No. 5 Gophers hold off Michigan State in series opener
The Spartans pushed back in the third period, but some late magic from freshman Casey Mittelstadt and sophomore linemate Rem Pitlick powered the No. 5-ranked Gophers to a key win at home.
Mittelstadt forced a key offensive zone turnover early in the third period, setting up Pitlick and helping the University of Minnesota men's hockey team to a 3-1 win over Michigan State in Minneapolis.
The Gophers opened the scoring at 3:22 of the first period, when sophomore defenseman Ryan Lindgren jammed home a rebound.
Junior forward Brent Gates Jr. scored on the power play in the second period to make it 2-0 Gophers, but MSU answered on a power play of their own early in the third period.
Mittelstadt and Pitlick had the answer, pushing the Gophers' lead to 3-1 at 5:50 of the third.
Junior goaltender Eric Schierhorn made 26 saves for the Gophers, who outshot the Spartans 27-26.
The two teams meet again Saturday at 4 p.m.