Gophers Shut Down Sparty
MINNEAPOLIS – Gopher Hockey netminder Eric Schierhorn earned his 50th career win and 10th career shutout Saturday as Minnesota topped Michigan State 4-0 to complete the Big Ten sweep.
Schierhorn, who has now made 85-straight starts for the Gophers, is the 12th goalie in program history to reach 50 career wins and currently ranks tied for 10th in program history with Jim Mattson and Tom Newman. The two-time Big Ten goaltender of the year made 21 saves on Saturday to improve to 8-1-1 all-time against the Spartans.
On the other end of the ice, Minnesota picked up goals from Tyler Sheehy, Casey Mittelstadt, Tyler Nanne and Leon Bristedt as the Gophers have now won four-straight games as well as five-straight contests at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Minnesota (7-3-0 overall, 3-1-0-0 Big Ten) didn’t waste time finding the net again on Saturday as the Maroon & Gold found the net on their first shot of the game for the second night in a row. This time it was junior captain Tyler Sheehy who pocketed his first goal of the season just 51 seconds into the contest off a feed from Tommy Novak and Ryan Lindgren. The Gophers improved to 6-0-0 on the year when scoring first.
Mittelstadt added to the lead at 10:15 of the first period with his third of the year, once again set up by Rem Pitlick as Minnesota’s top two scorers continue to be a presence on the stat sheet. With 10 points (four goals, six assists) on the year to lead the Gophers, Pitlick has recorded a point in nine out of 10 games this year. Mittelstadt ranks second on the Gophers and is now tied for the Big Ten rookie scoring lead with nine points (three goals, six assists) and has points in eight out of nine appearances.
The second period saw Tyler Nanne blast a shot from the point for his first career goal at 9:22 with assists going to Brent Gates Jr. and Novak. Novak led the game with two assists while Nanne’s goal chased John Lethemon from the Michigan State net. Lethemon made nine saves on 12 shots to take the loss for the Spartans (4-4-0, 0-2-0-0) while Ed Minney made 14 saves on 15 shots in a relief appearance.
Bristedt closed out the night with his second goal of the year at 18:28 of the third period off a setup by Brannon McManus. After opening the year without a point in six games, Bristedt now has a point in three-straight contests.
Minnesota outshot the Spartans 27-21 in the game while going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play. The Gophers have now successfully killed off 14-straight penalties while the team’s streak of three-straight games with a power-play goal came to an end.
The Gophers head to Michigan next weekend for a two-game Big Ten series in Ann Arbor. Single-game tickets, season tickets and flexible Pick-Your-Packs are currently available at GopherSports.com, by calling 1-800-U-Gopher or by stopping by the ticket office at 3M Arena at Mariucci.