Nov. 17, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS - After a loss in the home opener last month, the No. 7/6 Gopher Hockey program has now rattled off sixth-straight wins at home with Friday night's 4-2 victory over No. 13/11 Harvard at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Casey Mittelstadt led the way with a goal and an assist while Brent Gates Jr., Rem Pitlick and Steve Johnson also recorded goals for the Maroon & Gold.
In its ninth game of the year against a nationally ranked foe, Minnesota (8-4-1 overall, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten) jumped out to a four-goal lead through 40 minutes of play before surrendering a pair of goals in the third.
Gates opened the night with his fifth goal of the year, putting home a feed from Tommy Novak at 13:32 of the opening period. Novak now has seven points in the last four games.
Pitlick added to the lead with his team-high sixth of the year when the sophomore pushed in a centering dump from Mittelstadt at 18:17. The goal gave Pitlick a point in his seventh-straight game - a new career best for the forward, who also leads the Gophers with 15 points on the year.
The second period saw Steve Johnson tally the eventual game winner for his second goal of the year when he slipped in a wide attempt by Tyler Nanne at 9:51. With a point in three-straight games, Johnson has tied his career-best point streak. Mike Szmatula also picked up an assist and is now three points away from his 100th career point.
Mittelstadt pocketed his fourth career goal with a wrist shot from the slot at 16:44 of the second when he was set up by Ryan Zuhlsdorf and Sam Rossini. Zuhlsdorf's sixth point of the season gives the sophomore a new career high while Rossini now has three points (two goals, one assist) in five games as a Gopher.
Harvard (2-4-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) picked up goals from Jack Badini and Ryan Donato in the third period, but the Crimson couldn't close the wide gap.
Eric Schierhorn made 26 saves to move to 8-4-1 on the year for the Gophers. In his 88th-straight start in goal, Schierhorn earned his 51st career win (51-33-4) and now ranks tied for eighth all-time at Minnesota with Frank Pietrangelo. Next up for the two-time Big Ten Goaltender of the Year is Steve DeBus with 54 career wins.
Minnesota went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play. The Crimson outshot the home team 28-27.
The Gophers close out this weekend's nonconference series with Harvard on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. 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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