MINNEAPOLIS- It was a fitting way to reach a milestone.
Like he has done several times throughout his two-and-a-half seasons in Minnesota, co-captain Kyle Rau helped to set up a forward on the left circle during a Gopher power play Friday night. Only this time it was the junior forward's 100th career point.
Rau began the chain of events that led to Travis Boyd's tying goal in the third period against Colgate. With the assist, his 64th in maroon and gold, the 21 year-old Rau is now the 80th player in Minnesota hockey history, and first since Erik Haula did so January 18, 2013 against North Dakota, to reach 100 points.
But despite receiving a large ovation from the 9,520 fans in attendance at Mariucci Arena for his effort, he was more concerned with #1 Minnesota (12-2-3, 3-0-1-0 Big Ten) tying the Raiders and losing the ensuing shootout.
"It's pretty cool. I'm disappointed in the loss, but I guess it's the one positive that I can take," Rau said Friday about the honor coming after missing out on a chance to play #2 Ferris State. It's something I'll look back on when I'm older and think it's cool to see my name in the program, but right now it's not that big of a deal."
For two seasons Rau set up linemate, and partner in crime, Nick Bjugstad in similar situations to the goal that Boyd scored. Bjugstad isn't around this season after turning pro, which hasn't been a problem for Rau. With him playing for the Florida Panthers, the same team that drafted Rau, the Eden Prairie, MN native is third on this year's team with 17 points (3G-14A) in 17 games.
It's keeping pace with last season's total, which saw Rau, this year's leading returning scorer for the Gophers, finish with 40 points (15G-25A) in 40 games.
And he has two more points than Bjugstad, who finished his Minnesota career with 98 total in three seasons, along with the chance for Rau to get more. The Gophers face RPI tomorrow evening in the Mariucci Classic consolation game before returning to Big Ten conference play the following weekend.
- College Hockey Scores: Friday Night Roundup
- Mariucci Classic: Colgate ties Minnesota 2-2; wins shootout to spoil #1 v. #2
- Mariucci Classic: Ferris State defeats RPI 6-2 to win first semifinal
- Naclerio Leads Brown Back for 3-3 Tie with Denver
- American International Comes Back To Defeat Air Force in Overtime
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate