MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 2 Minnesota men's hockey program rallied from a two-goal deficit on Friday night in exhibition action to tie the U.S. Under-18 team 2-2 in overtime. Tom Serratore and Nick Bjugstad tallied for the Gophers while Michael Shibrowski made 27 saves in net for Minnesota.
Minnesota (3-1-0 overall, 1-1-0 WCHA) found itself in a two-goal hole after the first period when the Under-18 team found the net twice within a span of 38 seconds in the opening stanza. Vinni Lettieri put the visitors up 1-0 at 16:47 with assists from Connor Hurley and Anthony Louis, and Tyler Motte added to the lead at 17:25 with an unassisted tally.
The second period would be a different story, however, as the Gophers held a 20-5 shot advantage and lit the lamp twice to even the game at 2-2. Serratore tallied the game's only power-play goal when he blasted a shot from inside the blue line past Thatcher Demko in goal for the U.S. Under-18 team at 11:58 of the second. Christian Horn, making his debut for the Gophers, earned an assist on the goal. Minnesota would finish the night 1-for-5 on the power play while the visitors would go 0-for-4.
The game's equalizer came off the stick of Bjugstad at 17:38 of the second when Justin Holl and Nate Condon set up the junior for the game-tying goal. Neither team managed to find the back of the net in the final 22 minutes of regulation or the five-minute overtime period as the exhibition contest ended in a 2-2 tie.
Shibrowski (1-1-0) ended the night by turning away 20-straight shots over the game's final 45 minutes including 11 in the third period - the only period of the night that saw the U.S. Under-18 outshoot the Gophers. Demko would end the night with 39 saves for the U.S. Under-18 Team.
Minnesota continues the 2012-13 season with a nonconference game on Sunday against Canisius. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.