Gophers outlast Michigan in 4-3 win, earn series split

Minnesota’s three-goal lead evaporated in the second period, but Tommy Novak scored on the power play in the third period to lift the Gophers to a 4-3 win over Michigan on Saturday.

The Gophers built a three-goal lead on goals by Tyler Nanne, Rem Pitlick and Tyler Sheehy over the first 21 minutes of the game, but the Wolverines stormed back in the second.

Quinn Hughes and Michael Pastujov led a furious Michigan comeback, scoring three goals over a five-minute span early in the second period.

Nanne ripped home a one-timer to open the scoring at 9:19 of the first period, before Pitlick connected with a one-timer of his own on the power play at 16:50 to make it 2-0 Gophers.

Tyler Sheehy made it 3-0 just 41 seconds into the second period, beating a Michigan defender with a slick move off the rush.

The Wolverines began to push back just a few minutes later.

Hughes answered a few minutes later at 3:28, while Pastujov scored back-to-back goals at 6:20 and 8:06 to tie the game.

In the end, another one-timer on the power play made the difference.

Novak’s blast found its way past Wolverines goaltender Strauss Mann at 6:18 of the third period after Michigan’s Jack Becker was boxed for tripping, the 13th of 14 penalties assessed in the game.

Nanne was sent to the box with less than two minutes to play in the third.

Gophers goaltender Mat Robson made 31 saves, but was called upon just five times in the third period.

Michigan’s Hayden Lavigne made just eight saves before Mann entered the game in the second period.

It’s a much-needed win for the Gophers, who dropped the series opener 4-2.