Minnesota wins series opener 4-2 over Michigan State

The Gophers outshot the Spartans 44-14 on the night.

Senior forward Vinni Lettieri looks to steal the puck on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers tied 5-5 against the University of North Dakota.

Chris Dang, Daily File Photo

Senior forward Vinni Lettieri looks to steal the puck on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers tied 5-5 against the University of North Dakota.

Drew Cove

The Gophers did something Friday they have done inconsistently this season: played a consistent game.

No. 11 Minnesota (8-5-2) emerged victorious Friday against Michigan State (4-7-1) 4-2.

In an early game at Munn Arena in East Lansing, the Gophers got off to a rocky start again and Michigan State scored the first goal of the game just 3:30 into the first period.

Minnesota scored the eventual game winner on a fluke play by Michigan State goaltender Ed Minney.

The netminder attempted to clear the puck, but did not see the streaking Minnesota forward Vinni Lettieri, and the senior potted the puck into the empty net for the third goal of the game.

The Gophers got some security near the end of the game with an empty net goal from forward Darian Romanko, his first official goal as a member of the Gophers, to make the score 4-2.

Although goaltender Eric Schierhorn didn’t face a lot of shots, he remained consistent Friday and allowed two goals on 14 shots for a win.

The Gophers had a major shot advantage for the game, giving the Spartans goaltender a busy night by having a 44-14 advantage.

Minnesota returns to the same ice Saturday and looks to keep the consistency from Friday to earn the team’s second sweep of the season.