Minnesota Advances with B1G Quarterfinal Sweep of Wolverines
MINNEAPOLIS – The Gopher Hockey program struck early and often on Saturday, picking up a 4-1 win over Michigan at 3M Arena at Mariucci to sweep this weekend’s Big Ten quarterfinal series and punch its ticket to the semifinals next weekend.
Minnesota (18-15-4) has won a season-high five-straight games and seven of the last eight contests heading into a one-game semifinal at Notre Dame on Saturday, March 16 on the Big Ten Network (game time will be announced when finalized).
Rem Pitlick led the Maroon & Gold with a pair of goals in Saturday’s quarterfinals finale as the Hobey Baker Award winner continues his best season with the Gophers. The junior ranks fourth in the nation with 45 points while his 21 goals are tied for most in the Big Ten and tied for fourth nationally. Pitlick’s 21 goals this season are the most by a Minnesota skater since All-American Nick Bjugstad recorded 21 during the 2012-13 campaign.
The Gophers opened things up with Tommy Novak’s fourth goal of the season at 5:25 of the first period when the senior forward slipped a puck into the net off assists from Scott Reedy and Tyler Nanne. Reedy added an unassisted goal at 12:42 of the opening stanza for his seventh of the year before Pitlick closed out the action-packed period with his first of the night off a feed from Tyler Sheehy.
Pitlick added his second of the night at 17:02 of the second period with a one-timer blast during a Maroon & Gold power play. Sheehy picked up his second assist of the night on the goal while Brannon McManus also earned a helper. Minnesota finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Michigan (13-16-7) spoiled the Minnesota shutout with a goal from Adam Winborg at 13:39 of the final period.
The goal was the lone blemish on Mat Robson’s night as the junior goalkeeper made 22 saves to improve to 14-11-5 on the year. Strauss Mann took the loss for Michigan, making 24 saves to fall to 6-8-4.
Notes: Sheehy jumped into the top-30 scorers in Gopher Hockey history with 149 career points (57 goals, 92 assists) – the senior is now in sole possession of 29th all-time at Minnesota (next up is Justin Kloos with 150)…the two-point showing by the senior captain was Sheehy’s 43rd career multi-point game (the Gophers are 29-12-2 when he picks up two or more points)…Brannon McManus is now one point shy of tripling his rookie total (26 points as a sophomore, nine as a freshman)…the Gophers finish the season with a 4-1-1 record against Michigan…Minnesota outshot the Wolverines 28-23 in the finale.