Gophers men’s hockey outscored 11-8 in series split

Minnesota beat Ohio State 5-3 Friday but lost 83 Saturday at home.

Gophers forward Leon Bristedt carries the puck into the Ohio State zone on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 at Mariucci Arena.

Carter Jones

Gophers forward Leon Bristedt carries the puck into the Ohio State zone on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 at Mariucci Arena.

Drew Cove

A back-and-forth weekend ended with a tough loss for the Gophers.

No. 11 Minnesota (7-5-2, 1-1-0 Big Ten) split the weekend series against No. 10 Ohio State (9-2-4, 1-1-0).

The Gophers emerged victorious Friday 5-3, but on Saturday, the Buckeyes took the victory 8-3.

“We come out of the weekend 1-1,” said head coach Don Lucia Saturday. “We had an opportunity to do better after winning [Friday], and that’s probably the thing that’s disappointing the most — that we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win [Saturday].”

Minnesota beat Ohio State for its seventh consecutive regular season win against the Buckeyes Friday.

The Gophers got off to a rocky start when defenseman Ryan Lindgren mishandled a puck in front of his own net, eventually scoring the first goal for the Buckeyes.

Goaltender Eric Schierhorn has had shaky endings lately, with his record being 2-3-1 on Friday, but pulled out the victory making 18 saves.

“I’m happy for him,” Lucia said. “We changed his routine, but I just told him, ‘Don’t skate today. Just get stretched and loosen up,’ and I thought he was sharp all game long.”

Forward Tyler Sheehy scored the fourth and fifth goals of the night. The fourth was the eventual game winner.

“They were good,” Sheehy said Friday. “Definitely they were fun. They were kind of big goals, so to be able to get the bench up a little bit and give us a little momentum is definitely a good thing.”

Saturday, the story was the same with Sheehy, but the team itself was different.

Minnesota was throttled by Ohio State 8-3 Saturday.

“Obviously disappointing,” Lucia said Saturday. “We came out and didn’t have a great start, and it’s 2-2, you think, ‘OK, we’re back in it,’ and we give up those [four] goals early in the second, and it’s game over.”

After giving up four goals on nine shots, Lucia pulled Schierhorn in favor of Nick Lehr. After Lehr allowed two goals on eight shots, he was replaced, with Schierhorn coming back in net.

Defensively, the Gophers were nothing spectacular, — giving up multiple odd-man rushes and playing catchup defensively most of the evening.

Even in Minnesota’s lackluster offensive performance, Sheehy managed to factor into all three goals the Gophers scored.

Sheehy has 15 points in seven games against the Buckeyes in his career.

“It’s not really anything I have been thinking about,” Sheehy said Saturday. “Obviously, the loss is way bigger than that.”

Sheehy is the Gophers’ leading scorer this season with 20 points in 14 games.

The Gophers haven’t allowed eight goals since Dec. 11 in an 8-3 loss at Michigan.

Minnesota has not allowed eight goals at Mariucci Arena since an 8-4 loss to Duluth in 1997.

“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” Lucia said. “Tonight we lost as a team, and the good thing is [that] it’s one loss — not three. And we go back to work on Monday and get ready for Michigan State.”