Dec. 29, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) - The No. 10 Gopher Hockey program pulled away in the third for a 3-0 non-conference series-opening victory over Army West Point at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday night.
Captain Tyler Sheehy scored the eventual game winner in the first while Jack Sadek tacked on a goal and an assist in the contest to lead Minnesota (11-9-1 overall, 4-7-1-1 Big Ten) to the victory. Junior Eric Schierhorn returned to the net, making 13 stops against the Black Knights for his third shutout of the season and the 11th of his career - moving him into a tie for third all-time at Minnesota with Bud Wilkinson and George Clausen (only Adam Wilcox and Kellen Briggs have more with 13 each).
Army (8-9-2, 6-7-2 Atlantic Hockey) had back-to-back power-play opportunities early in the game but could not muster a shot on goal until the 12th minute. Capitalizing on the extra ice of a four-on-four session, the Gophers opened the scoring when Sheehy ripped a shot past a defender and goaltender Jared Dempsey at 10:01 of the first, assisted by Rem Pitlick and Sadek. The Black Knights would leave the first period 0-for-3 on the power play and without a shot on goal on the man advantage while the Maroon & Gold had three shots in one power-play chance.
The clock ticked through the midway point of the game and the Gophers still nursed a 1-0 lead, holding the Knights to just seven shots at 13:36 into the second period when Army used its timeout. In the closing seconds of the period, Sheehy looked to break the scoring open once again period with a breakaway but Dempsey made the stop. Pitlick had a chance at the rebound, but his shot went wide, and the teams would remain separated by one after two. Minnesota held a 21-11 advantage in shots on goal headed to the locker room.
Sadek got the Gophers back on the board at 16:41 of the third with his second of the season, assisted by Brent Gates Jr. and Mike Szmatula. Dempsey made 30 stops for Army before being pulled for the extra skater in the closing minutes. Leon Bristedt tacked on an empty-net score at 19:18 of the third, with Jack Ramsey and Jack Glover collecting the helpers.
Each team finished 0-for-4 on the power play. The Gophers held the Black Knights without a shot on goal with the man advantage while taking eight shots as a team. Rookie Clayton Phillips made his debut for the Maroon & Gold in the game, collecting two shots on net and adding a pair of blocked shots.
In goal, Schierhorn improved to 11-8-1 on the year and picked up his 54th career victory - moving into a tie for seventh all-time at Minnesota with Steve DeBus. Next up on the list for Schierhorn is Jeff Stolp with 56 career wins.
The same two teams will wrap up their non-conference series Saturday at 3M Arena at Mariucci, beginning again just after 7:00 p.m. 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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