Sheehy Sparks ‘U’ to Win Over Spartans
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Gopher Hockey team captain Tyler Sheehy eclipsed 100 career points in his 100th career game on Thursday night, scoring twice including the game winner and adding an assist as No. 13/14 Minnesota topped Michigan State 5-4 at Munn Ice Arena.
With three points on the night, Sheehy is the 84th member of Minnesota’s 100-Point Club and currently has 101 points (41 goals, 60 assists) in 100 career games.
Minnesota (14-12-1 overall, 5-9-1-1 Big Ten) also picked up two assists from Brent Gates Jr. while Steve Johnson, Jack Ramsey and Tommy Novak added goals for the Maroon & Gold.
In a game filled with unusual goals, Michigan State (9-15-1, 3-11-1-1) jumped out to an early lead Mitch Lewandowski slammed home a loose puck in the crease at 6:47 of the first period only for Ramsey to find the equalizer at 13:51 of the opening stanza when he flipped a puck out of the neutral zone and into the net for his second goal of the year. Jack Glover and Darian Romanko assisted on the goal.
The Big Ten rivals then combined for five goals in the second with four coming on special teams including three shorthanded goals – all three coming during five-minute power plays.
Minnesota claimed its first lead of the night when Johnson’s power-play attempt from the point found the net at 1:48 for the senior defenseman’s third goal of the year. Mike Szmatula and Gates picked up assists. Shortly after that, the Gophers picked up back-to-back shorthanded goals at 4:15 from Sheehy and at 6:55 from Novak. Gates set up Sheehy’s tally while the team captain found Novak for his strike.
The Spartans added a shorthanded goal at 8:12 from Taro Hirose before the sophomore scored again at even strength for his second of the game at 14:27. Butrus Ghafari evened the game at 4-4 at 11:57 of the third period when his dump into the offensive zone bounced off the boards and into the net.
With a goal and an assist already on the night, Sheehy picked up a neutral-zone turnover and rifled home the deciding goal at 17:12 of the third period on an unassisted tally.
Eric Schierhorn made 18 saves in net for the Gophers to move to 12-11-1 on the year. Minnesota outshot the Spartans 39-22 on the night while the power play was 1-for-3 and the penalty kill was 2-for-2.
Minnesota and Michigan State meet again on Saturday, Jan. 20 in New York City as part of the Big Ten Super Saturday Doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. The series finale is set for 7 p.m. CT on the Big Ten Network.