Gophers Home Win Streak Continues
MINNEAPOLIS (Gophersports.com) – After a loss in the home opener last month, the No. 7/6 Gopher Hockey program has now rattled off sixth-straight wins at home with Friday night’s 4-2 victory over No. 13/11 Harvard at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Casey Mittelstadt led the way with a goal and an assist while Brent Gates Jr., Rem Pitlick and Steve Johnson also recorded goals for the Maroon & Gold.
In its ninth game of the year against a nationally ranked foe, Minnesota (8-4-1 overall, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten) jumped out to a four-goal lead through 40 minutes of play before surrendering a pair of goals in the third.
Gates opened the night with his fifth goal of the year, putting home a feed from Tommy Novak at 13:32 of the opening period. Novak now has seven points in the last four games.
Pitlick added to the lead with his team-high sixth of the year when the sophomore pushed in a centering dump from Mittelstadt at 18:17. The goal gave Pitlick a point in his seventh-straight game – a new career best for the forward, who also leads the Gophers with 15 points on the year.
The second period saw Steve Johnson tally the eventual game-winner for his second goal of the year when he slipped in a wide attempt by Tyler Nanne at 9:51. With a point in three-straight games, Johnson has tied his career-best point streak. Mike Szmatula also picked up an assist and is now three points away from his 100th career point.
Mittelstadt pocketed his fourth career goal with a wrist shot from the slot at 16:44 of the second when he was set up by Ryan Zuhlsdorf and Sam Rossini. Zuhlsdorf’s sixth point of the season gives the sophomore a new career high while Rossini now has three points (two goals, one assist) in five games as a Gopher.
Harvard (2-4-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) picked up goals from Jack Badini and Ryan Donato in the third period, but the Crimson couldn’t close the wide gap.
Eric Schierhorn made 26 saves to move to 8-4-1 on the year for the Gophers. In his 88th-straight start in goal, Schierhorn earned his 51st career win (51-33-4) and now ranks tied for eighth all-time at Minnesota with Frank Pietrangelo. Next up for the two-time Big Ten Goaltender of the Year is Steve DeBus with 54 career wins.
Minnesota went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play. The Crimson outshot the home team 28-27.
The Gophers close out this weekend’s nonconference series with Harvard on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. 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.
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