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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Mike Reilly tallied his seventh goal and 11th point of the season - both lead all Big Ten defensemen - for the eventual game winner as the No. 1 Minnesota men's hockey team bested Michigan State 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in the program's final action of the 2013 calendar year.
After Christian Isackson scored his first goal of the year off an assist from Gabe Guertler - Guertler's first career point as a Gopher - at 11:47 of the first period, Seth Ambroz netted his team-high eighth goal of the year at 18:25 after being set up by Michael Brodzinski and Justin Kloos. Ambroz has now tallied five goals in his last four games and needs just one more tally to tie his career-best of nine set as a sophomore last season. The Gophers outshot the home Spartans 17-3 in the first period while the visitors would go on to outshoot Michigan State 38-21 in the game
Minnesota (12-2-2 overall, 3-0-1-0 Big Ten) continued the offensive production in the second period as Reilly tallied the deciding goal at 6:05. Isackson added his second point of the day with an assist on the play along with Jake Bischoff before the Spartans eventually made it onto the scoreboard with Villiam Haag's fifth goal of the season -- a power-play tally -- at 15:17 of the second period. Dean Chelios and Greg Wolfe assisted on the Michigan State goal. The Spartans (5-8-1, 0-1-0-1) cut the lead to one with an extra-attacker goal in the game's final second from Michael Ferrantino with assists from Jake Chelios and Brent Darnell.
Adam Wilcox made 19 saves in the win for the Gophers, moving to 11-2-3 on the year. Jake Hildebrand suffered the loss for Michigan State to fall to 4-6-1, making 35 saves in the effort. Minnesota finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Minnesota returns to action in January with the Mariucci Classic.
-Pride on Ice-
Around the Rink: Connor Reilly
A native of Chanhassen, Minn., Reilly has collected 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists) in 114 career games with the Gophers.
Border Battle on Deck
Friday’s series opener is set for 7 p.m. CT with Saturday’s finale scheduled for 5 p.m.
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.