MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) - Seniors Leon Bristedt and Mike Szmatula each picked up their first goals of the season as the No. 7 Gopher Hockey program took down No. 9 Clarkson, 2-1, on Saturday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci, giving the Maroon & Gold their first sweep of the season.
In goal, Eric Schierhorn made 18 saves on 19 shots to pick up the win for the Gophers and stopped 44 of 46 shots on the weekend to move to 5-3-0 on the year. Minnesota beat the Golden Knights by a 3-1 margin on Friday night.
After struggling on the power play to start the season, the Gophers (5-3-0 overall, 1-1-0-0 Big Ten) made use of the man advantage for the second game in a row on Saturday. Both Minnesota goals came on the power play as Minnesota went 2-for-5 on the night and 3-for-10 on the weekend. The Maroon & Gold penalty kill was also unblemished on the weekend, going 1-for-1 on Saturday and 4-for-4 in the series.
Minnesota entered the game winless on the year when its opponent scored first (0-3-0) but managed to get the job done on Saturday despite an early deficit. Although Clarkson (4-3-1, 0-0-0 ECAC) only managed two shot attempts in the first period, the visitors made one of them count as Sheldon Rempal scored his fourth of the year at 6:06 to put the Golden Knights up by a goal.
The lead didn't last long however as Bristedt took advantage of a five-minute power play for Minnesota by rifling home his first goal of the season at 9:45 of the first period. The game-tying goal was set up by Ryan Zuhlsdorf and Tommy Novak.
Szmatula then picked up the eventual game winner just 23 seconds into the second period on another power play for the Maroon & Gold. The senior found the net off a nice feed from Casey Mittelstadt and Rem Pitlick - Mittelstadt now has points in six of seven games this year while Pitlick has tallied in six of eight.
The Gophers outshot Clarkson 23-19 on the night as Minnesota improved to 6-0-0 all-time against the Golden Knights.
Minnesota continues a four-game homestand next weekend when Michigan State visits 3M Arena at Mariucci. 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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