Schierhorn, Gophers Shutout UND, 2-0
Eric Schierhorn stopped all 33 shots to propel No. 13 Minnesota to a shutout victory over No. 3 North Dakota on Saturday. Mike Szmatula scored in the first period and Vinni Lettieri added an insurance goal in the second for a 2-0 win.
“Obviously a hard-fought game. Really happy for Eric [Schierhorn] the way he bounced back tonight. I thought both goaltenders, after last night when 10 goals were scored, played well. I thought [UND] had tremendous pushback tonight, which we expected. I thought our guys really sold out tonight, you could see with how many blocked shots they had. That was that want-to. Just really happy for our guys and the way they played this weekend.”
On Schierhorn bouncing back:
“The history with Eric [Schierhorn] is when he has an off night game one; he usually rebounds and plays really well. That’s kind of what he’s done so far this year. We have to get him back the groove with that consistency. He’s a good goaltender and we certainly have a lot of confidence in him. We did a good job protecting him, tonight, with the blocked shots and trying to sell out.”
On playing with the lead:
“To close it out was important. The way we were playing, you could sense it was a little different tonight. Eric stood tall in the third, and that was a big part of it, too. Your goaltender has to step up in critical moments and tonight he did with the penalty shot.”
On how he felt coming into the game following his performance on Friday:
“Terrible, after last night’s game. Our team puts up five [goals] at home and we only give up 22 shots, we should win the game. We out-chanced them, we outplayed them and I didn’t really do my part so that wasn’t a good feeling.”
On the penalty shot:
“I felt confident. It was kind of one of those games I was in the zone. I just tried to be aggressive and it worked out.”
By the Numbers
5 Career shutouts for goalie Eric Schierhorn after he blanked the Fighting Hawks to wrap up the series.
25 Blocked shots for the Gophers. Lucia praised his team postgame for selling out and giving up their bodies. UND blocked only 6, by comparison.
+10 Advantage for Minnesota in the face-off circles.
3 Vinni Lettieri notched is 4th goal of the season.
2 Mike Szmatula scored the game-winning goal for the Gophers.
1 Eric Schierhorn; 33 shots, 33 saves. Enough said.
Minnesota is off this coming week but returns to action on November 18 against Minnesota State in Mankato.
Last edited by TravisErickson; 11-06-2016 at 01:03 AM.
Schierhorn was terrific. Among the notable saves was the late game penalty shot and the second period sliding blocker stop of a semi break.
UND's forecheck really disrupted the Gophers (after the mid-way point of the second period it seemed the Gophers couldn't hold the puck for more than three seconds). However, Minnesota still played effective defense and launched threatening counter attacks.
In rivalry games, having the visitors exit through the Zamboni entry spices up the student participation.
Schierhorn was awful Friday night as was the rest of the defense. We continually got beat behind the net by Sioux forecheckers who went to the front of the net and scored. Was very happy to see the team turn that around last night and play a much better defensive game. This win and a tie was VERY important for us to have a chance at the NCAA's. We didn't beat anyone (of note) in the non-conference season last year and that cost us a bid. Overall, a very good weekend for our favorite team.
I'm pleasantly surprised by the weekend and I'll definitely take it. Perhaps this is the confidence booster that the team needs.
Last edited by #2Gopher; 11-06-2016 at 08:24 PM.
Reason: Duplicate post
Great point. Loved that as well.
Originally Posted by Ignatius L Hoops
It's been a while since the atmosphere was buzzing in Mariucci like it was this weekend, especially Saturday. I got goosebumps during introductions. Wisconsin, St. Cloud, UMD, Michigan...nothing comes close to matching the buzz you get when NoDak is in town. As good as it gets in college hockey.
Last edited by TravisErickson; 11-06-2016 at 09:18 PM.
Wifey and I went to the Friday night game. I haven't been that jazzed at a game in many years. And even though it was a tie, it was likely more exciting than a 2-0 victory (although I'd take the win every time). Great weekend for the Gophers and they really helped their NCAA chances...