Gophers Sweep Harvard
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Junior Tyler Sheehy scored 35 seconds into overtime, propelling the No. 7 Gopher Men’s Hockey program to a 2-1 victory and a nonconference series sweep of No. 13 Harvard at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Saturday night.
The Maroon & Gold peppered Crimson goaltender Merrick Madsen with 50 shots in the contest, with sophomore Rem Pitlick and Sheehy the only Gophers to break through against the 6-foot-5-inch senior. Brent Gates Jr. and Pitlick received assists on the overtime winner. Minnesota had not put up 50 shots in a game since a 5-2 victory over Wisconsin on Jan. 17, 2015.
The two teams traded power-play opportunities early in the first, but neither team found its way on the scoreboard. Junior goaltender Eric Schierhorn made seven stops for the Gophers including four key saves on the penalty kill. The Maroon & Gold closed the first frame with 16 shots against Madsen on the other end.
Schierhorn continued to stand on his head early in the second, turning away three shots before two minutes were off the board, but Harvard broke through on a back-door deflection by Henry Bowlby on a pass from Ryan Donato behind the net. Lewis Zerter-Gossage earned the second assist as the visitors took a 1-0 lead at 7:02 of the period, just the fifth time an opponent has scored first against the Gophers in 14 games this season. Despite not lighting the lamp through two, Minnesota continued to pelt Madsen, holding a 33-12 lead in shots on goal after two.
The Gophers (9-4-1 overall, 3-2-1-1) surpassed their previous season high of 36 shots early in the third, but it would be shot No. 45 that got the Gophers on the board as Pitlick drilled home a rebound off a Steve Johnson shot to knot the game at one with just 5:02 remaining in the game. Casey Mittelstadt earned the second assist on the play. For Pitlick, it was his eight-consecutive game with a point while Johnson’s assist marked his fourth-straight game in the scorebook. Both streaks are new career longs.
Minnesota would go on the power play for the final 38 seconds of regulation after Mittelstadt was tripped up at center ice, but Harvard would send the game to overtime before Sheehy broke through with the game-winner in the extra session.
Minnesota will set out on the road next week for its inaugural Big Ten conference series with league newcomer Notre Dame beginning Friday evening in South Bend, Indiana.
The Gophers return to 3M Arena at Mariucci the following weekend, Dec. 1-2, to host Wisconsin.