Sunday in the WCHA

Outdoor games with a watery attitude, frantic finishes with the Gold Pan and a statement game for the league leader were all part of Saturday’s WCHA. It left St. Cloud State building its first-place advantage to 31 points with North Dakota climbing into second place. Three points separate second-through-sixth place.

Minnesota Duluth was swept for a second straight week at home as No. 11 Minnesota State-Mankato finished the weekend with a 5-1 victory at Amsoil Arena. Recaps from the News Tribune here, Mankato Free Press here, Freddy’s Three Thoughts here, and the sports information offices of UMD here and Mankato here.

At Omaha, Neb., warm temperatures and deteriorating conditions caused the outdoor game between No. 7 North Dakota and No. 14 Nebraska-Omaha to be delayed by 2-plus hours at Ameritrade Park, but when things got going North Dakota finsihed off a sweep with a 5-2 victory. There were 13,650 fans, most dressed in green. North Dakota scored three in the first period, including Nic Mattson and Mitch McMillan 73 seconds apart. Zane Gothberg had 29 saves for the win. Omaha led in shots 31-27. From the Grand Forks Herald here and Omaha World Herald here and here.

At Houghton, Mich., after being lovertaken late in Friday’s opening game, Michigan Tech scored three first-period goals on the way to defeating Alaska anchorage 6-1 in Winter Carnival play. Tech led 43-25 in shots. Alex Petan had two goals. Anchorage switched goalies during the game for a second straight night. Attendance 3,576. From U.S. College Hockey Online here.

At Colorado Springs, Colo., the most entertaining game of the night had Colorado College outlasting No. 9 Denver 6-5 in overtime in Gold Pan play. CC led 5-2 with four second-period goals, including a power-play score by Mike Boivin. Denver rallied to tie with three goals in less than three minutes in the third period, Zac Larraza getting the equalizer with 2:42 left. In OT: freshman Hunter Fejes scores for CC with 11 seconds remaining. CC led in shots 38-36 to gain three points in the series. Sellout of 7,750. From the Colorado Springs Gazette here and Denver Post here.

At Madison, Wis., No. 19 Wisconsin built a three-goal lead and held off Bemidji State 3-2. Kevin Schulze gave Wisconsin a 3-0 lead midway through the game. Mathieu Dugas went the first 31 minutes in goal for BSU and Andrew Walsh finished. Shots were 20-20. Attendance 11,835. From the Wisconsin State Journal here and Bemidji Pioneer here.

In St. Cloud, Minn., No. 8 St. Cloud State built its own three-goal lead and then held off No. 1 Minnesota 4-3 for a series split before a crowd of 6,140. Drew LeBlanc gave the Huskies a 4-1 advantage at 6:40 of the third period. Nick Bjugstad and Nate Condon (with 5:34 left) got the Gophers within one. Ryan Faragher earned the victory in goal. Minnesota led in shots 39-21. From the St. Cloud Times here and Minneapolis Star Tribune here.

WCHA Standings and Summaries Courtesy of College Hockey Stats.net

 1 St. Cloud State   31  22 15- 6- 1 .705  74- 47   30 18-11- 1 .617  99- 72
 2 North Dakota      28  22 11- 5- 6 .636  72- 56   30 16- 8- 6 .633  96- 74
 3 Minnesota         26  20 11- 5- 4 .650  68- 48   28 19- 5- 4 .750 105- 54
   Nebraska Omaha    26  22 12- 8- 2 .591  74- 65   30 16-12- 2 .567 103- 83
 5 Denver            25  22 10- 7- 5 .568  70- 64   29 15- 9- 5 .603  98- 77
   Minnesota State   25  22 12- 9- 1 .568  67- 54   30 18- 9- 3 .650  94- 68
   Wisconsin         25  22  9- 6- 7 .568  49- 48   28 12- 9- 7 .554  63- 57
 8 Colorado College  20  22  8-10- 4 .455  72- 77   30 11-14- 5 .450 100-105
 9 Minnesota Duluth  19  22  8-11- 3 .432  56- 67   28 10-15- 3 .411  70- 84
10 Michigan Tech     16  22  6-12- 4 .364  59- 72   27  9-14- 4 .407  78- 82
11 Bemidji State     13  22  4-13- 5 .295  45- 69   28  5-17- 6 .286  57- 86
12 Alaska Anchorage  10  24  2-16- 6 .208  45- 84   28  4-17- 7 .268  56- 95
  Alaska Anchorage   1 at Michigan Tech      6       Box   
  North Dakota       5 at Nebraska Omaha     2       Box   
  Bemidji State      2 at Wisconsin          3       Box   
  Minnesota          3 at St. Cloud State    4       Box   
  Minnesota State    5 at Minnesota Duluth   1       Box   
  Denver             5 at Colorado College   6, OT   Box

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