos and both Mike and Connor Reilly.
The duo became the first pair of brothers to score for Minnesota since Ryan and Grant Potulny did so in March 2004 against St. Cloud State. Their goals and 34 saves by Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning) were the difference for the Gophers.
Zach Palmquist scored for the Mavericks. Seth Ambroz (Blue Jackets) added an empty netter for the final score.
"(Minnesota is) too good of a hockey team to give up a lead to," Mavericks head coach Mike Hastings said. "They're too good to give time and space and they showed that. They can make you pay for it.
"I didn't think we did enough to eliminate that."
After being out-shot 4-1 in the opening 2:30 by Minnesota State (4-5-0, 2-2-0 WCHA), Minnesota took over the rest of the first period. The Gophers had superior puck possession boosted by winning 11 of 14 face-offs. That translated into shots - out-shooting MSU-M 13-8 - on Mavericks goalie Cole Huggins and opportunities to score.
And most of all, it ended with two Gopher goals. Nate Condon (Colorado Avalanche) set up Justin Kloos, who beat Huggins high for his fourth goal of the season. Eight minutes later Mike Reilly (Columbus Blue Jackets) made it 2-0 with 1:27 remaining in the first.The sophomore defenseman recorded his fourth goal of the year on a wrist shot while falling down.
"I didn't really even see it go in," said Reilly. "It was definitely big going into the end of the period like that. Just a two-goal lead, to get some momentum before dropping the puck in the second...we did what we wanted. We got it."
Then it was Connor's turn. The redshirt freshman tallied his second goal of the season 8:40 into the second period when he connected on a Sam Warning pass that beat Huggins, who made 26 saves Friday, on the power play.
The 3-0 lead held despite a late Minnesota State push. All the opportunities which failed to materialize in the first period came. Hastings credited his team for playing on their toes throughout the final 25 minutes. The coach on the other side of the ice wasn't happy, understandably.
"In the last ten minutes we showed a little bit of our youth tonight, " Lucia said about a team that suited up 8 freshmen. "That's to be expected."
Sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox was tested in those final minutes. He came through, making 15 of his 34 saves in the third period, while stopping Mavericks' Johnny McInnis on the doorstep during one of Minnesota State's two power plays.
"I don't know who did the 3 stars tonight, but how (Wilcox) wasn't the first star..." Lucia said.
The only goal Wilcox gave up was to a person he knows well. Fellow South St. Paul native Zach Palmquist beat the Minnesota netminder to his left, stopping what would have been his second shutout of the season.
"It always happens," said a laughing Wilcox, adding "it's better to get the win and joke it out about it after the game."
-Up and Down: Sam Warning's point streak was extended to 9 games with his assist on Connor Reilly's goal. Warning now has 15 points (5G-10A). However, linemate Hudson Fasching's eight game point streak to begin his college career ended.
-Minnesota entered the game 45th in the country with a 13.89% power play. Despite going 1 for 5, the Gophers are now up to 14.63%.
-Teddy Blueger (Pittsburgh Penguins) had to be helped off the ice with 3:14 left in the second period. After a quick look in the tunnel, the sophomore was back killing penalties two minutes later. Hastings said after the game that he expects Blueger to play Saturday.
-Attendance was announced at 9,697.
-The two teams play again at Mariucci Arena tomorrow night (November 15) at 7:00 p.m. CT. Fox Sports North Plus will once again air the game.
MINNESOTA - Justin Kloos (4) (Nate Condon, Brady Skjei 10:31)
MINNESOTA - Mike Reilly (4) (Condon, Kloos 18:33)
MINNESOTA Connor Reilly (2) (Sam Warning, M. Reilly 8:40 PP)
MINNESOTA STATE Zach Palmquist (1) (J.P. LaFontaine, Max Gaede 12:28)
MINNESOTA Seth Ambroz (3) (Unassisted 19:24 ENG)
Minnesota State 8 - 11 - 16 --35
Minnesota 13 - 11 - 6 -- 30
Minnesota State 0-2
3 Stars: 1) Justin Kloos 2) Mike Reilly 3) Nate Condon
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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate