Gophers hockey blanks Michigan State

The third-ranked Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey squad got back on track on Friday night, cruising past Michigan State by a 5-0 margin.

Minnesota (9-4-0 overall), which entered the night having lost in four of its past five outings (including an exhibition contest), seized early command of Friday night’s Big Ten conference opener.

The Gophers tallied three first-period goals, beginning with Kyle Rau’s goal at 13:57 of the opening stanza. By the 3:47 mark of the second period, Minnesota’s lead had swelled to 4-0, after Mike Reilly lit the lamp.

Connor Reilly accounted for the third period’s only scoring, as he notched a goal at the 13:13 mark.

All told, the Gophers were paced by Mike Reilly and Justin Kloos, who both produced a pair of assists. Michigan State (5-9-0, 1-2-0 Big Ten) got 23 saves from netminder Jake Hildebrand.

Minnesota and Michigan State conclude their Big Ten series on Saturday at 4 p.m., in a game that can be seen on FOX Sports PLUS.