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Seniors Mike Carman and Tony Lucia each scored twice, and Minnesota scored a season-high five power-play goals in a 6-1 victory over No. 3 Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon at Mariucci Arena.
“Some pucks went in,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. “We have gone a month without scoring five power-play goals.”
Carman and Tony Lucia made a good last impression on the home crowd at Mariucci.
“It’s nice to see Carman get a couple, Tony get a couple,” Don Lucia said.
Wisconsin tied the game at 1-1 just over eight minutes into the second period on a beautiful upper-corner one-timer by Michael Davies from just inside the faceoff dot. Derek Stepan fed Davies from behind the net, and it capped off a sequence where the Badgers had controlled play.
“We tied the game. It looked like we were coming on and then from there it just kinda deteriorated,” Badgers coach Mike Eaves said.
Fueled by five minor penalties, the Gophers took over for the rest of the second period, tallying three power-play goals in 2 minutes, 35 seconds.
The scoring outburst started when Tony Lucia redirected a pass by Patrick White from the top of the goal mouth past Wisconsin goaltender Brett Bennett at 11:00.
“To be able to put a 6-1 rout is a great way to go out,” Tony Lucia said.
The Gophers made it 3-1 on a rebound goal that went directly to Jacob Cepis on the weak side of Bennett’s pads. Cade Fairchild took the initial shot from the left side wall. Cepis one-timed the rebound into the open net.
Lucia got his second goal of the game on a 40-foot wrist shot through a screen. Lucia picked the puck off the right wall and skated to the middle, firing a shot through traffic that caught the upper left corner.
Minnesota started the first period fast, tallying six shots before Wisconsin recorded its first.
Midway through the period, the Badgers gained momentum on two power plays but failed to get a puck past goaltender Alex Kangas. The best scoring chance on the Wisconsin power play was a two-on-one rush for Minnesota. Fairchild missed the back-door tap-in pass from Jordan Schroeder.
At 16:01 of the first, Carman scored the first goal of the game on a rebound of a shot from the left blue line by Kevin Wehrs. The rebound fell to the feet of Bennett, and Carman went after the puck in a scrum and got a backhand on it sliding it under Bennett.
“Us seniors wanted to play for each other and play hard,” Carman said.
The Gophers tallied twice in the third period on power-play goals by Nick Leddy and Carman.
Wisconsin senior Blake Geoffrion failed to get the one point he needed to capture a piece of this year’s WCHA scoring title.
The WCHA playoffs begin next weekend. Wisconsin will host Alaska-Anchorage and Minnesota heads to North Dakota.