Gophers open 2020-21 season with 4-1 victory over Penn State

Head coach Bob Motzko and the Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey team began the 2020-21 season with a 4-1 win over Penn State on Thursday.

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After a scoreless first period, Minnesota sophomore Jonny Sorenson notched the first goal of the year at the 5:22 mark of the second period. The Gophers added to their lead later the second period on a goal by Scotty Reed.

Penn State found the back of the net right before the second intermission to trim Minnesota’s lead to 2-1. But the Gophers answered in the third period, as Cullen Munson and Sampo Ranta both scored their first goals of the season to secure the 4-1 win.

Gophers goaltender Jack LaFontaine stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced.

“Great first game for us,” Motzko said after the victory. “Just to get a win and have that feeling in the locker room. Jack LaFontaine was great tonight. I’m proud of our guys.”

Minnesota (1-0) returns to the ice 3 p.m. Friday to close out a two-game set with the Nittany Lions.