MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota held the nation’s top offense to one goal and its lowest shot total of the season as the No. 7 Gopher Hockey program topped No. 4/6 Penn State 5-1 on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.
Rem Pitlick scored twice including the game winner while Tyler Sheehy added to his Big Ten-leading point total with a goal and two assists in the win – tying his career high for points. Jake Bischoff also totaled a career high for points with three assists in the win.
After scoring four goals on the nation’s top defense last Saturday, the Gophers (16-7-2 overall, 7-2-0-0 Big Ten) held the nation’s top offense to just 29 shots on goal (a season low for a Nittany Lions team that averaged 48 shots on goal entering the game) and one goal (the second lowest offensive output of the season for Penn State, which averaged 4.41 goals a game entering the weekend).
Vinni Lettieri broke a scoreless tie with his 12th goal of the year at 17:22 before Pitlick scored a pair of goals in the opening minutes of the second stanza. The freshman forward found the net for his first of the night just 54 seconds into the period and added his fifth goal of the year 3:39 later at 4:33 for his first career multi-goal game.
Trevor Hamilton put Penn State (16-5-2, 5-3-1-0) on the board at 8:42 of the second, but the Gophers responded with a beautiful back-and-forth goal between Justin Kloos and Tyler Sheehy that ended with Sheehy’s 16th goal of the year with less than five seconds left in the period.
Mike Szmatula made it a 5-1 game in favor of the home squad when he converted on Minnesota’s only power-play chance of the night at 17:37 of the third period.
Defending Big Ten Goaltender of the Year Eric Schierhorn earned his league-best 16th win of the season, moving to 16-7-2 behind a 28-save performance. The sophomore also earned his second assist of the season.
The Gophers outshot Penn State 30-29 in the win.
Noteworthy for Minnesota…Kloos’ pair of tallies gives him sole possession of 39th all-time in scoring for the Gophers program with 137 points. The senior captain needs two points to move into a tie with Dean Blais…Sheehy now leads the Big Ten with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) this season…Bischoff, who picked up six blocks tonight, now leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the nation with 64 this season…Bischoff also set a new career high with 21 points this year.
The Minnesota returns to action against Penn State tonight at home, at 7 p.m. CT.