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Oct. 26, 2012
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.
-Pride on Ice-
Lettieri Named B1G Second Star
Lettieri has played in all 20 games this season for the Gophers while ranking tied for second on the team with 11 goals and third on the team with 20 points.
Novak to Miss Rest of Season
Novak has played in all 57 games and has 41 points (11 goals, 30 assists) since joining the Gophers last year.
Lettieri's Hat Trick Leads `U' to Sweep
The Gophers have now won six-straight games (tying the school record in the Big Ten era) and eight of the last nine contests.