MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) - Casey Mittelstadt notched three assists and a goal in his first taste of college hockey as the No. 3 Gopher Hockey program unofficially opened the 2017-18 campaign with a 6-2 exhibition win over Alberta on Sunday evening at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Ten Gophers tallied points in the win including multi-point games from Mittelstadt, Brent Gates Jr. (two goals), Mike Szmatula (two assists), Rem Pitlick (two assists) and Scott Reedy (one goal, one assist).
Unofficially, Mittelstadt tallied the first goal of the season for the Maroon & Gold with his backhander at 5:53 of the first period before Alberta evened the score later in the period. The two teams would trade goals again late in the second with Gates finding the net at 15:49 only for the Golden Bears to find the equalizer at 19:02.
But the back-and-forth battle ended in the third as Minnesota rallied off four goals to pull away. Leon Bristedt tacked on a power-play goal at 3:14 followed by Reedy's goal at 6:40 and Gates' second of the night at 14:18. Tommy Novak picked up Minnesota's second power-play goal at 18:33 to close out the night as Minnesota went 2-for-5 on the advantage and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
After being outshot in the first and second periods, Minnesota held the advantage in the third at 12-4 to finish the night with a 26-23 lead on shots.
In goal, the Gophers gave a period of work to three different goaltenders. Eric Schierhorn made the start and led with 10 saves on 11 shots. Brock Kautz made seven saves on eight shots in the second. Mat Robson picked up the exhibition win for Minnesota, making four saves on four shots in the third period.
The Maroon & Gold open the 2017-18 regular season next weekend at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Duluth, Minn. The Gophers officially start the season on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. CT against Minnesota Duluth before taking on either Michigan Tech or Union on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. CT. Minnesota will be making its fifth appearance at the Ice Breaker Tournament - the program's three event titles (2007, 2013, 2014) are tied for the NCAA lead.
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