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MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Rem Pitlick’s hat trick started and ended a 9-0 win exhibition win over the U.S. Under-18 Team on Friday night as the No. 8/9 Gopher Hockey program scored the most goals at Mariucci Arena in over five years.
After totaling 12 goals in two regular-season games last weekend in Alaska, the Gophers put up nine on Friday in exhibition action – the most by the team at Mariucci Arena since a 9-0 win over Sacred Heart on Oct. 7, 2011 (Minnesota scored nine goals last season in a 9-2 victory at Wisconsin on Jan. 23, 2016).
Pitlick led the night with four-points (three goals, one assist) while the Maroon & Gold boasted eight skaters with multi-point games including Leon Bristedt (three assists, all in the first period), Brent Gates Jr. (two goals, one assist), Tyler Sheehy (two assists), Darian Romanko (one goal, one assist), Steve Johnson (one goal, one assist), Jack Ramsey (one goal, one assist) and Tommy Novak (one goal, two assists).
Meanwhile on the other end of the ice, Eric Schierhorn, Nick Lehr and Brock Kautz combined for a 30-save shutout. Schierhorn may have picked up the win – making six saves in the first period – but it was Lerh’s 12 saves in the second and Kautz’s 12 saves in the third that shut the door on the U.S. Under-18 Team.
Pitlick put the Maroon & Gold up by a goal at 8:31 of the opening stanza when he tapped in a loose puck with assists from Bristedt and Vinni Lettieri. The freshman forward then set up Johnson’s power-play blast at 10:35 while Bristedt also assisted on the goal. Ramsey hopped on the scoring wagon with a one-timer at 13:53 off a nice feed from Romanko and Jack Glover before Pitlick fired home his second of the night at 18:03 on another Minnesota power play. Bristedt picked up his third assist of the period while Johnson added the secondary helper.
The Gophers ended the night 2-for-7 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The second period saw another four-goal outing from the Gophers. Minnesota’s second line scored the fifth goal of the night as Novak fed Gates on a 2-on-1 at 1:40 of the second period. Sheehy also assisted on the goal. The trio matched up again at 15:46 to make it 6-0 with Gates netting his second of the period. Twelve seconds later Romanko scored to make it 7-0 after being set up by Ramsey and Joey Marooney. Novak added a goal at 19:38 of the second stanza from Gates and Jake Bischoff.
After eight goals in the first 40 minutes, Pitlick closed out the night’s scoring with an unassisted blast at 10:04 while on a partial breakaway.
Minnesota outshot the U.S. Under-18 Team 33-30 on the night.
The Maroon & Gold return to action with the official regular-season home opener against St. Cloud State on Oct. 21. Tickets for this year’s Gopher Hockey campaign can be purchased through MyGopherSports.com, by visiting the Mariucci Arena Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-U-Gopher.
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