Despite giving up the first goal, the Gophers looked impressive after their week off, easily topping Michigan, 5-2, to open the weekend series.
About nine minutes into the contest, Michigan capitalized on a Minnesota turnover and took the first lead of the game. Up until that point, the Gophers had been dominating much of the play, and the early jump paid off. After a big save by Eric Schierhorn, Rem Pitlick streaked down the boards and fired an absolute laser to even the score. Really, you have to watch this shot.
“This year I haven’t been shooting the puck as much and I think I need to get that back in my game,” said Pitlick. “I just drove wide, closed my eyes, and just shot it and luckily it went in.”
Don Lucia has seen a lot of goals during his tenure and was still impressed by the snipe.
“That’s a goal-scorers goal,” said Lucia. “Not many guys can shoot a puck like that coming down the strong side.”
Sheehy Comes Up Big
Burnsville native Tyler Sheehy has been one of the Gophers most consistent scorers this season. He didn’t disappoint on Friday, tallying two goals and an assist. After the Wolverines made it 3-2, Sheehy potted the next two goals to put the game out of reach.
Minnesota’s speed advantage was apparent against a physical Michigan squad. The difference was most obvious in the penalty minutes. Michigan racked up 25 minutes in the box (including a five-minute major) compared to just four for the Gophers.
“Throughout the entire game, we had a lot of speed,” said Sheehy. “We really didn’t let off at all...Overall I think we had a lot of speed.”
By The Numbers
45 Shots on net for the Gophers. Michigan mustered just 24 on the game.
1.7 Seconds left in the first period when Mike Szmatula scored to make it 3-1.
4 Shots on net for Ryan Collins. The big man had two assists on Friday and wasn’t shy about firing the puck.
3 Ryan Collins played a great game on D and added two assists.
2 Tommy Novak had a goal and an assist.
1 Tyler Sheehy led the Gophers with two goals and a helper.
The longtime opponents are back at it tomorrow with a 7pm puck drop at Mariucci. You can watch the game on FSN+, or listen on ESPN1500.