Updated: 11/30/2013 8:31 PM KSTP.com
Minnesota men’s hockey forward Seth Ambroz scored two goals, including the game-winner with 26 seconds left, to vault the top-ranked Gophers past No. 12/13 Wisconsin for the second time in as many nights. The victory improved Minnesota’s record to 11-2-1 on the season and 2-0-0-0 in league play after its inaugural Big Ten conference series.
Ambroz finished the weekend with four goals and the junior from New Prague, Minn. now has seven on the season.
For the second time in as many games, the Badgers struck first. Captain Frankie Simonelli unloaded a shot from the right circle that beat Gopher netminder Adam Wilcox inside the post to make it 1-0 just 4:23 into the game.
It only took 45 seconds for Kyle Rau to bury a Sam Warning feed to answer Simonelli’s tally, but Nic Kerdiles put Wisconsin ahead with 5:21 to play in the opening frame.
The middle stanza nearly went scoreless before Ambroz potted his first goal with 2:09 to play as he received a Tom Serratore pass from behind the net. Badger goaltender Joel Rumpel made the first save, but Ambroz went upstairs for a goal on his rebound attempt.
In the third period, the two teams exchanged goals as Brady Skjei gave the Gophers their first lead of the night 3:44 in and Michael Mersch capitalized on a Kerdiles feed in front to knot the score just past the midway point of the period.
Wilcox and Rumpel exchanged saves for the next nine minutes until Minnesota junior Travis Boyd directed a puck toward the Badger cage to set up Ambroz’s heroics.
Wisconsin pulled Rumpel for the final 26 seconds to no avail as Minnesota, which outshot UW 15-5 in the third, pulled out the win and the sweep. It was the Gophers’ fourth two-win weekend of the season.
With a goal and an assist on Skjei’s third-period tally, Rau now has 99 career points. Ambroz now has four multi-goal games in his career.
The Gophers will cap the first half of their season next weekend with their first-ever Big Ten conference road series at Michigan State.