Gophers swept by Penn State, Big Ten quarterfinals set

The Minnesota Gophers have a week to figure out how to beat Penn State.

The Nittany Lions downed the Gophers again Saturday night, dealing Minnesota a 5-2 loss to complete the sweep and set up a rematch in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

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Minnesota will return to Pegula Ice Arena next weekend for a best-of-three quarterfinal series.

Rob Matson made 34 saves in the loss, a night after racking up a career-high 55 saves. Penn State scored early and often, jumping out to a three-goal midway through the second period.

Senior Mike Szmatula got the Gophers on the board at 18:02 of the second period, but the Nittany Lions answered on the power play at 2:37 of the third. Junior Brent Gates Jr. cut Penn State’s lead to a 4-2 at 14:44 of the third period, before Penn State finished things off with an empty-net goal just a few minutes later.

Minnesota bounced back after being outshot a whopping 61-15 on Friday, outshooting the Nittany Lions 41-40. The Gophers’ power play failed to connect once again, going 0-for-5.