Gophers hockey win physical Big Ten battle against Penn State

The Golden Gophers and Nittany Lions faceoff to begin the game at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Penn. on Friday night.

Courtesy: Minnesota men's hockey

The No. 15/17 Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s ice hockey team rallied for the a 2-1 win in a fast-paced Big Ten battle against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Friday’s series opener in a sold-out game at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Penn. Minnesota (17-9-3 overall, 8-2-3-0 Big Ten) claims sole possession of first place in the Big Ten for the first time this season.

Penn State (15-10-4, 7-5-1-0) nabbed the first goal with a well-placed shot by David Goodwin off reigning Big Ten Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year Adam Wilcox, whose last effort was a shutout of the nation’s top-ranked offense last weekend. It was the last puck to go past the All-American, who stopped 35 shots — his most since November — to improve to 17-8-3 on the season.

After a gritty first period, the Gophers came out of the first intermission looking to increase the intensity — and quickly reaped the rewards with an early goal by senior forward Christian Isackson with an assist by sophomore defenseman Jake Bischoff that was followed by a go-ahead power-play goal on a wrister by sophomore forward Justin Kloos with assists from junior defenseman Brady Skjei, sophomore defenseman Michael Brodzinsky and senior forward Seth Ambroz. Minnesota’s power play went 1 for 4 and its penalty kill was 2 for 2 on the night.

The teams play again Saturday at 4 p.m. CT